XML, JSON, and YAML Overview


This article was published in the print magazine Drupal Watchdog, Volume 4 Issue 2, 2014-09, on page 17, by Tag1 Publishing. The magazine was distributed at Drupalcon Amsterdam 2014, 2014-09-29.

Web services, to enable their messages to be machine parsable, rely upon strictly-defined data-structuring languages, most popularly:

  • XML (Extensible Markup Language) uses well-defined hierarchical elements that comprise tags that delimit content and can include attributes containing further information.
  • JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) uses attribute-value pairs and no tags, making it more concise and human-readable than XML — hence its tremendous popularity outside the JavaScript world.
  • YAML (a recursive acronym for YAML Ain't Markup Language) is largely a superset of JSON, and was chosen for Drupal 8 configuration management and project information files.

Copyright © 2014 Michael J. Ross. All rights reserved.