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Code, Tutorials and Hacks

  • By Marcus Battle
    Calculating Script Execution Time in PHP to Send an SMS with Twilio Calculating Script Execution Time in PHP to Send an SMS with Twilio

    New PHP developers may not be aware that every script you run has 30 seconds to complete. If your API requests, database transactions, and data processing don’t complete in time, you will experience a server timeout. This is because PHP's max_execution_time helps prevent poorly written scripts from tying up the server.

    Most developers will spend time Googling workarounds instead of focusing on the fact that this behavior is not a bug. In reality, people shouldn’t wait a whole minute or more for your page to load or process to complete within the browser. It’s just not an ideal user experience.

    In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to measure the time it takes to send an SMS with Twilio Programmable Messaging for better application performance. At the conclusion, you will have learned how to:

    • Build a simple script to send an SMS in PHP
    • Use PHP’s microtime() function to measure script …
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  • By Shajia Abidi
    Getting Started with Chrome Extensions Chrome's extension page

    Extensions are small software programs that customize your browsing experience. They are used to block ads and popups, format JSON, edit grammar, help with vocabulary, design, programming, among others. In a nutshell, Chrome extensions enhance the functionality of your browsing experience.

    In this tutorial, you will be creating a Chrome extension to track your daily tasks. With the extension enabled, every time you open a new tab, you will see the jobs you want to keep track of for the day.  You will be able to add a task, mark the task complete, and delete it.


    To follow this tutorial, you will need working knowledge of the following:

    • HTML
    • CSS
    • JavaScript

    You will also need the Chrome web browser to install and test your extension.

    Introduction to Chrome extensions

    Chrome extensions consist of different components created with web development technologies: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. These components, including background …

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  • By Abhimanyu Shekhawat
    Add Emoji Reactions to Video calls using Twilio Data Track API Add Emojis to Video calls using Twilio Data Track API

    During these unprecedented times, Video conferencing has become the prime medium of social interactions. Fortunately, with Twilio Programmable Video API you can make a fully functional video conferencing application in no time. If you find this too good to be true, I urge you to go check out our basic Video Chat Tutorial to experience the magic of Twilio APIs yourself.

    If you have already implemented the basic Video Chat application, in this article, we will take your experience to a next level by adding real time Emojis using Twilio Data Track API.

    By the end of this tutorial, you will be able to not only express yourself by using your favourite emojis but also understand the nuances of Data Transfer between participants in Twilio Programmable Video rooms.

    Emoji video call demo

    Tutorial requirements

    This article is an extension of the Video Chat Application tutorial, so we will be reusing the code of …

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  • By Matthew Gilliard
    Building Voicemail with Twilio and Java Building Voicemail with Twilio and Java

    One useful and common way to use Twilio is to create a phone number which forwards to your real phone. You can hand out the Twilio number to colleagues or customers and take business calls on your personal phone without worrying about handing out your real phone number. This also gives you a lot of options for how to handle these calls - you have the full power of Twilio at your disposal.

    In this post I'll show you how to create a voicemail system that will jump in when your cell number is busy, or when you don't answer the call. It will play a message to your caller, then record their message and text you a link to the recording when it's done.

    Primer: How Twilio Handles Calls

    When someone dials your Twilio number, an HTTP request is sent to a URL that you provide. The web server …

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  • By Diane Phan
    Build React Projects with a Background in Python, Flask, HTML, and CSS header - How to Pick Up React from a Python, Flask, and HTML Background

    There comes a time in every developer's life when they have to figure out – do I need to learn a new language for this? Should I stop using Python and try out a JavaScript project? How do I know if React is the right tool for me to use over Vue? There's just so much out there – and you're not alone in having these thoughts.

    Although learning Python can help you pick up other languages, it can be a challenge to figure out which technologies make the most sense for you and your project. In this post, I’ll show you React, a JavaScript library that has plenty of support online from professionals within the industry as well as independent developers.

    In this article we’ll build a simple Flask app and change it so that it can be scaled up further using React. This will help you see the …

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  • By Alex Kiura
    Build a GraphQL API with Subscriptions using Python, Asyncio and Ariadne Build a GraphQL API with Subscriptions using Python, Asyncio and Ariadne

    In my previous GraphQL article, we learnt about creating a GraphQL API that implements queries and mutations. GraphQL, however, has a third type of operation called subscriptions.

    Nowadays, most applications have a real-time component. For example, social media applications notify you in real time of new messages, or ride hailing apps stream the driver’s location in real time. GraphQL subscriptions allow a server to send real time updates to subscribed clients each time new data is available, usually via WebSocket.

    In this tutorial, we will build a project in which the server pushes messages sent by other users to subscribed clients.


    The only requirement to follow this tutorial is to have Python 3.6 or higher installed.  If you don’t have it installed, get it here.

    Create a Python virtual environment

    We will install a few Python packages for our project. A virtual environment will come …

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  • By Ashley Boucher
    Add Muting and Unmuting to Your Video Chat App in 30 Seconds muteunmute.png

    Part of developing a high quality video call app is enabling participants to mute and unmute themselves as needed on the call.

    This article is going to show you the way to make this happen in your Twilio Programmable Video apps that are built with the JavaScript SDK. You won’t be learning how to build a video chat app from scratch, but you will learn how to implement muting and unmuting quickly in your own app.

    The basics of Tracks

    Every participant in a video room can publish an audio and/or video track that captures the stream from their local media device (like a webcam or microphone) and sends it to all other participants on the call that are subscribed to those tracks. Don’t worry - these subscriptions happen automatically, unless otherwise specified. Tracks are how participants can see and hear each other on a call.

    Access …

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  • By Miguel Grinberg
    How to Check your Twilio Account Balance in Python How to Check your Twilio Account Balance in Python

    Twilio APIs make it easy to add communication features to your application, but to consume these APIs you have to keep track of your spending and ensure your account balance stays above zero.

    Your balance is available in the main page when you log in to your Twilio Console, but having to actively monitor your account is tedious and inconvenient. In this tutorial you are going to learn how to retrieve your account balance using Python, which will allow you to build automated account balance monitoring within your application!


    To follow this tutorial you will need:

    • Python 3.6 or newer. If your operating system does not provide a Python interpreter, you can go to python.org to download an installer.
    • A free or paid Twilio account. If you are new to Twilio get your free account now! This link will give you $10 when you upgrade.

    Creating a Python …

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  • By Marcus Battle
    How to Check Your Twilio Account Balance using PHP How to Check Your Twilio Account Balance using PHP

    Developers often forget that when building a communication-based app it’s important for you to monitor costs in real time. Imagine you’ve built a bulk SMS application and need to send one message to 1,000 subscribers. You already know that (in the US) this SMS will cost you $7.50 USD ($.0075/msg), but are you aware of the available balance on your account to send it? The answer is in the console, but it’s tedious logging into your Twilio account every time you need to use the API within your app.

    If you’re building a PHP application that needs to calculate API costs before use, this tutorial is for you! Maybe your application needs to check your balance before sending SMS or alert you when you’ve used too many voice minutes. Whatever the use case, this quick tutorial will help you integrate your balance into your PHP app.

    Get Started

    This …

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  • By Miguel Grinberg
    Generating Twilio Access Tokens in Python Generating Twilio Access Tokens in Python

    Several Twilio services can be accessed from a web application running on the browser, but given that this is an inherently insecure platform, the authentication flow is different than for server-based applications.

    An application running on the browser needs to obtain an Access Token from your server, and then use this token to authenticate. This is more secure because it prevents you from having to expose your Twilio account credentials in the browser, and also because access tokens have a short lifespan. In this tutorial you are going to learn how this authentication flow works and how to generate access tokens for Twilio services using Python and the Flask framework.

    Tutorial requirements

    To follow this tutorial you will need:

    • Python 3.6 or newer. If your operating system does not provide a Python interpreter, you can go to python.org to download an installer.
    • A free or paid Twilio account. If you …
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