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YAML and its features

by Attune World Wide / /

YAML and its Features

YAML Ain’t Markup Language was formerly called as Yet Another Markup Language. It is a human friendly data serialization language. It is basically used for configuration files. It can also be used for storing and exchanging data. It allows data to show itself in a natural and meaningful way.It is built upon structures and concepts described by python, XML, HTML, SOAP, Perl, C.

Why to use YAML?

  • In YAML, data is portable between programming languages.
  • It matches the native data structures of agile languages.
  • It has a consistent model to support generic tools.
  • Supports one-pass processing.
  • Expressive and extensible.
  • Easy to implement and use.

Basic rules and syntax :

  • It is case sensitive
  • It uses spaces, tabs are not allowed
  • a line break is folded into a single space
  • Yaml file starts with 3 hyphens(—) and ends with 3 dots(…)
  • File extensions could be: .yaml or .yml

Primitive types in YAML :

  • Scalar
  • Basic type : Stores numeric, string and boolean values
  • Mapping : A form of associative arrays or hash or dictionary
  • Sequences : Includes list or array

Use cases of YAML:

  • Configuration files
  • Cross language data sharing
  • Inter process messaging
  • Importing and exporting data to and from server
  • Intermediate data storing

Comparison of YAML with

  1. JSON
  • YAML is a superset of JSON, hence JSON data will be parsed by the YAML compiler.
  • JSON doesn’t allow commenting while YAML does.
  • Yaml is more robust than jSON.
  • Unlike YAML in JSON, values need to be quoted.
  1. XML
  • XML is a markup language while YAML is more of a data format.
  • YAML provides more readable and editable format.
  • XML has a more mature ecosystem.


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