Douglas,

I think that's an interesting idea, but well out of scope for the 1.2 spec, which is due to be released in a few days.

After 1.2 is out we can start talking about 1.3 and other interesting stuff.

Cheers, Ingy

On Sun, Apr 19, 2009 at 2:52 AM, Douglas Mayle <dmayle@dmayle.com> wrote:
There was some discussion on this list about the new standard, and
while it's probably too late for such a change, I thought I'd mention
an idea I had related to default_flow_style (in PyYAML).

Because YAML supports other object types on the same line, the colon
is an ambiguous character. This means that when a human is editing a
YAML document, they have to take care to quote any strings containing
a colon, which introduces other issues.  For example:

I want to encode the sentence "Beef: it's what's for dinner" under the
'doc' key.  This would end up as:

doc: 'Beef: it''s what''s for dinner'

The string is quoted, and you have to escape the quotes. This is
because of the ambiguity cased by parsing:

doc:
       Beef: it's what's for dinner

I think YAML could be changed so that the default behavior encouraged
human editing over the compact form, without sacrificing the choice.

What I propose is using a double colon to indicate the compact form.
That way a human can type:

doc: Beef: it's what's for dinner

Which won't be confused with the second form, which becomes

doc:: Beef: it's what's for dinner

This way the user typing a sentence doesn't have to worry about the
sentence content.  The user who is trying to encode a more complex
object knows how to do so, and will use the double colon encoding...

Douglas Mayle

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