Here's an idea I've been toying with for a while. What if you could pipe the output of a web server to another server in the same way you can pipe the output of one program to another on a command line. Could I output a list of topics, pipe it to a page that handles sorting and pipe that to a page that formats the results in nice columns. It should all be specified by one URL just as I can type a single line at the command prompt. Obviously XML would be the output format of choice , much like the LinuXML project. I can envisage application servers springing up all over the web providing grep or mail facilities for developers.