- Easy to use.
- Inexpensive if you need a lot of pipes. Free if you only need a few.
- Great documentation.
- Interface is not as smooth. For example the foreach control very difficult to add additional process.
- Site does not seem very stable. Often times out with 502 or 504 errors.
If you remember Yahoo! Pipes then this version of Pipes will give you shivers. They even claim to be the spiritual successor to Yahoo! Pipes and from what I can tell they do a pretty good job. I used the app to merge some feeds into one and it worked flawlessly. It was that type of simplicity that made Yahoo! Pipes so fantastic.
There is also a generous list of shared pipes you can fork to your own account and build off of. For example I found a shared pipe that took a summary feed from a website and rebuilt it into a full feed. I played with it for a little bit and was able to adapt it easily to create a full feed from another website that only offered a summary feed.
The documentation is also very complete on how to use the website. I don’t recall how complete the Yahoo! Pipes documentation was but this new version of Pipes documentation will help you accomplish the task you are trying to do.
The Not So Great
The interface is not as smooth as Yahoo! Pipes was. For example the foreach control is hard to add another block too to repeat the action. I had to to try multiple times to add a download block to a foreach control before it would add it. Trying in a different browser did not help.
The biggest problem with this new Pipes is not a problem with Pipes specifically, it is a problem with the fact that many sites block bots like Pipes from accessing websites in the first place. Of some of the sites I tried this was the biggest problem. Pages and content was simply not able to be loaded in Pipes and it appeared to be blocked.
It was nostalgic to find this new version of Pipes, and to be honest it works really well for simple tasks. Larger more complicated Pipes tend to have problems with feeds timing out or downloads of web pages not working. Many of the tasks can be done in other ways but Pipes does make it pretty easy to make small changes and edits to website feeds for personal use.
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