There is something about OAuth that brings out the worst in techies. You can see it when someone asks how to get started with OAuth on the Twitter development talk mailing list. The general response is “get a copy of library X, and you’re all set.” Well if downloading a library would solve the problem, I don’t think so many people would keep asking for help.
The disconnect is that all the Twitter docs on OAuth assume that you already know how it works. It’s like giving driving directions to someone who does not know how to operate a car. If someone has never driven before, saying “Just go north 5 miles, and you’re all set” doesn’t help much.
What OAuth beginners need is a step by step set of instructions that starts by showing where all the moving parts are, and how to assemble them for a first working program that controls the Twitter API. That is what I have tried to do with my latest tutorial. It is called Hello Twitter OAuth, and it shows every step necessary to post tweets with OAuth. These techniques can then be applied to any API command.