"Yahoo!'s new Pipes service is a milestone in the history of the internet", says Tim O'Reilly on his blog. Maybe is an overstatement given that it's hard explaining the significance of a new product when the immediate benefit to consumers may not be so obvious, but the technology looks promissing.

Pipes is an interactive feed aggregator and manipulator. Using Pipes, you can create feeds that are more powerful, useful and relevant. It works like a visual procedural programming language with the output of the process dropping out at the bottom, in the form of text output, RSS, SMS alerts of even JSON. You can use feeds, user input or other pipes as input.

Yahoo! Pipes lets people make highly customized feeds that combine information from multiple sources and weed out the junk. Pipes could, for instance, enable a feed that includes New York Times articles featuring the phrase "plasma TV," Flickr-posted pictures taken in a specific neighborhood, and traffic updates along a commute. So, instead of drowning in headlines from standard feed aggregators, the user gets information that is winnowed down and personal.

The name of the service pays tribute to UNIX pipes, which let programmers do astonishingly clever things by making it easy to chain simple utilities together on the command line.

So if you're interested in an interactive on-line data mashup construction set, check out some existing pipes developers have created. Watch the Yahoo! Developer Network blog for more...

Tags: | |