Tag Archives: api

Twitter outage

This morning we discovered a problem with our publishing to twitter. We were using the Twitter API version 1.0, which was shut down on Monday. We’ve updated to use the 1.1 API and publishing to twitter should now be back online. Apologies for any tweets that failed in the meantime.

To help with these errors, we’ve added deeper visibility into the status of posts on the history page. Under each post you’ll now see a row shows the status of that post against each service. The three statuses are pending, posted and failed. If you see pending, try refreshing after a few seconds. If you see consistent problems with one or more services, let us know.


An enthusiastic user sent us a very nice email, amongst other things, asking for Composer to support VK.com. As it was such a nice email, I thought I’d have a look and see if we could add support for VK.com. There is an API, so that’s the first step. I started off trying to write to the API directly, but there were a few issues. So then I decided to use a VK wrapper. Then I got a strange error message:

Permission to perform this action is denied for non-standalone applications: you should request token using blank.html page

I couldn’t make sense of it. I tried changing various things, spent a few hours tinker with it. Finally, I figured it out. The key is on this page. Bottom line, the VK.com API only allows “desktop or standalone” applications to post content. In other words, because we’re a web based application, we’re forbidden from posting content.

There is a hack to get around this. The hack requires the user to copy and paste a code from a page which says “Пожалуйста, не копируйте данные из адресной строки для сторонних сайтов. Таким образом Вы можете потерять доступ к Вашему аккаунту.” I know, right! Google helpfully translated this as “Please do not copy the data from the address bar to third-party sites. So you may lose access to your account.”

So, by copying and pasting my token I was able to get the API working, but it’s explicitly forbidden. Unfortunately, for Composer, that means as far as I can see, there’s no way for us to support VK.com. Which is a shame, there are 100m users on VK.com.

Maybe when Composer is bigger, when we hit the outrageous Twitter 100k limit, then we can open channels with VK.com and perhaps negotiate access to their API to let users post content to their service more easily. If you know anyone at VK.com and can work this angle on our behalf, please do so. We’ve got all the code ready, all we need is for VK.com to actually let us post.

Composer speaks Tumblr

Just deployed Tumblr support. My last tumble was in July, so it’s great to be back on the platform. Took me a while to figure this one out, but it turned out to be pretty easy. It’s all based on oauth and a simple API. Using the existing oauth library, everything was provided for me. All I needed was to find the url forthe API call, the parameters, and bolt together the oauth authorization scheme. Easy peasy.

Do you tumble? Click here to add a Tumblr account to Composer now. Quick word of warning, right now, we only post to the first blog in your account. If you want to post to multiple blogs within the same account, shoot over an encouraging comment and I’ll see what I can do…

As with WordPress, Tumblr posts are appended with a little “Posted via Composer” link.