Yahoo have just announced a new service called Yahoo Pipes. At first glance it looks really interesting.
Jeremy Zawodny has some more details, including this description of the problem they’re trying to solve:
Tim O’Reilly also adds his take, including this succinct summary:
[Pipes is] a service that generalizes the idea of the mashup, providing a drag and drop editor that allows you to connect internet data sources, process them, and redirect the output.
The thing is, Unix pipes were never this easy or pretty. The drag-and-drop UI is totally intuitive – I get it without having to read a manual. I especially like the way that the pipes themselves, connecting the different controls, are displayed – no clunky straight lines.
In about 2 minutes I threw together this pipe (is that what they will be called?) which provides an RSS feed of the latest Trade Me site announcements in French!
Have a play – let me know if you come up with anything interesting.
UPDATE (9-Feb): All I’m getting this morning is an error message saying “Our pipes are clogged. We’ve called the plumber!”. That’s cute, but a real missed opportunity at the same time. It would seem they didn’t anticipate how popular this would be. Start small, but think big and scale quickly!