Yahoo Pipes Blog – Pipes End-of-life Announcement

So Yahoo Pipes is closing down.

As of August 30th 2015, users will no longer be able to create new Pipes. The Pipes team will keep the infrastructure running until end of September 30th 2015 in a read-only mode. You can download your Pipe definition by specifying your Pipe-ID (_id) and the output format (_out=json) to the following end-point: For e.g:

Please post any questions you have related to this announcement on the Yahoo Developer Forum for Pipes. The Pipes team thanks you for support and cooperation.

Source: Yahoo Pipes Blog – Pipes End-of-life Announcement
Clearly, they didn’t have my intuitions about it. Seems there are some alternatives in “algebra of feeds” space, though.
Arguably, this could be the beginning of an interesting wave.

Social Media 2012

My comment on Alex’s blog :

Well, you already know but I still think wiki has a future, as pointed to by Smallest Federated Wiki. There are some flaws / issues with SFW, mainly I think because not enough people are working on it, but it’s still the signpost for how wiki could evolve. 

Would still love to see you and other UseMod / OddMuse people look at ways to engage, even if you don’t switch over. 

2012 is the year when it just became more and more clear that we need our own space and shouldn’t be dependent on Fb / Tw / G+ etc. 

Fb / Tw / G+ offer two compelling things : 1) an aggregate river of stuff from people we care about, 2) really easy transclusion from various rich media sites. 

We could have a distributed river architecture if we took RSS and some kind of pubsub architecture (eg. RssCloud) seriously. SFW has made transclusion protocols central to its philosophy. If we pick up on both, figure out how to get the most important things we get from the mainstream working smoothly, we can create a compelling alternative on our terms. And one of the interesting, overlooked, facts about G+ is that it showed that significant numbers of people are still willing to experiment with alternatives. As long as you can get a critical mass of around 20 people you care about to use it, G+ is as valuable as anything else. You don’t need 1 billion users. You aren’t trying to take over the world at this point, just to have a syndication / discussion architecture which isn’t owned by THEM.

Planet Building

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m rather taken with Planet Planet, the old-skool Python based RSS aggregator that outputs flat HTML.

I used it to build my wonderful Future Manufacturing river. And I want to use it for more things. So I’ve created a small script to make installing Planet ultra-easy on a linux server.

Four steps and you’re rolling :

# clone it
git clone  planets

# make the planet
cd planets

# add feeds
emacs MYPLANET/fancy/config.ini
# defaults have been set-up, just change and add the feed URLs and names at the bottom of the config.ini file and set your name and contact details (earlier in the file)

# edit the crontab
crontab -e
# and add the following line or suitable variant.
53 * * * * /PATH/planets/MYPLANET/
# note that the line with the correct value of PATH will have been given to you when you ran the create script

Your automatically generated aggregate will start being available at MYPLANET/index.html

Walled River

Apple join the war against RSS.

We need to defend the principle of a platform independent / open feed of news items from all the companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google and Apple who have seen the future as feeds insided their own proprietory walled “gardens”.

Not sure if a garden is the right metaphor for a feed routing system, maybe “walled river”?

Something like this? 🙁

Hat-tip Scribe.

Open rivers of news are wonderful things. Recently I’ve started using the venerable Planet feed agregator to make some public planets (rivers) such as this mind-boggling “Future Manufacturing” one. Glance at that and see exactly how awesome open RSS is. And how it can be way more compelling than the constrained Twitter or your riddiculously cramped Facebook wall. Look at a torrent of exciting information that can actually “breath”, where text can be as long as it needs and where pictures are wide-screen rather than crammed into a cage designed to make you look at adverts.

Haven’t written here for a long time. A couple of notes and catch-ups.

Chandler 1.0 is out.

I was struck by these features :

Chandler aims to provide a more integrated approach to managing information with:

* A Quick Entry Bar to enter everything from ideas to reminders and appointments.
* NOW-LATER-DONE Triage List to collect, process and track everything from deadlines and meetings to drafts and ideas.
* Tickler Alarms to auto-re-focus deferred (LATER) items to NOW

Something like this experience is already available in Mind Traffic Control if you want to experiment with it. 🙂

I’m getting into two further things :

Zbigniew Lukasiak has got me thinking about email again. It’s still the most commonly used social software, and there is still room for improvement. Zby and I are thinking of doing something about this … watch this space for more.

Meanwhile, I’m also back into feeds, in particular, creating and reading Yahoo Pipes. I’ll talk more about this soon too.

Finally, a couple of good posts from Stowe Boyd about the shift to the flow internet. Or rather, the ongoing need for recombiners for the small pieces (eg. comments, replies etc.) that are scattered across dozens of different feed services like Friendfeed etc.

A while ago on Platform Wars I wrote :

99% of the world’s “semi-structured” data is not in Microformats but in tables in spreadsheets.

Wildly inaccurate estimate I’m sure. But I’ll bet it dwarfs XML formats including RSS. So where’s the Yahoo Pipes for CSV and spreadsheet data? The mashing, pivot-tabling, cartesian joining of live grids?

Yahoo Pipes does have a CSV reader … but I’d like to see more. Particularly pivoting and SQL-like selects, projects and joins.