Thursday, May 20, 2010

Slicing and Dicing with Yahoo Pipes

Perhaps the strangest part of my blog-journey hack entails sending your blog feed through Yahoo Pipes.

Pipes is a free web-based service for mixing and manipulating feeds. Working on the (imperfect) metaphor of your feed as a flow of content, users construct a "pipe" that channels and changes the elements of that flow--for instance, sorting them chronologically.

That's what we are here for, but the pipe I built does more than that. You do not need to build your own--use mine.

Unfortunately, if you use the Short feed you will probably need to use or set up a Yahoo account so that you can make an editable copy of my pipe. I will tell you how to tweak your copy.

Before you do that, you should check out Yahoo's introduction to Pipes.

If you have the soul of a hacker, Pipes will dazzle and inspire you with possibilities. If you don't, I'll at least try to make my explanation (next) as painless as possible.


  1. Hey Adam,

    I am working my way through your hack with a full feed and I am getting hung up at yahoo pipes. When I put this feed in:

    I get the following message from pipes:

    No pipe results for Blog Journey: FULL and JUMP BREAK feeds.

    If I remove the post number limit: ?max-results=999

    Yahoo pipes works great and I get the last 25 posts in oldest first order.

    Have you run across this situation before? If so I would appreciate any guidance you could offer.


  2. Adam,

    I played a bit more and it seems like yahoo pipes is hanging on a certain date or post. I can get pipes to work with link:

    But if I increase the post count to 208 it doesn't return any data. Is there a limit in the pipe?


  3. Bill, there didn't used to be any sort of limit. Maybe there is now. Yahoo seems to have made a number of undocumented changes (for one thing, the dates field used to be a lot more forgiving of formatting).

    This does not seem to affect older feeds made with this pipe (knock on wood). But that doesn't do you much good, does it?

    I am sorry this is happening to you now, but I don not think I will be able to troubleshoot this today. I will get to the bottom of this though.

    Can you provide a link to post no. 208?

  4. More on Bill's problem: The Yahoo Pipes people have been doing a major overhaul of their service.

    Unfortunately they decided to migrate us to the beta version without warning.

    However, things are working properly again. (I tested the pipe with Bill's full feed to make sure.)

    Anyone: Please let me know if you have problems of this sort.