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What is YAML data serialization language?

Tarun Telang

Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

Overview

YAML is a recursive acronym for “YAML Ain’t Markup Language.” It is a human-readable data serialization language commonly used for data storage and configuration files. Its design is similar in structure to other markup languages, such as HTML and XML, but with specific syntax differences that enable computers to parse quickly.

The original design of YAML was to cater to data storage. However, it has become more common for configuration files in modern software applications because it offers certain advantages over other markup languages, such as being easier to read and write by humans and having a simpler and more flexible syntax.

Whether we use it for configuration files or another purpose, YAML is a powerful and versatile language that can help to make your data more readable, organized, and maintainable.

History of YAML

Clark Evans, Ingy döt Net, and Oren Ben-Kiki created the YAML specification in 2001. It takes inspiration from existing markup languages like XML and Perl.

The first official version, 1.0, was released in 2004. Since then, the specification has undergone a few revisions, with the most recent version (version 1.2.2) published in 2021.

Various applications and software projects have used YAML over the years. Some notable examples include Ansible, Ruby on Rails, and Drupal.

Example

Below is a basic example of a YAML file:

---
name: John Smith
age: 25
job: Software Developer
skills:
- Java
- Python
- JavaScript
A basic YAML example

As you can see, YAML files are straightforward to read and understand. They are also relatively concise, which makes them ideal to store and organize large amounts of data.

YAML is worth considering if you’re looking for a simple and efficient way to store and manage your data. Many excellent libraries and tools are available for working with YAML, so it’s easy to get started. Some of the most popular libraries for working with YAML include YamlDotNet for .NET, PyYaml for Python, and SnakeYaml for Java.

Conclusion

In this shot, we looked at a basic example of using YAML for data storage. If you're interested in learning more about YAML, check out the course below.

Learn more about the syntax, data types, and various vital concepts related to the language through this mini-course: Introduction to YAML

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communitycreator

Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

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