First Impression of Yahoo! Pipes

by Krishna on February 9, 2007

Yahoo! Pipes is up again after its downtime and I just created my first Yahoo! pipe. Here is what I did:

  1. Created a Fetch module that connected to the feed for this blog.
  2. Connected that to a Filter module which removes any item that contains the word “Blog” in the title.
  3. I created a User Text input that asks for the number of posts that the user wishes to see.
  4. The Filter module is connected to a Truncate module that truncates the feed after the number of posts as specified by the user.
  5. This is finally sent to a Sort module that arranges the post by the Updated Date in descending order. (This is not the same as first posted date as some posts could be updated several days after they are posted.)

Nothing particularly unique or special — I just wanted to try the product out.

My first impressions and experiences:

  1. The documentation is really poor. They should have more details about how to use the various modules. On the plus side, the modules are fairly easy to understand.
  2. To repeat that, yes, the application is really intuitive. Of course, you need to know something about RSS feeds and some elementary computing concepts. But even allowing for that, it is really easy to create a pipe, and publish and run it.
  3. The documentation only displays properly in Firefox 2.0, but I can only edit the Pipes properly in Internet Explorer 7.0. Was the documentation team different from the development team?
  4. The description of the modules when you click them is not properly visible.
  5. The current list of Pipe modules looks like it can handle most of the aggregation, filtering and sorting capabilities. I want to explore more of the text processing and statistical capability, but at a first glance, that aspect does not seem to be very advanced.
  6. I wonder if there is a way to combine the actual content of different feeds and can introduce a delay in publishing the results. Sort of like the Search Engine Land daily feed I am subscribing too.
  7. Little slow at times, but on average, responsive. The user interface behaved very well without crashing a single time.
  8. Some of the functionality could also be done through Google Custom Search, but Yahoo! Pipes makes it much more glamorous.

I would give it a rating of 7/10. The learning curve is reasonably short. It is easy to create a pipe that does something useful within a matter of time. Documentation is the worst part of the product so far. Made me more interested in exploring the tool further. Hope that Yahoo! can maintain the momentum.

{ 1 comment }

Harish TM February 11, 2007 at 12:55 am

It seems to be a powerful tool that everyone is using just cause its probably exciting to host your own service.

It will be nice to see if we can have a community working on creating a service based on pipes.

I have tried this out and it will be great if you can tell me what you think ...

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