Twitter’s website has a lot of nice features but it’s not really a Twitter app that most people think of. However, with some CSS and JavaScript you can take all the features of Twitter.com, add in some additional ones, and make a pretty nice app.

Standalone Twitter.com App

The first thing I did was create a Fluid app so it could be a standalone app. If you’re on Windows, Chrome should be able to do this as well, however my instructions are for Fluid so you’ll have to adjust as needed.

Next up was getting a better interface, something more minimal. Turns out that @craigmod already created Twitter for minimalists.

Craig’s styles work pretty well, however I did add one more style to hide the .mini-profile as I didn’t need to see my stats all day.

Next up was showing images inline. For that I used the Inline Thumbnail script. Yes, it’s in Japanese but works just fine.

I did edit this script slightly though by renaming twittercom.css to twittercom_x.css. This keeps the image functionality but kills the styles the author created as I didn’t like them. I did add one style though to my custom CSS file that I had set up perviously to make the images a bit bigger and prettier.

.ithumb-img {
    max-height: 300px !important;
    max-width: 300px !important;
    border: 1px solid #ffffff !important;
    box-shadow: 1px 1px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3) !important;
}

After that, I wanted keyword highlighting so I got a little piece of JavaScript and set it up to run every few seconds. The code. This may not be the best solution, but it works for now. Turns out that that was causing issues when composing tweets. If you have an idea on how to make this feature work, let me know.

Then I needed a nice icon so I got a Twitter icon from Bartelme Design. You can pick whatever you like of course.

Now it is missing notifications, but if you have Mountain Lion, then you can enable those through the OS. Or you can go without and not have notifications interrupting your productivity.

It’s not a perfect app, but then neither are any of the solutions out there. Everyone likes something different and this happens to be working pretty well as you get all the features of Twitter.com along with a few extras and a better design in a nice standalone app.

I’ve done some light testing and it seems like you can swap Twitter.com for TweetDeck Web and it works well. Additional CSS is needed though to hide some of TweetDecks interface.

I also briefly tested this with HootSuite and where it seems to work ok, the tabs are not really accessible and the compose window is cut off in single column mode. If someone could re-design HootSuite to work in a smaller footprint, that’d be fantastic.

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