How can you create a communal Yahoo Pipes feed?
July 9, 2009 5:37 PM   Subscribe

Can I use Yahoo Pipes to create a feed that contains a bunch of other feeds added by other people?

All of the example pipes I've seen are made of feeds inputed by one person. Is there a way to make one designed such that other people can add feeds to the pipe?

Just to let you know, I'm trying to make a feed that that works like the Recent Twitters by MeFites page.
posted by The Devil Tesla to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've never tried this, and the old PC I'm on precludes running any web app as rich as Pipes right now, but the first thing I would look at is this: a database of feeds, editable via a web interface, that Pipes could draw in as its list of feeds. That way others could (publicly? privately?) contribute to a library of RSS sources and the pipe would collate them as intended.

It's not a purely Pipes solution, but it's just crazy enough that I'd spend a few days trying to pull it off.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 7:25 PM on July 9, 2009

What tapesonthefloor said. I'd use Google Docs to create the feed list.
posted by Pronoiac at 7:53 PM on July 9, 2009

The only inputs allowed by Pipes are text fields, where you want areas to somehow delimit things. You could potentially do an FOAF thing.
posted by pwnguin at 8:16 PM on July 9, 2009

This pipe does what I suggested. It looks easily repurposed; let me know if you could use a hand.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:01 PM on July 9, 2009

That pipe helped, Pronoiac, but it wasn't exactly what I needed since it included a bunch of extra things that I didn't need. The end solution I used is stupidly simple (yay Pipes!). This is basically what I did. Look at that if you want to examine the results!

Google Docs isn't a perfect source, since it's a little unweldy to have everyone edit a document to add their feed. In a perfect world I'd make something like what tapesonthefloor described, but this is good enough. Thanks all!

P.S. I'm curious to what pwnguin is talking about, as I Googled FOAF and I'm still confused. If you could elaborate that would be cool, if not that's fine :).
posted by The Devil Tesla at 12:58 AM on July 10, 2009

Eh, there's not a huge difference between the two Pipes.

I think pwnguin was first mistakenly talking about Pipes that you can give parameters, like this otherwise irrelevant pipe, and second talking about having to friends-of-friends pointers that would let each person post their own list of feeds to add to the group list, & having those compiled automatically.

If having everyone edit the same file is unwieldy, then each person can have their own. You could also do this with a list of their Google Spreadsheets.

Could the interface be better for them to add feeds to the list?
posted by Pronoiac at 12:28 PM on July 10, 2009

Actually, Google Spreadsheets has form functionality that took me a while to figure out was there. It's perfect.

Oh, and the board game podcast pipe you showed me is doing a lot in its loop that I'm not doing, but that is all. But yea, they are similar.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 4:11 PM on July 10, 2009

Mainly, I was thinking of just using FOAF to get an aggregate feed type from a single URL. But FOAF is far more complicated if you want it to be, it appears. I haven't actually messed with it, because people describe it using the word "ontology", so apologies for recommending something like that. Importantly, I skipped the title of this question and missed that you wanted something with communal write access.

What we do with Ubuntu Planet is a little more advanced: the planet configuration is stored in bzr (revision control) and reloaded every few hours (cron or post-commit, I can't recall). That's a feature that's kinda missing from Pipes. You can create, share and branch, but you can't merge changes or revert to a previous version. The latter is feasible, but I don't quite yet know how to represent the latter.

In theory I think it would be possible to write a web front-end to handle configuring Planet, but a) the demand is small, and b) there are ulterior motives for introducing revision control systems in the community.
posted by pwnguin at 8:59 PM on July 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

And of course, I mean to say that the "latter is feasible, but I don't quite yet know how to represent the former."
posted by pwnguin at 10:19 PM on July 11, 2009

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