Sometimes I hear about something for the first time and figure I must live under a rock. I make a point of keeping up on a number of new things, but it's hard to keep track of all the cool services and technologies available to you these days.
Tim Heuer just today turned me on to Yahoo Pipes when I asked about proxying some services to provide feed content to a Silverlight FaceBook app I'm developing for John McClelland and Chad Brooks through Applied Information Sciences.
MSDN doesn't yet have a ClientAccessPolicy.xml in place, so my only options to pull from blogs there are to proxy via my own local service - which will make scaling harder - or look to a third party.
Well, Yahoo Pipes is a lot more than a proxy. It lets you aggregate various feeds (and services and POX and more) filter, extract key bits of information etc. Not to mention it is one very cool ajax application.
Below is a screenshot of a pipe I designed to pull some event feed information from various developer evangelist blogs, and the awesome Community Megaphone site that Andrew Duthie set up.
You drag and drop the various components (sources, filters etc.) on to the design surface, and then connect them together. You can see in the above list, I have three blogs for testing feed pulls and event filters. To the right, I have Andrew's Community Megaphone. I don't need to filter that one for event information because that site only includes events.
For the Microsoft folks in the audience, John, Chad and I will be presenting about this application at TechReady 7 in July/August in Washington State.
Whether pipes makes it into the final product depends on how well it works for the various scenarios I have. However, it's very promising so far.
Look for more blog posts as I complete more interesting bits of this application. So far, it is shaping up to be one very cool mashup of a bunch of great technologies.