Here's a must – you MUST take a look at Yahoo! Pipes – it's one of the most important new developments on the Internet in years.
Simply put, Pipes lets you build mash-ups with a set of simple building blocks that can process any XML encoded data – all without writing a single line of code. Yahoo has developed a visual editor that enables you to build a tool to manipulate and extend an XML feed – you still need to understand some basic concepts such as filtering, sorting etc. but I suspect that anyone who is reasonably proficient with a spreadsheet will soon get the hang of Pipes.
Yahoo! Pipes is a critical step forward in providing non-programmers with the tools to build their own mash-ups. It extends the concept of user generated content to services that manipulate data. Think of the opportunities that this creates for both consumer and enterprise applications – especially when combined with a widget framework like MuseStorm for distribution and display of the results.
Step back for a moment and consider the implications – we're in the midst of a major shift of how applications are built – from mainframes to mini-computers, to client-server and web; now the entire application is being distributed across the Internet. This has major implications for how products and services will be built… and an even larger set of implications for start-ups pursuing the opportunities that result from the transition.
Check out some of the coverage about Pipes that you can find on the Internet – especially this piece by Tim O'Reilly.