Notes for the Alpha Team

In software parlance, an alpha release is one that is not feature complete, but ready for active testing. (The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.)

That’s where Denby is today. I am already using it full time, falling back to the main Twitter website only for certain missing features.

Here’s a quick guide to known bugs and missing features, so you know what to expect when you join the Alpha Team:

  • I recommend using Chrome or Chromium with Denby. I haven’t done much testing against older browsers for a while, so at the current pace of change, lots of things may have broken.
  • I don’t expect it to work well with mobile or touch devices at all. I have plans for a mobile user interface, but I’m currently focusing on the “death star control panel” desktop interface.
  • You won’t see any unseen tweet history (“backfill”) when you log in. This one missing feature sends me back to the main website more often than any other, so expect it to be fixed pretty soon!
  • It’s a streaming client, receiving tweets from the server almost as soon as they are entered, so depending on the number of people you follow it might take a while before you see the first tweet appear.
  • You can’t add or remove columns… but there’s an exception which proves the rule: If you click on a user name, a new column will appear containing that user’s recent tweets. There’s a close button on that one!
  • The “Tweet” button loses focus before it registers your click. Use the Ctrl+Enter keyboard shortcut to send your tweet instead.
  • The client may lose its connection to the server, and won’t try particularly hard to reconnect. Check the JavaScript console for connection status reports.

Here are some links which are bound to come in handy:

Thanks for joining me on this wild ride! ← launch Denby!

Update: For a more refined experience, use your browser’s preferred method for displaying a web page as an application. For instance, in Chrome or Chromium, just go to the wrench menu, then “Tools > Create Application Shortcuts…” For Firefox, you will have to install Prism and configure it.