2007-01-22 01:48PM PST/Home
First, what the heck is Twitter? Good question, I had no idea either and I'm still trying to come to grips with that. The short answer is a website where you can broadcast your current status. It's along the same lines as your status in any number of the IM services but with history. I'm not sure there's a long answer.
Lets just say, I'm a huge sucker for testing new applications, so when Tyler asked me to try out his new beast, I just couldn't say no. But in order to do that, it meant I needed to sign up for a Twitter account. Oh, let me count the bugs in Twitter's online site.
Bug 1. Response time. By my watch the response time off Twitter's servers is up over a second which is frustrating as hell. Not scaling well.
Bug 2. Password validation. On a new account, they don't seem to actually validate your password (as I discovered). Meaning, they don't check that the second password matches the first, so what you typed, and what you think you typed can vary greatly. They just use the first password. This is just plain broken. Ultimately I had to have Twitter email me my password which had it's own set of bugs that I'll get to.
Bug 3. As soon as you finishing filling out the application for an account it sends you to an invitation page, where you can invite other users to also sign up for Twitter. Fortunately there's a 'skip this step' link at the top, which I clicked on. Which gave me this:
Bug 4. If you "forgot" your password, or more likely you ran into bug 2, you get to their handy 'forgot' page. The buggy part here, you must match the email address that you used when you signed up for your account exactly. You can't use your login name and have them send to whatever email address you associated with the account. No you must match the email address exactly, and then they'll send you the password associated to the account that has that email address. Backwards.
I don't think I've ever run into more bugs signing up for any web service so quickly, ever. A new record. It's a wonder anyone is using Twitter at all. Still, it seems strangely compelling.
[Update 01/23/2007] Bug 5. Inexplicably, my wife is being excluded from my Twitter API friends_timeline xml page. Even though I've added her, and her status shows up just fine on the standard Twitter page. Strange.