YAML formatting and Drupal 8 - making things readable

As someone who loves YAML syntax (so much more pleasant to work with than JSON!), I wanted to jot down a few notes about syntax formatting for the benefit of Drupal 8 developers everywhere.

I often see copy/pasted YAML examples like the following:

  child-object: {key: value, key2: {key: value}}

This is perfectly valid YAML. And technically any JSON is valid YAML too. That's part of what makes YAML so powerful—it's easy to translate between JSON and YAML, but YAML is way more readable!

So instead of using YAML like that, you can make the structure and relationships so much more apparent by formatting it like so:

YAML best practices for Ansible playbooks - tasks

This post is a follow-up to a recent discussion about YAML formatting for complex Ansible playbook tasks on the Ansible Project mailing list, and will also be appearing as part of Appendix B: Ansible Best Practices and Conventions in my Ansible for DevOps book on LeanPub.

YAML, a simple configuration language

YAML's usage for describing configuration has been increasing rapidly in the past few years, and with the introduction of SaltStack and Ansible, YAML finally made its way into the server configuration management realm as a first class citizen.

YAML is a pretty simple language; it is a human-readable, machine-parsable syntax that allows for complex nested object, list, and array structures, so it is a great fit for a configuration management tool. Consider the following method of defining a list (or 'collection') of widgets: