November 12, 2009, 5:35 am
openSUSE 11.2 is out the door today, and I‚Äôve been using it or the release candidates for several weeks. Really enjoying the new release and all the goodies that come with it. One of the packages in this release that‚Äôs worth a look is Choqok, a FOSS microblogging app.
Choqok is written for KDE, but it runs equally well under GNOME (and presumably under other desktop environments / window managers as well).
It‚Äôs a mostly straightforward application, but there are a few non-0bvious features worth pointing out.
Choqok supports Twitter and Identi.ca, as well as custom Laconi.ca / Status.net instances. Just go to Settings -> Configure Choqok and then select the Accounts tab. You‚Äôll need accounts on one or more microblogging service, of course.
Choqok also handles multiple accounts, so if you‚Äôre tweeting / denting on multiple services and/or managing multiple user-names (say, a personal account and a project account) Choqok makes it easy to manage those all from one interface.
The only problems I have with Choqok so far are that some of the features aren‚Äôt as obvious as they could be, and that the application doesn‚Äôt support Bit.ly for URL shortening. I like Bit.ly because I can track the stats of the URLs ‚Äî clickthrus, reposts on Twitter, etc.
Let‚Äôs tackle some of the less-obvious features.
Here‚Äôs how to do it:
- Click their name in the ‚Äústream‚Äù of updates.
- Select ‚Äúwhois‚Äù from the menu that pops up.
- You‚Äôll see a pop-up with information about the user. There‚Äôs a small icon that shows a figure and a plus sign. Click that and you‚Äôre done!
Choqok also allows you to easily reply and re-tweet or re-dent other people‚Äôs posts. Again, this isn‚Äôt entirely intuitive if you haven‚Äôt use a microblogging application before.
To do this, hover the mouse over the person‚Äôs icon on the left-hand side. You‚Äôll see several very small icons appear over the avatar. The arrow is for RT‚Äôing or RD‚Äôing posts. The star is to mark that post as a favorite (great for updates that have links you want to visit later) and the ‚ôª icon allows you to automatically RT or RD the post.
One of my favorite features in Choqok is the ability to see the context of a conversation. Often, you‚Äôll see tweets that are sort of ambiguous without the preceding conversation. If someone is replying to a message, you can click ‚Äúin reply to‚Äù and it will show the previous update.
Or, on the right side of the Choqok interface, you‚Äôll see a tiny icon like the one highlighted here:
Click that and it‚Äôll take you to a context window with the whole conversation. It‚Äôs really convenient!
Of course, you can also use Choqok to send direct messages and so on, and pretty much everything you can do from the Web interfaces. Definitely one of the best additions to openSUSE 11.2 for folks who use social media a lot!