If this happens do this to my laptop…

I have already talked about IFTTT to death and how I liken it to some ideas and work I had around pipelining.

All the new movement in this area has been in the online space but I found this little app for Linux which operates in a similar fashion to the very old conduit (Conduit) but its focused around system events rather than webservices.

Cuttlefish is a tool which can execute various actions when specific events are triggered. For example, you can change the proxy mode depending on the currently connected wireless network, unlock your computer when a specific Bluetooth or USB device is connected or disconnected and so on.

I can easily see how webservices can be written into the application, although there is no roadmap yet.

Imagine if Taskrabbit was added to Ifttt

Love If this then that aka ifttt.com and I also like the idea of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk but its got its limits. However I’ve been watching the rise of Taskrabbit.

I wonder what it would be like if you combined ifttt with taskrabbit?

Suspect all type of chaos would happen because Taskrabbit is not about automation (can you setup repeat tasks?). I just find the concept very interesting…!

Love the idea of web pipelines, as you already know. But there is no reason why it can’t affect not only the real world but human culture.

If this then…. web pipelines are back again?

ifthisthenthat workflow setup for #workbetter tweets

I first read about if this thenon lifehacker today while riding into work on the tram.

If This Then That is a simple to use tool to keep your social networks, to-do lists, RSS feeds, imaging sites, and all your other webapps on the same page.

The core of If This Then That works off of different channels you can use to create your own recipes for sharing by using the basic instruction, “if this, then that.” For instance, you can set it so that if you text message something with a particular hashtag to a specified number, then it will automatically create a note in Evernote. You can also set it to automatically pull your photos off Instagram and save them to Dropbox, send you a text message when you have a Google Calender event, or even send you an email if it’s supposed to rain tomorrow. Provided you’re using one of the 35 different services and webapps currently supported, you can cross-link and integrate them in almost anyway you see fit.

It strikes me as a good stab at what I wrote about in 2006. Pipelines for the web…

That was quite some time ago and I’ve been hoping Conduit would get worked on but things have gone very quiet on that front. Then came along, Ping.FM which was also interesting for slightly different reasons before they got aquired. So I was surprised when I learned about IFTT, so I gave it a try.

So my first pipe or task, useful so I can save links from anywhere just by sending a correctly formatted instant messenger to the right bot.

my first task

I made it into a recipe, then decided to checked out the pre-existing recipes other people have made.

Here’s some of the ones I’m finding interesting…

So right now I’m pretty impressed with iftt but I’m hoping they add even more services soon. Don’t get me wrong the list is pretty huge right now, but I’d like to have some things like NewstoBook, DeskSMS, Top10, Google plus, etc…

step 1″ width=”500″ height=”441″ />

If the guys behind IFTT were smart they would allow people to define the services and the api or intent?
Its certainly on my list of hot tech…

Yahoo catches on to the idea of internet pipelines

Yahoo Pipes

I can't believe I missed Yahoo's Pipeline beta. Chris from Touchstone actually dropped me a email and asked if I've seen it. But all I get now is…

Our Pipes are clogged! We've called the plumbers!

Well in the meantime a lot of people are talking about it (Techmeme). Tim O'Reilly has a long piece about it on his Radar blog. He starts with,

Yahoo!'s new Pipes service is a milestone in the history of the internet. It's a service that generalizes the idea of the mashup, providing a drag and drop editor that allows you to connect internet data sources, process them, and redirect the output. Yahoo! describes it as “an interactive feed aggregator and manipulator” that allows you to “create feeds that are more powerful, useful and relevant.” While it's still a bit rough around the edges, it has enormous promise in
turning the web into a programmable environment for everyone.

In agreement, but I'm worried Yahoo might be focusing too much on aggregation that general purpose pipelining of any data source online. Tim then talks about why he's excited and points at some of my also favorite posts in this area. Jon Udell's keynote at the 8th Python conference and the JavaOne keynote which really gelled with my thoughts about
Pipelines at the time. This is also another reason why I got fed up of the Gillmor Gang without Jon Udell. Anyway back to Tim's post, here's a couple of other things I found interesting.

But perhaps more significantly, to develop a mashup, you already needed to be a programmer. Yahoo! Pipes is a first step towards changing all that, creating a programmable web for everyone.

This is certainly very true, coming from a design background I just couldn't understand why pipelines were not used more in application development. I actually thought the move towards objects in programming would be the start of this, but I guess not.

Using the Pipes editor, you can fetch any data source via its RSS, Atom or other XML feed, extract the data you want, combine it with data from another source, apply various built-in filters (sort, unique (with the “ue” this time:-), count, truncate, union, join, as well as user-defined filters), and apply simple programming tools like for loops.

RSS and XML are easy targets for a beta service. But whats really needed is more input adapters. Microformats, FOAF, S5, WebAPIs, XMPP, etc. The transformers are predictable bar the user-defined filters (which I would assume would be XSL?). There's other services like RSS Mix and Feed Rinse which do the same thing. Chris is right filters are old hat.

Talking of Chris, in his post he seems quite down on his own pipeline: Touchstone. Personally I think their further down the line because the interesting part of the pipeline is being able to mix local and remote content not just remote. Also the widget style UI is very powerful. You could use Yahoo Pipes and I guess Yahoo Widget Engine to create something like Touchstone but your missing the Relevancy engine (APML) which did a great job of finding me screenshots of Windows
Mobile 6.

I'm a little worried about the focus on the GUI used for Yahoo Pipes. It sounds good but there needs to be thoughts about interopability. I don't want to create a great Pipeline and then be locked into Yahoo Pipes forever more.

Anyway, I can't talk much more about it till I get a chance to play with it first hand. Good work Yahoo.

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