14 February 2007

Pipes to the rescue!

Update: There is no need to do this anymore. Check out the update on this post.

It seems like at every step of the way, the fact that feeds are becoming ‘the’ way to get information and updates, it turning out to be true. It’s just fascinating how there have been so many new start–ups based around feeds, which is in itself so simple and logical you begin to wonder how we did without it all these days.

Blogger’s inherent mistake

Everyone who uses Blogger’s feed directlyYou’re making a mistake by doing so, and should serve it through FeedBurner. If not for any of the amazing statistics tracking features, then for the smart conversion of your feed to different formats and enabling different readers to get the format they’re compatible with., would have noticed that whenever you update an old post, it get’s bumped to the top of the feed. This works to disorient subscribers (although is a good way to bring to attention old posts), and can be a big headache. There are a couple of quick ways to get rid of it, but I’d not recommend anything but the pipes method. Just simply run it through Pipes, and you’ll have your feed sorted to your requirement. Pipes offers so many more options to filter/sort/merge and–what–not your feed. You don’t need any other feed masher, or jumbler, or blendr, or any of those things.

The next good thing

Pipes has tremendous potential, which you can see from the sample feeds they offer to show you when you first try to make a new pipe. It’s dead simple, and anyone can use it because of it’s simple interface.

One can create dynamic query strings, which can take inputs and give your proper outputs (something which can be used to sort multiple Blogger feeds with just one pipe). The output can be taken as RSS or JSON, and then worked upon by your code. It’s absolutely fantastic what can be achieved if someone just thinks hard enough.

I can’t come up with any ‘very’ fancy use of it at the moment (just got over with a heavy duty coding competition :P), and I’d love to hear new ideas. And I’ve got a feeling Avatar will come knocking here! :) So what’re you waiting for?

Furthur reading

5 cool ways of using Pipes!
Rewired Feeds

Update: Looks like a flaw in Pipes is preventing new posts from being detected by feed readers because the published dates remains empty. Ramani has made a suggestion about this, and to make it more visible to Yahoo!, you should vote for it.

It’s a good thing Pipes is in beta. It’s got quite a lot of bugs they need to iron out, some of which were discovered by Ramani and Stephen.


Efendi said...

some one developed Technorati Search, via Yahoo! Pipes :P

hm.. maybe i should try to play with it too, after it's not clogged :P

nice explanations here :)

Deepak said...

I too have made a post about Y! pipes, and was about to publish it today.

Looks like it is gonna be the next big thing.

Ramani said...

Looks like yahoo has something groundbreaking. The fact that both you and Deepak have written about it at the same time indicates how exciting it is :)

Aditya said...

Well, not so much ground breaking as it is a necessity. With feeds becoming wilder with different types and content, we needed something like this to make them do our bidding! :P

Ramani said...

Sorting with pipes is a great idea. I have built upon your pipe to make it easier for everybody.

Read this post.

Pete said...

Just a note, if you didn't see the announcement on the bloggerDev Google Group that Blogger now supports by-published ordering for feeds. Add:


to post feeds to get them sorted by the publication date instead of the updated date.

Aditya said...

Thanks for the heads-up Pete! Good news! :)