Open source MahTweets is a solid, extensible Twitter client for Windows

Windowsby Lee Mathews (RSS feed) Sep 8th 2009 at 6:00PM

Want a good Twitter client for your Windows system that doesn’t necessitate installing Adobe Air? Check out MahTweets.

If you’re willing to overlook the…er…interesting interface, MahTweets is loaded with features. It’s built on .Net 3.5 and the Windows Presentation Foundation and is available as a ClickOnce installer. CPU and memory usage are very respectable, and updates are sent and received rapidly.

Twitter power users won’t like the fact that MahTweets doesn’t support search columns. More casual, conversational users probably won’t notice the omission. The app does provide a good way to view the big three – everything, direct messages, and @ mentions.

[via Doug Finke]

Out of the box, MahTweets supports uploading images to Flickr, YFrog, TwitPic, Twitgoo, and Thumbwhere. Webcam capture support is also built in.

URLs can be automatically shortened with either is.gd or tinyurl. Nine color scheme presets are provided and blue, black, and white all look decent.

Facebook is also supported, though it’s still somewhat lean. Scrolling through your stream feels a bit clunky, and comments don’t appear after you submit them. My timeline also appears to be less-than-current, only showing items more than 12 hours old. Not quite the realtime feed MahTweets pulls from Twitter.

As far as straight-up, three-column Twitter clients for Windows go, though, MahTweets is a solid option.

MahTweets originated as a great learning project for me (Paul) for WPF/C#/.NET. As it was the early days of Twitter, MahTweets grew to include XMPP (Jabber) support (which Twitter had at the time) – it was true ‘real time’ Twitter client, with fallback to the API. This allowed a much more robust client, as the XMPP interface seemed to never go down, while the API was limited from 30-60 requests/hour as well as 30-60 fail whales an hour.

Once XMPP was discontinued from Twitter, I too discontinued MahTweets. Eventually I grew frustrated with several other clients for having X feature but not Y feature, and not doing what I wanted.

MahTweets 2 was a reboot to the project, taking out all the XMPP and WCF bindings and creating a Tweetie like client. While I prefered some (/most) of its functionality to other clients, it was very raw.

I wanted MahTweets 2 to be much grander than what it was – a true social media client – but the way I’d designed the app, that wasn’t possible. I had been reading up on plugin system when I discovered the Managed Extensibility Framework, an upcoming feature to .NET 4.0 current in preview releases.
After yet another ‘start-from-scratch’ on the project, MahTweets 2.5 emerged with the help of a few others, as a multi-social network client (Facebook/Twitter) – open source and extensible through MEF. The project is still in beta, but there is a solid foundation to build from this time – it’s going to rock.

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