Thursday, April 10, 2008
Yahoo Pipes (Dataflow programming, but don't call it that!)
Pretty interesting stuff. If you've ever worked with LabView or VVVV (Windows-only, but a toolkit that deserves many posts of its own), you know how nifty dataflow programming can be.

I've just started playing around with Yahoo Pipes, late to the party again by about a year, and it's pretty interesting stuff.

As an example, I improved the Craigslist / Zillow mashup that was already on there to do multisegmented feeds (since craigslist limits you to 25 per feed) and to add query, min/max price, and county indicators, since I was interested in those as well.

Right now, it's pretty useful for comparing the real value of houses with the listings on Craigslist. If it's significantly different, be on the lookout for a bargain or a ripoff, or at least ask why it's different (remodels often mess up Zestimates).

Here's the link: Craigslist / Zillow mashup version 2 ( )

It's pretty typical of dataflow: It's easy to toss things together, but to really get into it you need to build new components, and apparently the only way to do that is via importing pipes, which is nice, but doesn't let me build 'if' statements as I'd like.

As a side note, dataflow is one of the other ways to achieve low-cost parallelism, and one that's often overlooked, I think. People concentrate on actor-model or locks far too often.

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