Four years ago, I started writing some code for a small personal project. It was a tiny desktop application that let you use your Twitter account in Linux without using a web browser. It was open source, minimalistic, functional and fast… it was Turpial. Lot of things have happened since then and, because of this special day, I would like to share a little bit of the Turpial story with all of you. First public version ever known was 0.6, released in November 17th, 2009. It was a geeky rough shell application (yes! shell application) and to use it you needed some basic Unix knowledge and a lot of hacker spirit. It was not intended for massive use, it was for me and it worked for me but certainly there was no friendly at all, so I decided to implement some kind of UI with GTK. Next version was 0.9.3, released by January 2010. This one got an interface for “humans” with GTK and from this point on, everything changed. Turpial started grow, passing from a personal project that met my needs to a popular application used all around the world. I started to give talks about Turpial in all kind of Free Software events and people started supporting the project, collaborating, translating and getting involved. With all that energy we reached Turpial 1.0 in April 19th, 2010. A nice and minimalistic GTK application that did the job.
Four months later, in August 19th 2010, came 1.3.4 with more improvements and with another big milestone: support for languages. Turpial now could be used not just in Spanish but in English, Portuguese, Chinese, Taiwan, French and German. This was no more than a reflect of how involved was the community with Turpial.
We continued the hard work and 9 months later, in Juny 2nd 2011, we gave birth another stable version. Turpial 1.5.0 brought support for 3 more languages, a fresher user interface and lots of fixes.
It was a wonderful time but nothing is perfect. Because of the popularity of the bird, I decided to switch all the platform from Spanish to English. Some people started calling me a “traitor” for using English as primary language for the application and the website. But those people didn’t understand that Turpial was flying high, higher than our country frontiers, even higher than our continent. Turpial was been used in the whole world and the only way to keep people moving was using a common language that let us communicate with no barriers. We were making big plans for the 2.0 version while fixing things to adapt the application to the new DM Policies from Twitter. This drove us to release 1.6.6 version in November 20th 2011 and finally, in February 4th 2012, the last working version so far 1.6.9, with minor fixes and Unity support. This last stable version represents the end of a golden age.
(Image via http://yoyo308.com)
When I said we were making big plans for Turpial 2.0, I mean it. Webkit, HTML, multiple accounts, multiple columns, multiple protocols, multiple user interfaces (GTK, Qt and shell), support for Windows and OS X and so on. We were dreaming about a powerful, super awesome and beautiful application that could be used in most popular OS. But maybe we dreamed too much.
Memory leaks, integration problems, almost-impossible-to-maintain layouts, performance issues and a lot of other drawbacks were some of the stuff we had to struggle in our effort to achieve the dreamed application. Almost one year passed and Turpial had the same old interface with the same old bugs and we got nothing. Twitter changed their API and we still got nothing. I decided, against all opinions, to not work on the old version of Turpial to make it work with the new Twitter API. We had libturpial and I felt we had a journey, we needed to keep moving on that direction. Finally, I was left alone and almost quit Turpial. However, after all the struggling I couldn’t just quit without a last try. So I did. I gave Turpial and me, one more shot. And here we are. Have been years of work, sweat and suffering but Turpial is finally achieving a ready-to-use status again. People is getting involved again and everything seems moving. So, what better way to celebrate Turpial birthday than testing a new beta release with lots of the dreamed features and people excited again after almost two years of silence?
Turpial is a story of love and passion, that’s why today I wanted to celebrate the day I started coding this beautiful project and as a proud father I would love to say: Happy birthday Turpial! And thanks for all the things you have gave me