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Twitter And New Lines – Thoughts about the web

Twitter And New Lines

Twitter does not display new lines. And that’s it – you can’t configure it to do so, you are stuck with no new lines. And I know this is a minor thing, but these things stack up.

Why do you need new lines? If you are tweeting a short poem. Or a dialog (e.g. a joke with a dialog). Yes, these are not the majority of tweets, but they are not that few either.

In fact, twitter stores the newline information and serves it through the API. That’s why most (to-be-killed-soon) 3rd party clients properly display new lines.

But this can be abused, you say – someone may enter 20 new lines and thus break the timelines of their followers. That’s an easy thing to fix – just don’t display more than 2 consecutive new lines, and also limit the total number of new lines per tweet to, say 5 or 6.

<rant>But no, twitter will enforce their rules and kill other clients, where you can properly read poetry and jokes, but I don’t think they will fix their own client.</rant>

At least make it configurable.

2 comments

    • Михаил Минков on October 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm
    • Reply

    I agree that Twitter should have that functionality in their client.

    But please, please – do NOT set one foot on the “make it configurable” path.
    That’s the quickest path to bloat, it’s design 101 and even suggesting it may possibly convince other developers is a good idea.

    http://gettingreal.37signals.com/ch06_Avoid_Preferences.php

    I agree with the “5-6 newlines total, no 2 consequitive newlines”, though 🙂

    • Bozho on October 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm
      Author
    • Reply

    The configuration suggestion was a last resort – if they don’t do it in the regular way, hide it somewhere in the settings, so that at least tech-savvy people can use it. I know it’s bad to have too many options (having read the “Getting real” book 🙂 ), but… 🙂

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