Friday, February 09, 2007

Yahoo! Pipes

The tech world is full of innovations, nearly every single day. It's impossible to even keep up, let alone move forward. Though it seems like a pain sometimes, truth be told it's a blessing to live in an age when such progress is a daily occurrence.

Sometimes a novelty stands out among the daily inventions, a novelty which appears to be seminal. So it seems to me is the new Yahoo! system they call "Pipes". It's the first truly new thing I can remember seeing on the Internet in a couple of years (say after the introduction of the social AJAX sites like Digg). Pipes is a mechanism by which you the user can create an internet application all of your own—by requiring little more on your part than dragging and dropping. It's a reference to pipes in Unix, for all you Unix programmers, but now refers to internet processes rather than shell utilities. There's a good explanation here and here. Check it out.


Syl said...

Nice easy concept. I can see why net techheads would be jumping up and down and grinning. A synthesis tool with built in interfacing. And a neat interface for the programmer.

I don't remember if we could actually pipe on the Amiga. I'm not sure if that was in the CL or not.

But if programmers put simple ARexx interfaces into their programs that listed the terms the program understood, users could create simple scripts to take data from any Arexx aware program and output it to any other Arexx aware program.

(worked via message ports)

I made a presentation using a midi player and an animated screensaver. It took only a few lines of script to get input from the midi file, watch for a certain type of event and trigger a change in the screen saver animation.

Great for multimedia, but there were arexx ports even on things such as word processors.

Think of the possibilities! A word processor could send a signal to a midi program any time you typed punctuation. You could do your own Victor Borge routine! Live! :)

Man, I still miss my Amiga.

Sorry for rambling. I guess I do this a lot! LOL

Syl said...

Oh shoot. While i'm going down memory lane and highjacking your thread, I forgot about Bars 'n' Pipes!

A midi program on the Amiga with a visual interface where you used pipes to choose your inputs and pipes to things that would affect the inputs and pipes for output.

I LOVED that program!

Then Microsoft bought the company and I waited eagerly for it to be ported to the PC since I had switched platforms by then.

Never happened. Microsoft took a part of a little sister program of B&P, threw it in with FrontPage as an extra goodie then dropped the whole thing. :(

I'm not sure of the timing, but Blue Ribbon put either Bars 'n' Pipes, or the source, or both out into PD for Amiga users.

Bob Hawkins said...

The Amiga can do pipes... if you have the PIPE: device installed. Pipes were a rather late addition to the OS and never heavily used, to my knowledge. (I use the present tense because I still use my Amiga 1200, mostly for things that are easy to do with AREXX but hard any other way. And not CPU or memory intensive!)

Sorry to hijack this thread, but really, the Amiga doesn't use much bandwidth these days :(