Error while retrieving tweets (Twitter down?)

You might have noticed that since the last 6 (or 8?) hours “Tweet Activity” have been giving that error. I got some time on my hands to waste and i googled for it, came up that its a pretty common error observed by a lot of users yet there were no official statements regarding what could it be. To verify that i can still resolve twitter from our server and that i haven’t gone over ther API Hits limit i created a check-twitter.php with the following code:

<?php echo gethostbyname(''); ?>

Accessed it via Chrome and came out just fine. Next i visit my twitter account and try to figure out what could be wrong and while i am there i do another test/or not test tweet about raining, surprisingly this time when i refresh my blog that “Twitter down?” error is gone.

So what have i learned today? No tweets(and RTs or @replies aren’t counted here) for 24 hours and twitter widget breaks down. First of all that is really bad design, second of all whats with the super generic error message? Makes me remember PC LOAD LETTER everytime i see it.

PS: I still have to look at the code to verify my theory of 24 hours without a tweet but so far with blackbox testing it seems a valid hypothesis. Please comment if you have found it otherwise.

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