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Friday, August 10, 2007

GME - Mashups Made Easy

Note: Following content deals with computer related stuff. Reader discretion is advised.

Mashup. What is a Mashup ?

A mashup is a web page or application that integrates complementary elements from more than one source

Yes, thank you. I understand the {English} definition. But, give the definition of in Lay Man's English. Okay, here is your definition.

Mashup is a web application which takes data from more than one source and displays the integrated for better use

So, what ever takes data from more than one source and displays to me is a mashup ? So, My RSS Feed reader is also a mashup as it takes data from more than one site.

NO. NO. NO. Your RSS Feed Reader, is a web FEED reader. Nothing else. Mashup might take two or more feeds and gives you an integrated experience of those feeds.

Great, give me an example. I don't think I will understand unless you give me a very good example.

Okay master. Your wish is my command. For example, you are on a world tour. You were planning to visit USA. You want to know which cities are safe and which are not. I would take the data from a service link this one which gives me data about America's most unsafe cities. And I will take the data and display the same cities on map. On a click on the city, I will display their rank and some photos which I took from another services like flickr and some videos from a service like Youtube. This web application will help you not only see the names of the cities which are not safe, but also, show it on a map with some other details about the city which is an obvious integrated experience

Okay Okay. That's great. Can I do my own mashups ? If yes, what is the best possible method to do that ?

I know that you will ask this question. It actually depends on what kind of a person you are.

If you want a simple GUI to create a mashup and you're a fan of Mr. Bill, I suggest Popfly from Microsoft. Its very easy to use. Interface is cool. Some wicked features. Just not good enough if you want advanced customization

If you don't want anything from uncle Bill and you still want a good GUI, Yahoo Pipes is a very good alternative. It got nice GUI as well as good customization. But, something between us, I really dint feel like using Pipes. Not my type.

Well, if you are type of a "computer" person who admires what ever is done by Google. You've yet another product from Google. Its simple. It offers a lot of advanced  customization. Its for programmers. The name is Google's Mashup Editor. I'm in love with GME already. It's  for folks who love to code rather than drag and drop. It's  definitely not for weak hearts who can't code or who wants a GUI.

Hey, I'm not a programmer. I'm really interested in creating some mashups. You stay with GME, I will certainly take a look at Popfly and Yahoo Pipes. 

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