Tag Archives: composer

Everybody can delete services

When building the first prototype for Composer, I skipped the ability to delete services because it seemed like something we could tackle later. Well later has come. We’ve just deployed the ability to delete services. There’s now a “delete” link next to each service name on the services page.

Until now I was deleting services by hand in response to email requests, but now all Composer users can delete their own services. Happy days. 🙂

Composer’s own link shortener

When you’re writing messages that are destined for Twitter, there’s often a need to shorten urls. Well, from today, Composer can do that for you. On the post screen you’ll notice a new input box in the top right hand corner. If you enter a URL into it and click “Shorten” the url will be shortened and added to your message.

The new short url will be added to the end of the current message (not where the cursor is in the text box, that will come later). Shortlinks will be on the domain go.cmp.sr and will be very short.

Also note that any urls posted in the message will not be shortened, only urls entered via the shortener, the rest are left as they are.

If you spot any issues with the layout, or have any other feedback, let us know in the comments.

Facebook Pages

You asked, we delivered. Facebook Pages were the number 1 requested new service. The code is live, you can now post to Facebook Pages from Composer.

Quick word of warning, you’ll need to reauth your Facebook account because we added the “manage pages” Facebook permission. Until you do that, you won’t see any pages on your account because Composer doesn’t have permission to ask them. Click here to reauth now.

To add a Facebook Page, go to the services page, then next to any of your Facebook accounts click the “add pages” link. The link only appears next to Facebook accounts, not next to other Facebook pages. You can post to multiple Facebook accounts and multiple pages within each of those accounts. It’s Facebook page posting galore!

Any questions, issues, or feedback, fire a comment below.

Updated internals, faster posting

If you were posting on a mobile connection or to many services, you might have noticed that after clicking “Submit Post” you sometimes had to wait quite a long time for the next page to load. This has been holding us back from adding extra networks and features.

Today, we’ve deployed a new architecture which should fix this. Now posts are pushed into a queue and then published from the queue. It’s all a behind the scenes change, but the bottom line is, it should result in much faster posting.

We’re also tracking how long each part of the process takes, so we can monitor and optimise those delivery times. Data galore.

If you notice any issues over the next couple of days, please let us know in the comments.

The Composer bookmarklet

Update: Now there are multiple bookmarklets here.

By popular request, Composer has a bookmarklet. Heavily inspired by the WordPress “Press This” feature, it uses the same javascript. You’ll find it on the compose screen under the Submit button.

It works in the usual way. Add it to your bookmarks then click it on any page. If you select some text on the page before you click it, that text will also be copied into the compose screen for you.


With this change, the compose screen supports 4 new url arguments: body, s = text selection, t = page title, and u = page url, on the new target url http://composer.io/posts/add/b.

The bookmarklet runs its javascript magic and constructs a url that looks like this (all values are url encoded):

The body argument was added so you can roll your own bookmarklet and combine whatever javascript variables you want in your own order. The body argument is used first, then the others are combined in the usual way and appended.

For example, this url will load a compose screen like:

I'm the awesome body
This is the text I selected
Title of Awesome http://awesome.tld/

If you do roll your own, please let us know in the comments below. 🙂

Auto shortening for twitter, etc

More goodness from the composer HQ today! If you type a message over 140 characters and send it to Twitter, Plurk or Identica, we’ll automatically shorten it, post it on a URL, generate a short link, and then post the beginning of your message along with a short link to the full message. It’s live now, no configuration necessary.

Shoot over any feedback in a comment… 🙂

WordPress links

As part of the same deploy that introduced plurk, I also snuck in an update to the WordPress service. If you post a url in a message, it will now automatically be converted to a link before being posted to WordPress.

Also, all posts to WordPress are appended with a small “Posted by Composer” link. Eventually premium users will have the option to disable this, but right now that’s not a feature I’ve built! If you’re passionate about this issue, and don’t have the coding skills to remote it on the WordPress end, shoot over a comment and offer me a $50 Amazon gift voucher, then I’ll build it just for you!

Composer speaks plurk

Fergus put a survey together asking folks what services they’d like to see supported. Google Plus was the front runner, but their api is read only, so that’s not an option. I scanned the list for other votes, and figured I’d take a bash at plurk.

Took a couple of attempts, first I tried the plurkoauth library, as recommended by plurk themselves, but that required pecl_http, which was a PITA to install. After a bit more searching I found EternalPlurk. It threw up a few fatal errors and a bunch more warnings. But after a few quick bugfixes, it seems to do the job. Thanks to the author.

The code is now live on production, and I’ve successfully linked my plurk account and posted a plurk. One thing, we automatically use the plurk verb “says”, there’s currently no option to change that, either per message or per account. If it’s something you feel passionately about, shoot a comment and I’ll what I can do.

Plurkers, welcome to the Composer family… 🙂

Composer speaks SMS

Today I built an SMS API for Composer. It’s very basic, but it works. I just sent a text, had the message published, and got an SMS reply telling me which services succeeded (and sadly, failed).

Twitter failed because it wants to make every domain a link, and then wants to “shorten” that link to a 20 or 21 character t.co link. Very stupid. So twilio.com (10 characters) became http://t.co/Mnj6d4ZX (20 characters). With 3 domains (not urls) in my message, I gained at least 20 characters, and went over the 140 limit. But that’s another story!

I started out this morning (technically afternoon, but my morning 😉 ) building an SMS API for Composer. I wanted to be able to post from my mobile, without internet, and update my statuses. I chose Tropo because they’re free while in development. I figured it would be a while before I’d have the whole thing production ready, so a few months of free SMS gateway seemed appealing.

Alas, too many hours later, none of my texts reached Tropo, I couldn’t get a reply to work by IM or SMS, and so finally I decided to get agile and instead try Twilio. Bingo. It just worked. No issues, no bother. There are a couple of downsides. First, I got $30 bonus when signing up, but to “activate” my account I need to add a credit card. Second, it’s not free, it’s $1 a month per number plus 1c per text received and 1c to 7c or more per SMS sent, depending on the destination. But it works, and it worked in less than an hour.

I hard coded the mobile number to account id link, so if you want to use the SMS API, just let me know, tell me your mobile number, and I’ll add you to it! I’ll work on a better system where folks can register in time, but for now, it works. This is an MVP after all! 🙂

Now I can send one text message to Composer and update Facebook, Twitter, Identica and WordPress all at once. Happy days.

Deployed Google Analytics

I’ve created a new GA account and added the javascript tracking code to both WordPress and the core Composer app. It should be live now.

I’m not the biggest fan of Google Analytics, and I myself both nullroute and block it with ghostery (thanks Kasper). However, it is the industry standard, and it gives independent validity to our traffic numbers, which might be useful if the service becomes popular.

Thoughts on a postcard? (Or a comment?)