At 10:42 AM 7/31/2001 -0400, I wrote:
(B1) Proliferation of cryptic identifiers.  It's hard or even impossible to guess the meaning of a YAML file without first memorizing the identifiers, and there are more identifiers than I'm comfortable memorizing.  I also have to memorize the placement syntax of each identifier.  I recognize that many other data formats also have this problem, but I still don't like it.

I don't think I said what I meant here.  Most YAML files are readable and guessable, even if there are a number of more cryptic cases (such as lists of simple scalars containing blank lines).  The general YAML file is not guessable, but one shouldn't expect that.

I think my reaction is just to the proliferation of cryptic single-character identifiers.  I don't want to have to ask my mind to memorize the meanings of so many symbols.  While '&' and '*' may be mnemonics to C programmers, they are not mnemonics to non-C programmers and non-programmers in general.  %, @, |, ~ have no mnemonic value for me.  When reading the spec, I found this daunting.  I'd rather see a core set of symbols and everything else be English directives.

Sorry for sending you down the wrong path and hope I caught it in time!