Thursday, February 8th, 2007

Yahoo! Pipes: Ajax Mashup Builder

Category: Showcase, Yahoo!

Yahoo! has a new service called Pipes that aims to make it easy to build mashups:

Pipes is a hosted service that lets you remix feeds and create new data mashups in a visual programming environment. The name of the service pays tribute to Unix pipes, which let programmers do astonishingly clever things by making it easy to chain simple utilities together on the command line.

The UI is a rich Ajax application using YUI of course. It is the kind of UI that feels like Flash, but then you do a view source and you see:


  1. <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
  2. <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
  3. <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
  4. <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
  5. <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
  6. <script type="text/javascript" src="/js/maxwell.js"></script>

Is Maxwell the codename?

We are seeing more and more applications in this domain (e.g. Ning, and other systems coming up).

Yahoo! Pipes

Posted by Dion Almaer at 12:01 am

3.6 rating from 55 votes


Comments feed TrackBack URI

Maxwell was an internal codename (named after maxwell’s daemon) – looks like we need to cleanup a few outstanding references! The editor, as you mentioned, was built using the basic yui library – very handy -and the rest is pretty much from scratch. The lines, as Im sure a number of people have noticed, were done using the canvas tag – which has several cross browser issues :-)

Comment by Jonathan Trevor — February 8, 2007

Cool stuff. Reminds me on Dan Ingall’s Fabrik (

Comment by anonymous — February 8, 2007

Very well idea! There are other mashup sites?

Comment by Giovambattista Fazioli — February 8, 2007

The site’s down! Shame, because it looks quite cool. The yahoo guys always do really stand up work when they put their mind to it.

Also, it looks like you’ve got a little blogspam there.

Comment by JDP — February 8, 2007

The site was looking great ..but too slow…

Comment by rodrigo — February 8, 2007

According to Yahoo: “Our Pipes are clogged! We’ve called the plumbers!”. I too trust Yahoo would do a great job.

Comment by Kevin Hoang Le — February 8, 2007

– A on design and features – the site really looks great and definitely has the “Wow” effect. (Although I still don’t know what exactly it does :))
– C- on performance. As Rodrigo said, it is pretty slow (FF 2 Mac, 2GB RAM, 2GZ CoreDuo!).
– D on browser support. Using a cross-browser toolkit (YUI) and not supporting the most popular browser in use (IE6), is a major negative IMO. I didn’t have a chance to test Safari before it went down.

Comment by Jack Slocum — February 8, 2007

Dreamface Interactive has a comprehensive Web2.0 Application Server in preparation for release at the upcoming Web2.0 expo in San Francisco.

Comment by jm chauvet — February 9, 2007

This is wicked cool. Nice UI for Mashups with RSS feeds & URLs.

Comment by Satish Mummadi — February 9, 2007

Very nice app from the Yahoo Team! Please add some kind of visual representation to the fade overs on the left menu so that you know which container you need to click(user inputs, operators, url, string etc.).

Comment by Alex — February 9, 2007

I would really like to get access to the components used to build this because they are certainly more than what is currently available in YUI (the connectors and such are certainly different)

Comment by Gregory Pierce — February 9, 2007

Hmmm… Yahoo Team needs to do a little more testing with WebKit/Safari if they don’t want Mac users to yawn and look elsewhere next time… This looks like a very ambitious Ajax app from a UI perspective (although why are the close/max/min widgets on the right-hand side of the window titlebar? just kidding… ), but I may never know if it’s not just too ambitious because it causes WebKit nightly and Safari 2.x to crash within moments of loading the page. (I was looking at the search pipe… or trying to.)

Comment by Leland Scott — February 9, 2007

yahoo pipes is amazing tool,
google… where yours ajaxian tools?

Comment by MarcioLima — February 10, 2007

anyone seen IBM’s QEDWiki ? It’s about the same but seems more complex, IBM style …

Comment by Cip — February 13, 2007

Google’s answer to Yahoo will be JotSpot… they bought them last year.

Comment by Jason Michael — February 13, 2007

I’m looking forward to the first semi-intelligent layman book on creating and using Pipes; hopefully available through O’Reilly, since I read Safari Books Online. If I don’t see one soon, I may be forced to write my own!

Comment by Rich Mansfield — April 12, 2007

Comment by Mashup example, live mashup — November 22, 2007

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.