Twitter Personalities (#208)

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Twitter Personalities (#208)

Merhaba Rubyists,

This week’s quiz is to create a program that will generate messages
140 characters in length. There primary use will be to create a
Twitter “personality”. At the end of the quiz period these
“personalities” will be unleashed on the internet and we’ll see how
they do in the wild.

The programs will consist of two parts: a component for interacting
with Twitter, and a top secret “personality” module.

For the Twitter interface component there will be no no-spoiler
period. Please feel encouraged to discuss different libraries or
methods on the mailing list. Let’s all work together to find the best
interface.

The “personality” component can take any inputs and will produce a 140
character message when called. The “personality” may remember state.
The no-spoiler period applies for the “personality” component; please
save them until everyone has had a chance to consider their own
implementations.

Have Fun!

This Quiz sounds fun!

I wish I knew more about Ruby than I do now. I would participate in
this
one, but I am a beginner rubyist :frowning:

Anyhow, I can not wait to see the results. Good luck to everyone
participating!

JC

From: “James G.” [email protected]

“Never give up! Never surrender!”

http://grabthar.ytmnd.com/

;D

SCNR,

Bill

On Jun 5, 2009, at 7:26 PM, Joshua C. wrote:

This Quiz sounds fun!

I wish I knew more about Ruby than I do now. I would participate in
this one, but I am a beginner rubyist :frowning:

Anyhow, I can not wait to see the results. Good luck to everyone
participating!

This is an almost perfect quiz for a beginner! Don’t give up!

Use it as a chance to stretch your skills.

Try this:

  1. Build a funny saying in a String
  2. Replace some words in that saying with variables that hold the
    words you removed
  3. Adjust each variable so it gets two or three different words that
    all could fit the saying, selected randomly

It’s just like reverse Madlibs. You may get more ideas to keep
improving it too.

It’s not a spoiler to get help on the Twitter side, or you can just
skip that part completely. Don’t be afraid to change the task to suit
your skill. If you learn something, you win.

You can even ask us questions on the personality side, just be clever
in avoiding spoiler material. “Hey guys, I’m building a new
navigation system for NASA’s next generation rocket and it needs to
randomly choose between three directions…” We’re here to help. :slight_smile:

“Never give up! Never surrender!”

James Edward G. II

Bill K. wrote:

to–or seeing–other messages as input, but is merely
producing a sequence of 140 character messages determined
solely according to its internal black box state?

Regards,

Bill

I don’t think that is a necessary restriction, as it “can take any
inputs.” I will interpret that to mean you can feed in whatever you
would like - a dictionary or Shakespeare, for example.

-Justin

From: “Daniel M.” [email protected]

The “personality” component can take any inputs and will produce a 140
character message when called. The “personality” may remember state.
The no-spoiler period applies for the “personality” component; please
save them until everyone has had a chance to consider their own
implementations.

So… to clarify, the personality component is not replying
to–or seeing–other messages as input, but is merely
producing a sequence of 140 character messages determined
solely according to its internal black box state?

Regards,

Bill

Joshua,

James has some great suggestions and I couldn’t have said it better.
One of the best ways to learn more about Ruby is to dive in. You may
find out that it is easier than you imagine. If you get stuck on a
particular issue you can search the web or ask on the mailing list;
there are many great resources and lots of people interested in
helping out.

I will give the Quiz a shot. After all, I will surely learn from it :slight_smile:

Thanks for the encouragement guys!

Bill,

The personality component can see other messages as input and use
those to determine the next message to provide. Of course, in order
for the component to see the replies and other messages they would
need to be gathered and passed in as arguments in some form.

If you like you can share the techniques for gathering these messages
with the mailing list. The goal is to make it as easy as possible to
focus on the “personality” part without worrying about the
nitty-gritty of interfacing with Twitter. Additionally sharing
information on available libraries or general techniques will help all
the solutions to be better.

Wow !! Absolutely great quiz ! :smiley:

So the “personality” is just a random message, perhaps a Clint Eastwood
quote or something?

Jayanth

On Sun, Jun 7, 2009 at 8:42 PM, Sandro P.
<[email protected]

Daniel M. wrote:

Visit: http://rubyquiz.strd6.com/suggestions

The programs will consist of two parts: a component for interacting
save them until everyone has had a chance to consider their own
implementations.

Have Fun!

Posting to Twitter, I found, was pretty straightforward using the
Twitter4r gem, although it only worked for me under Ruby 1.9:

require ‘twitter’
client = Twitter::Client.new :login => “myname”, :password =>
“mypassword”
client.status :post, “Working on Ruby Q…”

I hope that helps anyone who might have been hesitant because of the
Twitter interface part.

-Justin

On Jun 8, 2009, at 1:46 AM, Srijayanth S. wrote:

So the “personality” is just a random message, perhaps a Clint
Eastwood
quote or something?

It is if you want it to be. :slight_smile:

If you would prefer to be trickier, you could try to build intelligent
replies to things people say.

James Edward G. II

Ok, I’ve just finished mine… it was a really crazy experience… now
I’m
going to create a twitter account for it and generate some random
phrases
with different personalities :smiley:

Sandro P. wrote:

[Note: parts of this message were removed to make it a legal post.]

Ok, I’ve just finished mine… it was a really crazy experience… now I’m
going to create a twitter account for it and generate some random phrases
with different personalities :smiley:

You mean like “The Policeman’s Beard is Half-Constructed”?

Sort of :stuck_out_tongue: (here’s the bot account: https://twitter.com/twsapiens)

Sandro

Phlip wrote:

You mean like “The Policeman’s Beard is Half-Constructed”?

Racter ftw!

Justin C. wrote:

as often as you can!
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The no-spoiler period applies for the “personality” component; please
require ‘twitter’
client = Twitter::Client.new :login => “myname”, :password =>
“mypassword”
client.status :post, “Working on Ruby Q…”

I hope that helps anyone who might have been hesitant because of the
Twitter interface part.

-Justin

So, here is my full solution, which just pulls transcriptions of
Dijkstra’s notes and tries to extract decent quotes. Also attempts to
find relavent replies. Works most of the time. You can see some results
at http://twitter.com/ewdbot and get a nicer-looking version from
http://gist.github.com/125781

#A little Twitter thing to post random quotes from Edsger Dijkstra

require ‘yaml’
require ‘open-uri’
require ‘twitter’ #twitter4r gem
require ‘hpricot’

class DijkstraQuote
class << self

    #Match the website's naming scheme
    def random_ewd
        (rand(1289) + 30).to_s.rjust(4, "0")
    end

    #Get a random quote
    def get_quote
        quote = nil
        while quote.nil? do
            quote = fetch random_ewd
        end

        quote
    end

    #Get a random quote from the specified set of notes
    def fetch ewd

        #Check if we've already retrieved this set of notes
        if File.exists? "ewd#{ewd}"
            quotes = YAML.load_file "ewd#{ewd}"
            quotes[rand quotes.length]
        else
            $stderr.puts "Fetching EWD#{ewd}..." if $DEBUG

            #Fetch a transcript of Dijkstra's notes
            begin
                file =

open(“http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~EWD/transcriptions/EWD#{ewd[0,2]}xx/EWD#{ewd}.html”)
{ |f| Hpricot(f) }
rescue OpenURI::HTTPError
$stderr.puts “Not found” if $DEBUG
return nil
end

            text = file.to_plain_text

            #Pick some sentences that seem good
            lines = text.split(/\.(?:\s+|\n+)/).map do |l|
                l.gsub(/\t|\n|\r/, " ").squeeze(" ").strip
            end.select do |l|
                l.length > 40 and l.length < 140 and l[0,1] ==

l[0,1].upcase and l[-3, 3] != “viz”
end

            #Cache them for later
            File.open "ewd#{ewd}", "w" do |f|
                YAML.dump lines, f
            end

            #Return a random sentence
            lines[rand lines.length]
        end
    end

    #(Very crudely) tries to find a quote that is related to the

message.
#Note that this only searches the cache.
def find_related message

        #Get the longer words
        words = message.gsub(/[^a-zA-Z ]/, "").split.select { |w|

w.length > 4 }

        quote = nil
        if words.length > 0
            word = /#{Regexp.union(words)}/i

            #Check local files for the search word
            Dir.glob("ewd*").find do |f|
                text = File.read f
                if text =~ word

                    #Get the list of quotes and grab one
                    quotes = YAML.load_file f
                    matches = quotes.grep word
                    quote = matches[rand(matches.length)]
                else
                    false
                end
            end
        else
            quote = get_quote
        end

        quote
    end
end

end

#Post to Twitter
class DijkstraTwitter

def initialize
    @twitter = Twitter::Client.new :login => "?", :password => "?"
end

#Post a random quote. If _ask_ is true, asks for approval first
def post_random ask = false
    quote = DijkstraQuote.get_quote

    if ask and ask_permission("Would you like to post this:

“#{quote}”") or not ask
@twitter.status :post, quote
end
end

#Check unanswered @ewd messages and come up with responses
def post_replies ask = false
    require 'set'

    #Keep track of what has been replied to already
    if File.exist? "ewdreplies"
        replied = YAML.load_file "ewdreplies"
    else
        replied = Set.new
    end

    replies = @twitter.status(:replies)

    replies.each do |status|
        status_id = status.id.to_s
        next if replied.include? status_id
        message = status.text
        user = status.user.screen_name
        if reply_to message, user, ask
            replied << status_id
        end
    end

    File.open "ewdreplies", "w" do |f|
        YAML.dump replied, f
    end
end

#Send a reply if we can find one
def reply_to message, sender, ask = false
    puts "Responding to \"#{message}\""

    quote = DijkstraQuote.find_related message
    if not quote
        puts "Nothing related. Skipping."
        return false
    elsif ask and ask_permission("Would you like to post this:

“#{quote}”") or not ask
response = “@#{sender} #{quote}”
if response.length > 140
response = response[0,140]
end

        @twitter.status(:post, "@#{sender} #{quote}")
        true
    else
        if ask and ask_permission "Ignore this reply?"
            true
        else
            false
        end
    end
end

#Ask if the user would like to post the quote which was found
def ask_permission message
    puts message

    response = nil
    until response =~ /^(y|n)/i
        print "(Y/N): "
        response = gets
    end

    $1.downcase == "y"
end

end

#Try it out
puts DijkstraQuote.get_quote

#dt = DijkstraTwitter.new
#dt.post_random true
#dt.post_replies true

My favorite so far: “In this sense, Programming = Mathematics + Murphy’s
Law”

-Justin

Hi,

here my implementation of a Markov chain based text generator for
Twitter.

class MarkovText

def initialize file
@word_map = {}
do_preprocessing file
end

def do_preprocessing file
text = File.readlines(file).collect{|l| l.chomp}.join
text.gsub! /([a-zA-Z0-9])([,:.!?;])/, ‘\1 \2’
text.squeeze! ’ ’
words = text.split ’ ’
for i in (0…words.size-2)
# if we encounter this word first initialize with empty Hash
@word_map[words[i]] ||= {}
@word_map[words[i]][words[i+1]] ||= 0.0
@word_map[words[i]][words[i+1]] += 1.0
end

# generate prob distribution for text
@word_map.keys.each do |k|
  sum = @word_map[k].values.inject(&:+)
  @word_map[k].keys.each{|l| @word_map[k][l] /= sum}
end

end

def generate start_word = nil
text = [start_word || @word_map.keys[rand(@word_map.keys.size-1)] ]
while !(/[.!?:;]/ === text.last) do
w = choose_next(text.last)
break if !w
text << w
end
text
end

def choose_next word
roll = rand
cand = @word_map[word]
return nil if !cand
i = 0
while roll > cand.values[i]
roll -= cand.values[i]
i += 1
end
cand.keys[i]
end
end

And the inteface code which maintains a collection of text generators
and
does interfacing with the output (stdout at the moment) and restriction
to
140 chars etc:

load Markov chain text generator

require ‘markov_text’

class TwPerson

def initialize min, max, *files
@max = max
@min = min

@name = "Mark V. Shaney"
@pwd  = "markovianSplitPersonality"

@gens = []
files.each do |f|
  @gens << MarkovText.new(f)
end

@pool = []
generate_text

end

def run
loop do
make_post
time = rand(@max-@min) + @min
puts “> Made my post, sleeping for #{time}s”
sleep(time)
end
end

def make_post
puts “> Trying to post”
text = “”
while (text.length + @pool.last.length) < 139
text += " " + get_next
end
text.squeeze! ’ ’
text.gsub!(/( )([.,;:?!])/) do |m|
m[1]
end
do_post text
end

def generate_text
puts “> Generating new text pool”
m = @gens.shift
@pool += m.generate
@gens << m
end

def do_post txt
puts txt
end

def get_next
generate_text if @pool.size < 2
@pool.shift
end

end

This solution is quick and dirty and does not claim to be either elegant
or free from errors :wink:

Thorsten

Here’s my solution: http://github.com/sandropaganotti/Twitter-Sapiensit
uses
Wordnet to create a group of words semantically-related to a starting
sentence (its personality);
the uses this words to generate a new sentence.

Sandro