By Deane Barker | February 7, 2007 | 3 Comments
Pipes: Rewire the web: This looks insanely cool. It seems to be a system to capture feeds, manipulate them every which way to Sunday, then spit them back out. It’s all done through an insanely-good DHTML interface.
Pipes is an interactive feed aggregator and manipulator. Using Pipes, you can create feeds that are more powerful, useful and relevant.
Tim O’Reilly is stoked:
Yahoo!’s new Pipes service is a milestone in the history of the internet. […] 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.
In fact, Tim explains it better than anyone:
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, count, truncate, union, join, as well as user-defined filters), and apply simple programming tools like for loops.
Now, go watch this video to really appreciate where this is all going.
Update: O’Reilly has deconstructed a moderately complex pipe so you can see what all the fuss is about.
What Links Here
Indeed, pipes is a first step toward making a web that is programmable by everyone. However, there is still quite a learning curve. I’ve created some video tutorials to help lesson that curve. With your permission, here is the link: http://usefulvideo.blogspot.com/2007/02/yahoo-pipes-tutorials.html
Pipes is even more powerful now when has the reg exp operator. I’m reading this tutorial ( http://theytookmystapler.blogspot.com/2007/09/yahoo-pipes-case-study-of-using-regex.html ) on it, I will use Pipes with the reg exp operator to change the titles of my Flickr pictures.
Pipes is a typical Yahoo product: long on corporate hype and short on performance. I’ve tried it and would strongly advise others to skip it.
Yes, the idea sounds interesting, and I suspect that’s where many of the glowing reviews of the service come from – written by people who skimmed the description of the concept, saw the potential of the idea, but didn’t really take the time to try it out.