Web Mashups Made Easy
Technology Review (03/12/08) Greene, Kate
Intel Research’s Mash Maker project is working to make it possible for people to use their Web browsers to combine information from different sites. For example, if someone was looking for apartments on Craigslist, they could add information about nearby restaurants from Yelp, or put the apartment listings on Google Map. Mash Maker’s goal is to allow people to create their own custom-made Web.
“Right now, the Web is a collection of islands; each has its own information, but they aren’t really interconnected and personalized for you,” says Intel researcher Robert Ennals. “We’re trying to move to where the Web is a single source of interconnected knowledge, presenting information that you want to see the way you want to see it.”
Other companies have similar projects in development. Last year, Microsoft introduced Popfly, a programming environment that makes it easy for nonexperts to build mashups. Yahoo Pipes is another project that allows people to combine data from a variety of sources. IBM is working on Lotus Mashups, a program designed to enable users to combine data from different business applications.
“The Holy Grail is codeless programming,” says Microsoft’s John Montgomery. “We’re all converging on this idea of end-user programming, which isn’t really programming, coupled with community integration.”