Yahoo Pipes makes a comeback as third-party project Pipes - gHacks Tech News

Yahoo Pipes makes a comeback as third-party project Pipes

Pipes is an unofficial successor of Yahoo Pipes that tries to replicate much of what Yahoo's services offered before it was axed.

Yahoo Pipes was a useful online service that allowed you to process web data using a graphical user interface. Basically, what you did was connect data from the web, think information on a web page or RSS feed, run it through some tools, to generate custom content.

Basic examples for Pipes' usefulness were tools to translate RSS feeds automatically, combine multiple RSS feeds into one, or customize RSS feeds.

Yahoo Pipes was a sophisticated powerful tool that you could use without any programming skills on the base level.

Pipes

pipes

Pipes is a new service that can best be described as a -- very -- basic copy of Yahoo Pipes. While limited in its scope right now, it is already usable to create some feed related pipes.

If you have used Yahoo Pipes in the past, you will notice immediately that Pipes' functionality is limited. The service displays five blocks right now that you can drag and drop to the interface to create or edit pipes.

A basic example would be to create a feed filter by connecting the feed block to the filter block. You simply paste a feed URL in the feed block, and enter a filter keyword in the filter block. Pipes generates a new RSS feed from this which you may subscribe to or load online.

One of the issues of Pipes right now is that it lacks documentation. It is not clear for instance what the "unique" block does. It requires input, but there is no information on that anywhere on the website. Other options that you have right now are to combine RSS feeds, or duplicate data.

Many blocks that were part of Yahoo Pipes are missing. This includes blocks like sort that process data in a way or another, load data from non RSS feed sources like CSV files, but also integration of third-party services like Yahoo Pipes' translate integration.

Another feature that is missing right now is a library of public pipes. Yahoo Pipes supported this, and you could copy those or make use of the published pipes right away when the site was online.

Closing Words

Pipes has a long way to go before it grows from being a cool concept to something that will appeal to a wider audience. The developers have plans for the service, and announced already that Pipes will receive feature updates in the near future.

Pipes may already be useful to some users, but much of what it offers is already available in RSS feed readers like QuiteRSS as well (keyword filtering).

Now You: What would you like to see implemented by Pipes?

Summary
Yahoo Pipes makes a comeback as third-party project Pipes
Article Name
Yahoo Pipes makes a comeback as third-party project Pipes
Description
Pipes is an unofficial successor of Yahoo Pipes that tries to replicate much of what Yahoo's services offered before it was axed.
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Ghacks Technology News
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    Comments

    1. pipes said on May 31, 2017 at 8:47 am
      Reply

      I used to use Yahoo Pipes to merge and filter feeds but I already found alternative services for those operations.

      “Pipes may already be useful to some users, but much of what it offers is already available in RSS feed readers like QuiteRSS as well”

      I don’t think everyone use desktop feed reader. I use web feed reader and filter function is limited. That’s where the feed filter service for.

      There’s still no one that can beat Yahoo Pipes in filtering feeds. There are many operations like union or regex there, even desktop feed readers don’t have those operations.

      “What would you like to see implemented by Pipes?”

      ‘Preview’ panel like Yahoo Pipes would be great. It’s really needed if you have complex pipes.

      ‘Output/Finish’ pipe is also needed, you can use it to output the pipe to certain format like JSON/RSS.

      1. onli said on May 31, 2017 at 1:04 pm
        Reply

        I agree, the preview panel is needed. That will come, though it is hard to implement and will take time. The filter block though will certainly be extended a bit earlier.

        For the output, I rather imagine a toggle via a parameter when you fetch the output feed. But for now the output is rss only.

    2. YahooAlum2013 said on June 1, 2017 at 2:11 pm
      Reply

      Pipes was released during the seven years I worked at Yahoo. Thought it was a wonderful tool but never really saw the vision or bigger picture, as was the case with many of Yahoo’s pet projects. It’s interesting to think that something like Pipes, released under a different set of circumstances, might be able raise a bunch of capital, hold a nice, healthy valuation and disrupt an entire market like DOMO, Tableau or Trifacta have done.

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