Yahoo Pipes

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Yahoo! pipes was announced back in Feb but somehow I had not tried it. Desperate to mix and play around with feeds, I tried few services like FeedBlender, rssmix and finally with much resistance tried out Pipes. But soon I liked it so much that I spent lot of time trying out various things and had fun. The interface itself is artistic/aesthetic, before even thinking about the use. Rss mixing, I am sure, is just one of its functionalities and looking at it only as an rssmix alternative tool is injustice to its power.

I have put together almost all feeds related to my online activity (blog, cocomments,twitter,picasa,delicious) here. I was feeling proud about my brilliant idea of redirecting my blog’s feed to the above feed, but it would not work. Any guesses why ?. It may not serve any major purpose now apart from the fun of experimentation and having things at one place.

Here is what visionaries say about Pipes:
Tim O’Reilly :

Yahoo!’s new Pipes service is a milestone in the history of the internet. It’s a service that generalizes the idea of the mashup, providing a drag and drop editor that allows you to connect internet data sources, process them, and redirect the output.[..]This is something I’ve been waiting nearly ten years for.[..]hey allow developers to use two websites in a way that their creators didn’t quite intend, which extends them and makes them more useful. But mashups have generally been limited in their scope, pairwise combinations with their output typically being simply another web site. That is, the pipes and filter mechanism had not been generalized.

But perhaps more significantly, to develop a mashup, you already needed to be a programmer. Yahoo! Pipes is a first step towards changing all that, creating a programmable web for everyone.

Using the Pipes editor, you can fetch any data source via its RSS, Atom or other XML feed, extract the data you want, combine it with data from another source, apply various built-in filters (sort, unique (with the “ue” this time:-), count, truncate, union, join, as well as user-defined filters), and apply simple programming tools like for loops. In short, it’s a good start on the Unix shell for mashups.[..]Pipes can simply be used as a kind of “power browser.” [..] For example, you can build a custom mashup to search for traffic along your own routes every morning, or a news aggregator that searches multiple sites for subjects you care about. All you have to do is start with one of the existing modules


There’s also another key accomodation of social functionality: Pipes is pretty.[..]Is Pipes going to be a success? In many ways it already is. It lets Yahoo unequivocally be first at something, and if you count the broader market of web-based application development tools, it lets Yahoo be best at something, too. It’s innovative, exciting, and well-done.


It takes effort to explain the significance of a new product when the immediate benefit to consumers may not be so obvious, and the awkwardly named “pipes” from Yahoo! is no exception.[…] It works like a visual procedural programming language with the output of the process dropping out at the bottom, in the form of text output, RSS, SMS alerts of even JSON. You can use feeds, user input or other pipes as input.

The beauty of the application is with its simplicity – a user can take any sources, user input requests or the above mentioned module and drag+drop them into place and then connect the pipes. Within minutes I had built an application

And Library clips has few links :

More than just RSS mixing, it allows you to manipulate the data at a granular level, eg. translate data, scan for location metadata within the feed source, limit items in the feed, sort the items in the feed.

Once again, my experiment’d pipe is here. (Click edit source / clone )
Talking of mashups, google mashup is the latest on the block. Spent sometime at it 🙂 Here are few links related to google mashups and looking at the samples , I can think of some similar mashups that could be cooked like

  • hotels/eatouts in bangalore
  • cricket team’s matches , dates, venues, news, message board

And oh yes, Ajax Slideshow from my picasa album is running on the sidebar. Tried in vain, to include it in the post 🙁

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