Brightwurks, who develop Feed My Inbox, have just posted a blog article explaining the Real-Time Delivery of blogs, feeds and news to an email inbox. The article discusses polling and real-time protocols. They list the Twitter API as a real-time protocol although they do know it’s not actually an example of a real-time protocol and explain this later in the post. I’ve just posted a comment clarifying that although the Twitter API is not a real-time protocol it does use a real-time technology that we are starting to see being used more and more to deliver data in real-time.

Here’s my comment in full slightly edit to better suit a blog post.

As you state the Twitter API is not a real-time protocol. I’m assuming that you will be using one of Twitters streaming APIs – either the filter API method or maybe the users streams API.

Although not a real-time protocol these are examples of using a HTTP Streaming API to receive instant notifications. HTTP Streaming seems to be becoming the API technology of choice when the speed of notifications really matters and I think we are going to see a lot more APIs offer this. I wrote an article recently on Programmable Web that covers this topic a bit further and discusses HTTP Streaming verses PubSubHubbub.

So, I would suggest you update the real-time protocols section and state HTTP Streaming being another method for real-time data delivery (still not strictly a protocol), use the Twitter API as an example of an API using HTTP Streaming to deliver data in real-time and also update the docs links to point to

Hope this information is useful.

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  • Julien

    Yip. I agree, people tend to confuse the transportation layer and the data model. HTTP stream is the protocol in the context of Twitter’s streaming API. They didn’t invent anything, just reused the Atom Stream popularized a few years back by the folks at SixApart.

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