Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Yahoo Pipes (wikipedia.org)
23 points by hunter-2 61 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 16 comments

I miss when Yahoo was really cool. Even long after it was made irrelevant, it had some of the best freely available public data APIs on the web.

I remember in college, one of our first programming projects was to create a "weather website" (this was before everything was an "app"). The project instructions suggested we use the Yahoo weather API, and it blew my mind that anyone could just make a http GET request and instantly get back some human-and-machine readable data, no scraping required.

Yahoo! Pipes inspired me to make Huginn. https://GitHub.com/huginn/huginn

Thanks for making it! Huginn is my go to for buying used stuff on kijiji. I've saved so much effort and $ thanks to this project

Ha! Just mentioned this project to someone else in the thread. Just wanted to say thanks for making such a cool project that puts the power of controlled automation back in the hands of the individual.

It’s interesting how much this foreshadowed what’s happening with BI dashboard aggregators that Get built into Snowflake and Power BI. Sometimes I wonder why the RSS feed didn’t become more foundational internet tech

If you loved Yahoo! Pipes, you should try https://pipedream.com

I use Azure Logic Apps to replace a simple API mashup I would have previously used Pipes for. No complaints

I'm sad I wasn't aware of this "app" when it was around. But everytime I hear about it, it is from people who "miss" it. If this is the case, then why nobody came up with a clone to it?

Check out IFTTT (https://ifttt.com) or Huginn (https://github.com/huginn/huginn). They're similar but not quite.

An underlying assumption with Yahoo Pipes was that interesting places on the Internet would offer APIs which have a developer UX that matches or exceeds the quality of their official UI. A mixture of unprofitability and abuse lead to this no longer being the case. Tom Scott's essay here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxV14h0kFs0

> If this is the case, then why nobody came up with a clone to it?

It was back in the Web 2.0 days when there were more open data sources and interchangeable data was a priority — RSS/Atom feeds and JSON APIs.

I think that a lot of the "no code" tools we're seeing today are direct descendants of Yahoo Pipes. In addition to the tools others have mentioned that are more directly inspired by Yahoo Pipes, there's also Zapier and other automation services that connect data from different sources.

Well part of what made Pipes cool was all the free Yahoo data feeds you could access with it.

My favorite piece which captures some of the wonder of Yahoo Pipes was this essay called My Heart Feeds a Series of Tubes:


Was expecting to read about a stunt by the Yahoo beverage company to pump chocolate soda through pipes

Edit: My memory has failed me, that would have been "Yoo-hoo"

n8n (Nodemation) is an excellent self-hosted source-available replacement for Yahoo Pipes with a similar drag-and-drop UI for workflows. You also have the option of using arbitrary JavaScript for data processing.


I genuinely miss this site. I had so much fun playing with this as a kid. It’d be cool if they open sourced it!

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact