Today’s interview is with TweetDeck founder and developer Iain Dodsworth:
RA: Why did you create TweetDeck ?
ID: Principally I wrote TweetDeck to solve a number of problems I was having with Twitter. I was following around 30 people and found it difficult to actually get a grip on what was happening from one moment to the next. I couldn’t identify the important tweets. In amongst the noise I was missing what my actual friends were saying. Also being in the UK meant when I woke up in the morning if I wanted to know what had been discussed overnight I would have to page back many many pages on the twitter website (if that functionality was even operational). Over a coffee I realised the only way (for me) to get a handle on what was going on was to segment my 30 followers into smaller groups and display those groups on screen at the same time.
I then laid out these groups next to each other and the columns UI appeared. I was mulling over delving deeper into AIR so with this in mind, thought about the functionality a local database could bring – such as local search, storing overnight tweets etc. And it has really evolved from there.
RA: What technology did you use with Adobe AIR and why ? – (meaning Flex or XHTML, vanilla ActionScript Flash etc)
ID: Easy one this – Flex 3 simply because I am a commercial Flex developer and therefore this would be the quickest development route to take.
RA: What did you really like working with Adobe AIR ?
ID: The local SQLite DB has had a huge impact on the possible functionality of TweetDeck, it pretty much underpins the entire application and how the functionality is added. The installation process and Update framework are superb, the kind of functionality that is ignored because it works so well.
RA: What did you dislike about working with AIR ?
ID: I’ve seen a few issues (cross-platform) with the custom chrome, like the screen jumping or difficulty resizing/moving/minimizing/restore especially on Vista. So I reverted to system chrome which has solved the problems. Other than that, there’s nothing else TO dis-like.
RA: Future plans for TweetDeck ?
ID: I’ve got some pretty far reaching ideas for TweetDeck, it’s more of a longer-term vision. In the meantime I’m adding support for multiple twitter-accounts, other micro-blogging services, and cross-posting functionality to name but a few. It’s worth noting I’m on the look-out for interesting micro-blogging related API’s so please get in touch if you would like to integrate your service into TweetDeck 🙂
A big thanks go to Iain for gives us some of his time to take part in this interview. You can catch up with him on his blog located at http://iain.posterous.com/, read the review of TweetDeck or head on over and download the AIR app.