Last night I tried my hand with Google’s app engine. In short, I totally dig it. I figured I’d try to make a very simple app that turned recent Twitter stream posts from a user into a PDF file. It was fun, it was stunningly easy and the Python MVC framework that the Google Apps Engine uses is very nice.
The app performs a jquery JSONp lookup on the entered user screen name to first make sure it’s valid and verify that the Twitter API isn’t “Fail Whale”. Then it submits the user screen name to a POST handler. The POST handler uses a Google App Engine URL fetch() to retrieve the top 100 tweets from the user’s Twitter feed and uses ReportLab’s Open Source PDF generation toolkit to generate the PDF file.
Given that it simply uses the Twitter public API to retrieve the Twitter feed, private users won’t be able to use this to turn their tweets into a PDF file. But if your Twitter account isn’t private, rejoice and click here to turn your Twitter feed into a PDF!