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Calling the Twitter API in C# - Wallace B. McClure

Wallace B. McClure

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Calling the Twitter API in C#

I've been working on this application to send out tweets at a particular time.  One thing thing I want to do is be able to look at the logged in user's timeline.  I've been playing with the ASP.NET 4.0 AJAX Previews, so I thought I would marry the two.  As a result, I wrote the WCF code below in C#.  Note that the password is hidden, so the code won't work until you add that in.  Basically, I make a request to get the friends timeline.  This gives me the most recent 20 posts by default. I store the result in an XmlDocument.  I need to get that data out as a complex object of type UserStatusSvc as I am returning an array of that type.  I used Linq to Xml for that.

        public UserStatusSvc[] GetUserTimeLine(string username)
            string url = "";
            //string user = Convert.ToBase64String(System.Text.Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(username + ":" + password));
            HttpWebRequest request = (HttpWebRequest)HttpWebRequest.Create(url);
            request.Method = "POST"; // <--- you probably need to change this to a GET after a twitter change a couple of months ago.
            request.Credentials = new NetworkCredential(username, password);
            WebResponse response = request.GetResponse();
            StreamReader reader = new StreamReader(response.GetResponseStream());
            string responseString = reader.ReadToEnd();
            XmlDocument xmld = new XmlDocument();
            XDocument document = XDocument.Parse(responseString);

            var query = from e in document.Root.Descendants()
                        where e.Element("user") != null
                        select new UserStatusSvc
                            UserName = e.Element("user").Element("screen_name").Value,
                            ProfileImage = e.Element("user").Element("profile_image_url").Value,
                            Status = HttpUtility.HtmlDecode(e.Element("text").Value),
                            StatusDate = e.Value.ParseDateTime().ToString()

            var users = (from u in query
                         where u.Status != ""
                         select u).ToList();

            return (users.ToArray());

Here's the definition of my UserStatusSvc object.

    public class UserStatusSvc
        public string UserName { get; set; }
        public string ProfileImage { get; set; }
        public string Status { get; set; }
        public string StatusDate { get; set; }

    public static class StringExtensions
        public static DateTime ParseDateTime(this string date)
            string dayOfWeek = date.Substring(0, 3).Trim();
            string month = date.Substring(4, 3).Trim();
            string dayInMonth = date.Substring(8, 2).Trim();
            string time = date.Substring(11, 9).Trim();
            string offset = date.Substring(20, 5).Trim();
            string year = date.Substring(25, 5).Trim();
            string dateTime = string.Format("{0}-{1}-{2} {3}", dayInMonth, month, year, time);
            DateTime ret = DateTime.Parse(dateTime);
            return ret;

Thanks to Tim Heuer for some code he posted on his blog to get me started.  I have primarily stolen his code and reposted it here.  :-)

Original Url:

PS. I modified this code example to remove the hokey CheckForNull(...).  It was stupid and not necessary.  I didn't realize I had left it in until I got hassled for it.  The line 'where Element("user") != null' resolved my problem.


webbes said:

After another look.. you could also better use the DownloadString method of the WebClient class:



# March 19, 2009 10:07 AM

webbes said:

I had a look for you at the twitter date format and indeed it isn't that wierd. To parse the date you could simply use this:


string twitterDate = "Sat Jan 24 22:14:29 +0000 2009";

DateTime parsedDateTime = DateTime.ParseExact(twitterDate, "ddd MMM dd HH:mm:ss zzz yyyy", CultureInfo.InvariantCulture);




P.S. You could glue my three reactions into on comment or not post them at all. Maybe it's good to just change the code sample.

# March 19, 2009 10:31 AM

Howdy said:

What did you mean while saying "marry the two"?

# March 20, 2009 1:17 PM

harushard said:

got problem..~

{"The remote server returned an error: (400) Bad Request."}

i do ur code in windows form.. ithink same also..

what's the problem..?

read about rate limiting, but didnt know what to add to avoid this.. HELPP

# June 2, 2009 11:46 AM

Wallym said:

if you are getting an error, you probably need to change to using a GET instead of a POST. I think Twitter changed this a couple of weeks after I posted this.

# June 2, 2009 2:39 PM

Peter Benson said:

How about the license to use the API for commerical purpose?

# January 21, 2010 2:36 AM