Yahoo Pipes – Recent News feed for widget (on the right)

Here is the published Pipe that powers my Recent News widget on Soft Machine: OPML feed items newest 20 with prepended

There are a few details I don’t need to go into, at the moment… One thing I will say, however, is that the aggregator pipes I looked at either didn’t work or were extremely inefficient. Others weren’t suitable, or were fragile, or very specific to a task. This Pipe is general, efficient, and quite good at producing recent items from OPML files.

The only ongoing upkeep required is to re-export my subscriptions to the cloud when I make changes I want to see reflected here!

In all, I’d say the capabilities of Yahoo Pipes are good, but you may not find what you need easily.

Recent News Pipe for Soft Machine

Recent News Pipe for Soft Machine

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Yahoo Pipes – OPML items

UPDATE: added optional filter on “folder name” for a more selective list of items.

Here is my published OPML items pipe. Here is the Y! message board thread.

This is the first step in solving what I consider to be the distressing state of OPML support in Yahoo Pipes. A very simple fix, it consists of setting up a pipe that parses an OPML file (such as you find when “exporting” subscriptions from Google reader), and outputs the subscription items. I take care to handle both “flat” and “structured” OPML files. Note, I recognize the “flat” items by filtering on “item.type” having “rss” or “atom.”

First, the flat items

First, the flat items

Then, the children

Then, the children

the coup-de-grace

the coup-de-grace

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Yahoo Pipes OPML FAIL (Google Reader)

Go to My Yahoo Pipes if you want to verify or play along: “BROKEN Fetch OPML -do aggregate …”

I went to add a simple feature on this site: a list of entries from blogs I like. Also known as a widget showing a magic RSS feed.

Enter Yahoo Pipes. Should be simple enough, except I discovered that almost every OPML parser in use is broken with regard to google reader. I have many many subscriptions, so I create a number of folders for organization. Because I use google reader as my “master” feed subscription list, I think it’s important to get these basic tools right.

I’m going to solve this step by step,  starting with a better  method for parsing the xml, to handle “nested” OPML a la google reader. Folders are empty parent items with a no URL or “type=rss”, just “text”, “title”, and children.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<opml version="1.0">
  <outline title="arts" text="arts">
   <outline text="Civic Center" title="Civic Center" type="rss" xmlUrl= ... 

So, to summarize: FetchData & Yahoo Pipes Help are deficient, and all the OPML aggregation examples I’ve tested are broken. They use FetchData to make an item list out of body.outline, so you get a list of “folders”, instead of the actual feeds.


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