Yahoo’s Pipes goes down the tubes

by Mathew on February 8, 2007 · 10 comments

I’d love to be able to write about Yahoo’s new Pipes feature/service/thingamajig — if only so that I could cram in a bunch of puns about the pipes getting full or calling the plumber, etc. like some of the comedians here — but in what has become an all-too familiar event when a new service launches, it has been taken offline due to server overload (and while we’re on the subject, why didn’t they call it Yahoo Tubes? Much better name).

pipes.jpg

That might be understandable if we were talking about a couple of guys working out of their college dorm room, or someone’s basement in SoHo, with a few old roped-together SparcStations and a leased line from Verizon or something like that. But why wouldn’t Yahoo — which no doubt has half a dozen football-field sized server farms stationed around the continent, with hundreds of thousands of PCs humming away inside — put a few more servers online for their new toy? Going down right out of the gate just looks so bush league.

As for the service itself, I know that people like Richard MacManus at Read/Write Web like this idea of remixing RSS feeds and other things, and Jeremy at Yahoo does a good job of describing the thinking behind it — a guy I like to call Radar O’Reilly (old M.A.S.H. reference) calls it a “milestone in the history of the Internet” — but I just don’t get it.

This looks like pretty hardcore geekology, it seems to me. Not that it isn’t of value, but definitely something that would appeal mostly to people building other things, rather than as a consumer-facing service. If I ever get a chance to actually look at it, maybe I will think differently.

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