Yet another GNOME DO plugin: Ping.FM

Just a few days ago, when a suggestion was made about creating another micro blog plugin (friendfeed) for Do in Google Group, Jason Jones recommanded “writing a plugin that leverages one of the existing ‘multicasting’ services, such as ping.fm”, I though it is indeed a better approach. And meanwhile I realized myself using identi.ca more nowadays, a Twitter plugin alone could not very well fulfill the needs. So I followed the API document and used the C# wrapper class provided by Ping.FM team, after two days coding and debuging, now I have this initial version.

The code branch is at http://code.launchpad.net/~d6g/do-plugins/PingFM and compiled binary is downloadable at http://p3n9.kilu.de/PingFM.dll. There is still some issues with the Makefile.am inside PingFM prject, so in case you decide to compile it yourself, I am sorry that instead of simply applying the make command, you have to use MonoDevelop for now. To use the binary file, just dropped it into the folder ~/.local/share/gnome-do/plugins or ~/.local/share/gnome-do/plugins-0.6.0 depending on which version of Do you are using.

Currently the plugin support posting messages containing no more than 140 characters via Ping.FM API to all “microblog” services or all “status” services configured in your Ping.FM account (“multicasting”), or to a specific one among those web services you’ve activated.

Implementation of posting blog action is dropped for this version due to the complication it may bring. Also, personally I don’t feel it is reasonable or practical to write your blog post with the current Do interface.

Worth to be mentioned, is that the C# wrapper provided by Ping.FM is created in Windows environment and it produces some exception with Mono. I gave this feedback to the author Adam Duffy and made my own modification to get it work.

On the other hand, I feel there is still some sort of incompleted documentation for the API. For example, when you uncheck all methods associated with a service but keep that service actived, you are still able to sent update to it. Moreover, although the API says for “status” methods, the limit for message length is 200 characters, lots of services supporting “status” method including Twitter, Identi.ca have a rather smaller limit. Even when you try to send a message as status update on Ping.FM’s webpage interface, the limit is 140, the same as for “microblog”.

Since the services available at Ping.FM’s side is a lot, and I have account for only a few of them. Test may be needed to make sure the plugin works for each service. So if you have tried the plugin and found out any problem or have any suggestions, commented under this post or in Google Group.

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