Do you like using Yahoo Pipes?
July 28, 2008 4:01 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone used Yahoo's Pipes?

How was the ease of using it? Are there better ways for a programming dunce like me to achieve similar results?
posted by Foam Pants to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
What are the results you're after? I use it a lot to aggregate and filter RSS feeds, ie. combining NY Times feeds into one.
posted by junesix at 4:09 PM on July 28, 2008

Lifehacker has a bunch of useful articles about Yahoo! Pipes.
posted by asras at 4:18 PM on July 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

I find it pretty useful to generate custom feeds of various things; you can check out my pipes to see what I do with it.

Wow, "check out my pipes" sounds really dirty.
posted by jacobian at 4:20 PM on July 28, 2008

Yes. I doubt there are any services that are as powerful without having you write some kind of code.
posted by meta_eli at 4:23 PM on July 28, 2008

Pipes is a nice compromise between power, flexibility, and ease of use. You should be able to get up and running with some simple tasks like combining feeds pretty quickly. If you are looking to do some more advanced things, the learning curve is not as steep as trying to learn a programming language, but the documentation seems to be spotty in places.

[My favorite use these days is filtering news feeds to remove any stories that mention either Obama or McCain. It brings a bit of serenity.]
posted by i love cheese at 4:50 PM on July 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I am trying to think of the possibilities of it. I thought of trying to dump data out of my database of libraries across the state, then putting that on a map. Also, maybe taking an RSS feed of new items from our library catalog and matching it up with similar news stories out of an RSS feed or two.

As a library, we have tons of data sources. There are common themes running through many of them that are obvious to the librarians that work with them everyday but we are trying to get patrons interested in using some of the more obscure services by matching them up with popular ones. I am trying to think of ways to apply such a cool looking tool.
posted by Foam Pants at 4:55 PM on July 28, 2008

I use it to compile and search craigslist for things I'm in the market for. It's easy to use, and since you can search other people's pipes, you can make just a few changes in the flow and have it running in just a few.

I'd say my biggest beef is that it's a little slow. Seems like i get stuff in my RSS about 15 minutes after they're posted.
posted by JauntyFedora at 4:58 PM on July 28, 2008

I've used Pipes for a few things now, mostly RSS stuff. I find it can be slow to load, so I no longer plan to use it on the front page of a website. However, I like that you can take a CSV or XML file and have Yahoo Pipes filter and display the data in a variety of formats.

The best way I've found to learn Yahoo Pipes is to look at all of the example code. If I saw something I liked, I cut, pasted, and modified the code to do what I wanted.

Another related product with interesting possibilities is MIT's SIMILE project.
posted by debgpi at 7:39 PM on July 28, 2008

I don't know what specifically you are trying to accomplish, but we used Pipes in a class I taught on the Social Web. Students who were not from a computer science background were able to develop some pretty neat applications after just a few hours of trying it.

Other apps you may want to look at are PopFly, Dapper, and OpenKapow (though some of these are targeted more at programmers).
posted by jasonhong at 2:54 PM on July 29, 2008

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