Twitter Extensions Development and Twitter UI Changes


#1

We are building a Twitter extension where we are integrating our functionality into www.twitter.com. We noticed that a new www.twitter.com UI is being rolled out and our extension has now broken. This is easy to fix. However, we would like to know in advance if these changes so we can pro-actively react and not leave our users in the cold. In this context we have two questions:

  1. Is there a beta.twitter,com program we can participate in?
  2. Is there a way for our development team to plug-in and have advance notice of these kind of changes so we can prepare?
  3. Also, how often does this type of change usually happen and how reliable are the html and css ids and selectors in twitter’s DOM? Needless to say, we hook on to these with our own UI elements.

Any thoughts and help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!


#2

Hi Mo,

Although browser extensions are great, it’s not possible for us to actively support twitter.com as a development environment. Substantial redesigns are reasonably rare (once every 12–18 months over the past few years), so for the most part you shouldn’t find yourself too regularly disrupted. However, the content of pages is constantly changing, and it is not consistent for each user due to their preferences, and because we constantly run experiments of new features large and small before they are announced (some of these, of course, never launch.)

There’s no beta site with all these features enabled (that too is impossible as many experiments are variations of the same change), and it’s not viable or efficient for feature teams to coordinate announcing subtle mark-up changes like this.

With any kind of user-scripting on the web I can only offer the regular advice: Code defensively against change, and make full use of the canvases that the browser itself provides for your UI.

Good luck,

Ben


#3