Customising the Twitter Web Interface

February 9, 2009

I don’t use the Twitter web interface too much. Tweetdeck is so far ahead in terms of usability and functionality. However… This weekend I was pretty surprised when I saw a tweet from @MichDdot (here) who had a totally different web interface to mine. I was thinking he must have some inside beta version, but it turned out that what he had was available to all of us…

Anyway, he was kind enough to let me know what he’d done, so I thought I’d share with you how I have managed to make my Twitter web interface much more usable (screenshots below):

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Above: Notice changes in interface screenshot (from top to bottom)
– Grader information
– Twitter Search and People Search
– Retweet
– Nested conversations
– Embedded replies
– (I’ve done a heap more on the homepage too)

image

Above: On the homepage (twiiter/hone) I’ve added:
– Ability to autotype follower names when typing @ or D
– Search
– Following names
– Nested conversations

How is this done?

1. Install GreaseMonkey plugin for FireFox (here)
2. Add custom GreaseMonkey scripts (here) from USerscripts.org

There are dozens of scripts available for customising Twitter, the above are just the ones I chose but there are many more.

Simple! Thanks again to MichDdot for the headsup – a recommended follow!

Any Q’s – ping me on Twitter –  Regards, @eunmac


Safari on PC. Windows Review. Includes speed test and other comparisons.

March 25, 2008

Here’s a screen shot of Safari, the Apple browser in action on a Windows PC released on Mar 18 2008. The first thing I noticed is the way fonts are rendered, even down to a small point size. Being used to IE and Firefox it all seemed a bit fuzzy to me. I looked for an option to turn font smoothing off but could only alter the intensity of anti-aliasing. Have a look at the images at the bottom of the article and compare the difference.

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So which Windows Browser is fastest? Safari, Internet Explorer or Firefox?
What surprised me was the speed of Safari in several rendering tests I ran in which it outperformed the two big guns by a big margin. For this I downloaded a CSS benchmark test created by nontroppo. I then tried some script tests here from CelticKane.

  Firefox IE Safari
CSS render 285ms 574ms 51ms
Script Test 859ms 1209ms 257ms

Putting this into layman’s terms – a blink of the eye is roughly 50-80 ms so when you start to compare the above then you realise the time differences we’re talking about are very visible even to the untrained eye. In the real world when I visited some heavier html/css websites in Safari they seemed visibly to load faster.

Font rendering comparisons from the three browsers:
Notice the Safari rendering on the right is quite different…

image image image
Firefox IE Safari

So what’s the downside?
Well Firefox and IE are very well supported by the development community. Plugins like PicLens do not work yet (I tried) so basically it’s good for browsing, not much else at this stage. Having said that the speed of browsing makes it worth a look (if you can bear the fuzzy fonts).

Interestingly the default search engines include only Google and Yahoo. Hmm is the omission of Live Search a subtle poke at Microsoft?

Note: Tests were completed running on a Centrino Duo Inspiron 1720 with Vista Ultimate.