Yahoo! Pipes: Some Tips

Yahoo! has released a new RSS remixer named Pipes. Right now it’s got some performance issues, but once those are worked out you should go play with the service.
These are some facts and tips about Pipes that I learned while talking with the developers, playing with the app as they were making changes and from reading the documentation.

  • To change the name of a Pipe, open it in edit mode and click on the tab. It will become a text field that you can modify and save.
  • Pipes will output GeoRSS. They plan to release a map viewer soon. In the meantime you can consume GeoRSS over at Mapufacture.
  • You can use Dapper (or Dappit) and OpenKapow to scrape sites. They both output RSS feeds that can be consumed by Pipes.
  • They have a slick debugger that allows you to step through your modules one at a time and view the data at each step.
  • The following browsers are suported: Firefox, Webkit, and IE6. Known Problems: Pipes is known not to work in Opera. Safari has minor issues. IE6 currently displays problems with the For Each module. IE7 has not been extensively tested.
  • In addition to RSS, Pipes also output in JSON.
  • The Pipes crawler respects the Robot Exclusion Standard. It has the User-agent: Pipes-Crawler Yahoo Pipes.

This is post is the fourth in a series on the Pipes product. Here are the other posts on Radar:

Update –
Daniel Raffel of the Yahoo! TechDev Team, the creators of Pipes, wrote to me:

I just saw your latest post on radar about pipes and wanted to point out
that the correct user agent to block is “Yahoo Pipes” NOT “Pipes-Crawler”.

Even more details on that are listed here:

Another cool feature I thought I’d mention is that you can search for feeds
in the feed finder in the top right corner, I’ve attached a pic. You can
drag the results to the canvas.


Finally, we have some “easter eggs” for folks to discover but they are
hidden as usual, and, well, we can’t spoil the fun.