Playing with Yahoo Pipes for the first time. This is the UI I’ve been dreaming of for years. The data sources are bogged down with nasty RSS/ATOM semantics, but that’s mostly irrelevant. The important things:
- Live, context-sensitive debugging. Want to know what the data looks like at a particular point in the graph? Click there. What if I change this parameter? It updates. WHY ARE PEOPLE NOT RAVING ABOUT THIS? THIS IS HUGE!
- All parameters are programmable, but with the ability to specify defaults
- Everything is declarative — not only textually, but visually.
- One-click publish and deploy, with facilities to create basic UI and pre-fill it
- Ability to clone and reuse pipes — each pipe is a module you can use in other pipes. Take someone elses pipe and view source, change it, reuse it.
I made a Pipe to convert #microformats2 h-feed/h-entry markup into RSS from scratch in about 15 mins, having never used the tool before (bear in mind also that this is not a tool built for consuming mf2 data structures): Convert Microformats to RSS. The tiny feedback loop the Pipes tool provides, both in deploying, sharing and debugging, enabled Tantek Çelik to find a bug in his site’s markup.
Again: WHY DOES NO-ONE KNOW ABOUT THIS? If it’s because processing stodgy, outdated, DRY-violating formats is its bread and butter, fair enough. Let’s rebuild this with microformats2.