Forismatic for Quotes & Expressions – the most inspiring expressions of mankind

Inspirational quotes
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An inspirational quote will always be a way to brighten up someone’s day. is a great site with some solid APIs to get inspirational expressions in the form of a Windows screensaver, a quotes tray, iPhone and Mac OS applications and an Android client.

From their website

“Here we collect the most inspiring expressions of mankind.

There are not any catalogues of phrases or lists of authors on the site, full of sages and philosophers’ thoughts, writers and outstanding people’s aphorisms. We don’t believe in a random choice. Only you can guide your destiny. Just listen to yourself and one of the most inspiring expressions of mankind will be the sign for you.”

The Forismatic API

What is also handy is Forismatic’s API functionality. Random inspirational expressions can be called from, among other languages, Python libraries.

The current version of their API is 1.0. Expressions can be obtained in English (en) or Russian (ru).

API method calls are implemented in the form of HTTP requests to the URL

Query parameters are passed using POST or GET (URL-encoded) method. The server return data format is set by the query parameter. The following response formats are supported:

  • xml
  • json
  • jsonp
  • html
  • text

For more information, see the official Forismatic API section, but for those with less programming experience see the Python section below.


Currently, there are at least two working Python libraries that can be used to obtain expressions, pyforismatic and notify-quote. After installation, these libraries are imported into the Python script which will then only need a simple command to retrieve a random quote.


Andrey Basalyha wrote a nice, easy to use repository called pyforismatic, for this function. It is available on Bitbucket. To copy and unzip and install the repository to a Raspberry Pi, use the following lines in the terminal (while being in the desired base directory):

cd forismatic-1.0
sudo python install

After this, testing is as simple as running python from the same directory. pyforismatic will automatically get quotes in English.


notify-quote is a GitHub repository written by Nithish Sankaranarayanan. To copy and unzip the repository to a Raspberry Pi, go to the desired base directory and use the following lines in the terminal:

cd notify-quote-master

Testing is as simple as running python from the same directory.

Rate limitations

According to Forismatic, they have a “smart algorithm to ban host and apps that request quotes more frequently then humans read them”. When it is overused, the user will be banned.

About the author
Renier busies himself with improving his English writing, creative web design and his websites, photoshopping, micro-electronics, multiple genres of music, superhero movies and badass series.
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