Sunday, September 27, 2015

Urgent: Convert your Yahoo Pipes–based indexes to HTML NOW

Yahoo Pipes is going away on September 30.

If you have used Yahoo Pipes to create alphabetical or chronological lists of blog posts, you have only a few days to preserve those lists by converting them to HTML.

(If so, you know who you are. Everyone else can just ignore this message.)

The HTML solution is not as good as the Pipes-based list it replaces. but for now it is probably the best option to keep what you've already made.

The Pipes-based lists were dynamic: they revised themselves whenever you added content under a label. The HTML lists will be static: you will have to edit them to add a link to new content.

A better solution ought to be possible using javascript or the Blogger API. Until then, however, here is what I recommend.

For each Pipes-based widget on your blog, do the following:
  1. Select and copy the list as it appears on your regular blog page. That is, copy what the gadget causes to appear on the page, not any of the underlying code.
  2. Create a new HTML gadget. You can reposition this so it doesn't matter where you put it at this stage.
  3. Paste what you copied into the edit window of the gadget.
  4. Give the gadget an appropriate title and save.
  5. You should now have a functional copy of the original gadget. Deploy as needed.
Going forward, if you want to add another item to the list or to edit the list in any way, you will have to do so yourself. 

The HTML gadget in edit mode has a small subset of the tools tools that should be familiar to you from the post editing window

There is an HTML mode. Note that the Compose mode is called "Rich Text" and you toggle between them using a single link rather than a pair of tabs.

I regret very much that I do not have a more elegant alternative to the Pipes-based workaround that I have been recommending to interested bloggers for the past several years. Perhaps someone will develop one

Nonetheless, the hour is late, and this really is the best that I can do. I urge anyone who uses Pipes to make these kinds of lists to act now and save their lists for future use.

if you miss this opportunity and Pipes really does shut down in a few days as promised (which I do not doubt), then you can try to find a recent copy of your blog, lists and all, in the Internet Archive.


  1. any alternatives yet?

    1. this may help

  2. For what it is worth, I kinda missed that pipes was going away, which then broke all my auto-generated indices. But thanks to your blog, I found, which seems to work just as well to create a themed listing. So - thank you!

    I just feed it with the RSS-feed URL for the label search of interest (you can also search for posts matching multiple labels just by concatenating them with forward slash), and paste the resulting script into the page where I want the index to show up. The only downside is that there is not a lot of flexibility to manipulate the resulting list, like, for example ordering it alphabetically.

    Since all the indices were based on labels and auto generated anyways, this was a lossless way to replace pipes, even without saving any of the pipe output as HTML.

    1. Frank, feed2js is a very handy tool (which almost went away itself at one point!).

      Most of my use of feeds requires alphabetization, so I feel the loss of Pipes keenly.