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October 25, 2005

Move over XML config files, roll on YAML

Been staring at our XML config files and it's not so user friendly. Whats there is basic enough in terms of the information but it's hardly human readable. I think XML has strayed too far. Merely having the file contents in UTF doesn't make it human readable anymore. The amount of noise in an XML file also hurts readability.

I'm yearning for traditional make file type formats which I find more readable than the ANT based stuff. I was reading a book on Rails lately and they are now using YAML for some of their configuration files rather than XML and it's not bad. A little like Make of old and certainly more readable than XML.

You can read more about YAML here. Maybe, we can look at having YAML as a choice for our stuff later and deprecate XML :)

I see they are looking at having a way for YAML files to have an XML equivalent and that would be great as the last thing we need is another round of reinventing the wheel with things like XSLT for YAML etc. If we can render YAML as XML and then leverage XML technology to work with it, thats probably preferable.

I guess I'll play around with YAML representations of the ObjectGrid configuration files to see if its really any better with more complex files, may also do the same with Spring to see if it has legs and is really more readable or not.

October 25, 2005 | Permalink

Comments

Billy, I looked at the spec and it appears almost as complicated as XML .. where is ASSML? (A Slightly Simpler Markup Language) ;-)

Peace.

Posted by: Cameron Purdy | Oct 26, 2005 11:17:40 AM

Yep
I know what you mean, don't want to create the next monster...

Posted by: Billy | Oct 26, 2005 1:32:16 PM

I think JSON generally wins the simple thing:

http://www.crockford.com/JSON/index.html

Somewhat underspecified, though. Are comments (either /**/ or //) allowed? But other than that, it's pretty nice.

Posted by: Tom | Oct 26, 2005 4:58:16 PM

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