Thursday, February 15, 2007
Yahoo! Pipes and The Web As Database
My number one interest has always been reuse of existing programs in new uses. This interest is based on my love of programming -- which, after all, is continual reuse of various snippets of patterns for doing things strung together with the connective tissue of the programming language. When I managed the development of the PINPaper (Personal Internet Newspaper) in 1995 the main premise was that there was a lot of news information available on the Internet but I was only interested in a certain focused set of topics. So, we developed special purpose programs to sift through all of this information to pick out only those articles that satisfied a keyword search for the topic.
Last week, Yahoo announced Yahoo Pipes, a general purpose system with a nice visual interface for programming such extractions and recombinations of information on the Web. Although I haven't built anything with this system yet, I believe it is a good contribution to the activity of reuse.