Monday, April 19, 2010

Quick hacks: Yahoo Pipes for RSS feed filtering

In my Copious Free Time(tm), I've been working on some very quick projects. I'm writing them up since, while many of them are quite simple, they highlight some interesting tools.

I used to read the "Marmaduke Explained" blog at this website. It has since moved here but the RSS feed includes other entries as well. Using Yahoo Pipes, I was quickly able to create a new RSS feed which only includes entries that include Marmaduke in the title. See the pipe I made here (output available as RSS, JSON, email, etc.). Yahoo Pipes is, like the name implies, a series of tubes -- nodes in the graph feed perform operations and feed into other nodes. So, my point is that Yahoo Pipes is a cool piece of software and probably underutilized -- the basic filtering that I do is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg for what it can do (for example, there are "translate" and "location extractor" nodes). If they added basic scraping abilities, I'd likely use it even more (but see upcoming posts for different ways to do scraping...).

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