@scruffbot rides again

warning_head_320Last night, several people in several places were discussing _ebooks twitter bots and it got me thinking about my poor, languishing @scruffbot.

I first created @scruffbot back in April 2012, when I wanted an excuse to learn a bit about how the Twitter API worked. Duly coded and released into the wild, he was set to search the firehose of the public timeline for people tweeting about drinking cups of tea, and to then favourite and retweet a random selection. Left to his mission, @scruffbot racked up 1,700 tweets on the subject of tea before I put him into suspended animation.

This time around, I wanted him to do proper Markov chain driven quotes. I spent a bit of time fiddling with a PHP library for working with chains, but ultimately decided to go the lazy route (ah, laziness, the first great virtue of the programmer) and just deployed this python project to Heroku.

This new incarnation of @scruffbot is fed on a diet on tweets from myself, @katerimorton, and @wnpb. I wanted to make sure it was working okay, and he came up with this:

…so yeah. Pretty sure he’s working correctly. I left him to it overnight and woke up this morning to this gem:

Perfect.

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