Ingy 2.ö

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Spent part of my morning at Target and Barnes & Noble. I'm not much of a mall guy at all, and I never ever buy anything from St4rbucks. Still I do like getting my undies at Target and B&N was next door, and my friend wanted to get a Sudoku book. So I do what I always do in a corporate chain book store... I look in the computer section.

I must first say that I am happy to report that computer books are finally on the decline. There's just half a normal sized aisle's worth, and half of that is mandatory Microcrap stuff (this is Seattle after all). Perl is (sadly) all but gone. The only new rage seems to be Ajax and a gaggle of JavaScript books. Nothing wrong with that, just not too exciting to me. I mean how much can you really say about either?

I decided to look at the indexes of some new books and see if there was the word "YAML" in any of them. (Yes, ego browsing). First I have to say that not many computer terms at all begin with the letter Y. I found:

  • yield
  • Yahoo!
  • YUI
Kind of redundant. YUI *is* Yahoo! (and also YAGNI ihmo)

So I did find a few books with YAML in the index. At least one had a decent amount of YAML in the content of the book. Here's what I found:

  • Ajax on Rails - YAML isn't needed in Ajax so much, but Ruby and Rails really like YAML. This book only mentioned YAML in passing, and errantly thought it stood for Yet Another Markup Language.
  • Ruby Cookbook - Ruby has shipped with native YAML support for years. This book had quite a bit of YAML info/examples/usage/etc. It seemed fairly accurate.
  • Agile Web Development with Rails - This book got the name wrong too but just by one letter: "YAML Ain't a Markup Language".
  • Intermediate Perl - This book (written about my native computer tongue) talks about YAML. Unfortunately the examples are really old and dated (YAML 1.0) even though the book was reprinted in 2006. Also the book attributes the YAML creation to some bloke named "Brian Ingerson". We all know YAML was invented by Evans, Ben-Kiki and döt Net.
  • PERL HACKS - This one blasphemously puts Perl in ALL CAPS on the cover, even though the author's name is purposefully all lower case. The content contains one HACK involving
I'm sure there are more books out there that mention YAML. It got me thinking about maybe writing a book about YAML. It also got me thinking about how to start getting YAML support in browsers.


  • Although Intermediate Perl was printed again in 2006, it was, of course, re-written and updated a long time before its printing date. When I created the simple (and single) YAML example, I used the current version of the YAML module at the time of writing.

    I don't talk about the particular format other to say it's a way to write out a data structure and read it again. For that, the particular format is not important. :)

    By Blogger brian d foy, At May 21, 2007 10:18 AM  

  • Hmm, YAML gets a very short treatment in Mastering Perl too, but that looks like the current format (as of the time of writing, so about 6 months ago). It looks like I leave off your name too, so I don't mangle it in any way or cheat the other contributors out of their credits :)

    By Blogger brian d foy, At May 21, 2007 10:41 AM  

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