Monday, March 17, 2008

Yahpoo Pipes!! Is it really all that cool?

I recently looked at Yahoo Pipes (quite accidentally) and really loved it. With my limited technical understanding, did some experiments... here they are.

Things i really liked about Yahoo Pipes are:
  • UI: It has amezingly simple UI for the application it is
  • Run-time results: its so easy to know what exactly you (or others) are doing with each step in the pipe... very intutive
  • Powerful: It is very powerful with addition of new features every now-and-then.
Things i am struggling with are:
  • RedEx: Thanks to my non-techie background... i really could not crack the regex... i would love if someone creates a tool (or a firefox extension/ greasemonkey script) to make regex more usable
  • Potential Uses: If we look at the popular pipes, the use of this experiment is very limited.. only for news mashup and some you-tube / flicker photos... i think its high time someone thinks something more creative, otherwise it will die it's natural death :(
Overall, i liked the experiment, but its still not giving "that" eureka effect... hope i will learn more about it and change my perception towards the tool.

Some useful links / pipes:
  • Backlinks to URL This Pipe takes as input, the URL for some website. As output, it makes a list of all sites linking back to the input URL. Note that this same functionality is available through Yahoo's API, but the results are formatted in custom XML, rather than RSS.

  • Add Feed Label to Each Item Title If you are aggregating multiple feeds, sometimes its nice to be able to tell which source an item is coming from. I like to add a tag or description of the blog or feed name to each item's title. This pipe is useful when inserted into another pipe and you can hard code the feed

  • Webpage-to-RSS Webpage-to-RSS Pipe generates RSS from any webpage which doesn't have native syndication. It utilizes a data mining service called Feedity ( ) to dynamically build the RSS, and then only return unique items.

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