Pipes and Widgets

I don’t know if I’m late to the party on this one, but I hadn’t noticed Yahoo Pipes, which at first glance seems stunningly fantastic. I want to add my own sources though… For those of us that remember Rhubard and Custard, it’s a bit like AppWare … for those that don’t it’s a bit like Apple’s Automator for the web. It looks like I’ll be able to whip up a quick aggregator aggregator… amongst other things.
I made… A turn your blog into Spanish and back again pipe… and got…

 Dumb prescription of crepe of Tom Smith

…exactly… Take a look at this one too, from Nick Bradbury, which looks at the top 10 tunes (from iTunes) and shows related YouTube videos (also available as an RSS feed)…
Teqlo, the Mashup maker, logged me out, pissed me off, bombed my browser… and I love it! I tried to wire a Google Spreadsheet of York pubs to a Google map… and failed… but almost got there… A tool has to be very, very promising indeed to be that bad and yet keep me hanging on on
And I think the two tools above can be made to talk to each other. I like both approaches. Pipes seems to be about the back-end… information input and output… and Teqlo seems to be about the front-end…

Visual programming is creeping up on us slowly… and once you have a great user interface able to deal with pipes and widgets, which is all most online applications are… deep down at least… it opens up the web to millions of more information authors, able to make the web work they way they want… which is liberating and wonderful… and also very, very scary…

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3 Responses to Pipes and Widgets

  1. Rod Boothby says:

    Hey Tom,

    Thanks for including Teqlo in your post. And, thank you very much for your patience with us. We are in early Beta and we have tons of usability issues to work out …. and a bunch of stability / scalability things to roll out.

    It will take us another couple of weeks, but I promise you that we will deliver on that spreadsheet to Google maps mashup for your list of pubs.

    Thanks again for your interest.


  2. Jeff Nolan says:

    Echoing what Rod said, please hang in there with us. We are 8 engineers so the usability aspects have been constrained while we try to make everything work. We also know we have some issues with the way we are maintaining login persistence and are working on that.

  3. tom says:

    I am hanging on in there. As I said, it’s a great product worth hanging around whilst you iron out a few minor glitches. Keep up the good work.

    IMO most of the usability issues are not biggies, for example, when editing an app I can “Save” or “Preview” and yet it isn’t clear that if I click Preview that the app has been saved or not… it doesn’t cause a problem but it causes confusion about how the underlying system works.

    And the thing is, I don’t mind how it works as long as I am given the right expectations. To go on… if I have a Preview window open, and in the background update and save the app, can I Reload the preview?

    All minor issues as you can see that can be easily addressed that will stop me having to “test” the app to see how it works.

    Keep up the good work.

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