back to article Behold, the world's most popular programming language – and it is...wait, er, YAML?!?

The world's most popular programming language, according to devops biz Datree.io at least, it not Java, JavaScript, nor Python. Rather, it's YAML, a recursive acronym for "YAML Ain't Markup Language." That's stretching the definition of "programming language" given that YAML, a superset of JSON with little tolerance for tabs, …

  1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Is it Turing Complete?

    Nope? Move along...

  2. Buzzword

    One argument in YAML's favour: a good DIFF

    When you're comparing the latest version with the previous version, YAML changes tend to be restricted to one line. By contrast in JSON, appending an item to an array means adding a comma to the previous line, so your DIFF highlights two lines as having changed.

  3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Re: One argument in YAML's favour: a good DIFF

    In JSON, whitespace is irrelevant, so you could put the comma on the same line as your new item. Not that I'd recommend doing it, but it would be valid JSON.

    On balance, whether it shows as one line or two in a diff isn't the highest thing on most programmers' agendas.

  4. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: One argument in YAML's favour: a good DIFF

    Doesn't JSON allow you to put a comma after the final entry in a list, precisely to avoid this problem? Quite a few languages allow this, for this reason, in at least some contexts.

  5. Buzzword

    Re: One argument in YAML's favour: a good DIFF

    No. JavaScript allows trailing commas, but JSON doesn't.

  6. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    Stackoverflow

    Isn't it just as meaningless to measure popularity by the number of calls for help you have with it ?

    Something might score high on that scale just because it isn't very good.

    All these folks need to smarten up and start counting using some metrics that actually mean something, rather than those that are easy to count. If you have to use a proxy, at least prove that it models the real thing reasonably well.

  7. lesession

    Rule One of DevOps

    Here's the only markup masquerading as a programming language you ever need in these circumstances:

    (Reg.article.title).contains 'Devops'

    {It's Marketing Hype regurgitated as 'News'} >> ignore

    else

    {Might be worth reading}

  8. steelpillow Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Turning Turing?

    So what was once Yet Another Markup Language now Ain't Markup Language but has become a programming language.

    How long before the next iteration is made Turing complete and the first YAML code-injection attack appears? >sigh<

  9. MacroRodent Silver badge

    Apples and oranges comparison

    Or maybe even an apples and lampreys comparison. You could just as well argue ASCII text files are the largest programming language of them all. A static data syntax is not a programming language at all.

  10. doublelayer

    Re: Apples and oranges comparison

    I think we can make a case for machine code as the most popular programming language. It can be written to be fully Turing complete, can store data, can do anything you like to that data, and is used if not written by every single programmer. It is also the most popular programming language used by people who don't write code professionally or at all, and is present on every running computer in the world. Every github project eventually turns into or relies on something else that is in the form of machine code, and all questions on stack overflow can be reduced to asking how to get machine code to produce a specific result. I hope you will agree with my analysis, which I performed after several months of tedious but, I'm sure you'll agree, tremendously vital research. I'm off to reserve a something.io address and send out my press release.

  11. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    "there's a proof-of-concept HTML-only calculator – so there's precedence for Datree's delusion."

    I was intrigued, so I looked at the source.

    It's a series of links to pre-written pages which show the result.

    This is the same as a book index:

    1x1: p2.1

    1x2: p2.2

    1x3: p2.3

    page 2:

    1: 1

    2: 2

    3: 3

    etc.

  12. Anonymal coward

    I thought this nonsense was over...

    Haven't the Code Wars been well and truly buried these past 20 years? No? For anyone else thinking of making claims like "<thingy> is the largest/widest/most indented language", go look through https://esolangs.org/wiki/Main_Page and then just stay there...

  13. CloudWrangler

    At least one language uses yaml

    The article forgot that there is one infrastructure programming language that uses yaml: Ansible. Given that it has flow control, supports looping and parses like a language, I'd call it a language. An ansible playbook is not just a config file.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: At least one language uses yaml

    An ansible playbook IS just a config file though.

    Ansible is written in Python. All the flow control & loops happen in python. YAML has no concept of loops. It's literally just a config file.

  15. Rich 2
    Go

    Popular?

    Popular does not equal useful though.

    If you want to limit the list to useful, then that would be C, C++, (oh, go on then....) java, Fortran, assembler. I'm sure there's a couple of other too.

    You might even find the odd shell script useful, or even (gawd help us) Perl, but these are hacky scripting languages and while definitely useful, not really what I would categorise as a genuine programming language for making stuff work.

    Notably absent from my list would by Python. I don't feel the need to elucidate.

  16. Julz
    Coat

    Re: Popular?

    I like Perl.

    I'll get my coat, the one with the Camel in the pocket...

  17. juice Bronze badge

    YAML my camel

    When all is said and done, YAML and JSON are simply a serialised chunk of data: to use them, you feed said data through an interpreter to convert the stored data structures into something which is compatible with whatever system the interpreter is running on.

    Does that make YAML a programming language? Not to my mind: it's certainly a language, but it's one you use to describe data, not the operations which will be performed on the data.

    Is it Friday yet? This feels like it should be a pub discussion...

  18. Spanners Silver badge
    Go

    What about...

    Batch Files? Loops, labels and structured data. Perhaps a scripting language but I once came across a shareware compiler for it (Turbobat).

    Works on all versions of Windows with the added advantage of being completely TechnoSnob proof!

  19. HmmmYes Silver badge

    Is YAML a programmign lanaguge?

    DOnt know, dont care.

    YAML is *not* XML, and thats all I care about.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a little known fact, YAML stands for 'Yours or mine, lover?'

    yaml developers are known to get more ass than a toilet seat.

  21. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Joke

    It's bollocks isn't it

    LOL - YAML a programming language!

    Perhaps they meant YAML++

  22. Chris Parsons

    BAL

    Why can't everyone just write in assembler? I used to...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: BAL

    Assembler?? The proper way is directly in binary (or hex) machine code (preferrably entered into the machine via front panel switches)

  24. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    I'd bet real money that in the world as a whole there's more Cobol than YAML, counted any way you choose.

    8o)

  25. arctic_haze Silver badge

    Speaking of programming language definitions

    I like the definition of R language saying simply that "R is an open source implementation of S".

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Reg just keeps getting weirder by the day

    And the comments section shows it has been largely deserted by those who actually write software and build things, myself included.

    Anyway, this article was just bizarre.

    IRC and nowadays ActivityPub-powered "communities" are a great way to exchange information, learn things and collaborate with fellow tinkerers in a positive atmosphere. I recommend anyone with the interest and motivation to give them a try.

  27. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    GitHub private repo's?

    Therein lies a big problem.

    Lots of us who had private repos have moved them from GitHub the moment that the MS takeover was announced.

    Mine has gone. It had more than 400 files in it and not a bit of YAML in sight. No JSON either and just a few lines of XML.

    A load of hot air if you ask me. I wonder how many of those YAML files were simply slightly modified copies of those publised on any of the more reputable code help sites such as StackOverflow?

  28. imanidiot Silver badge
    Facepalm

    YAML aint markup language

    YAML ain't markup language ain't markup language

    YAML ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language

    YAML ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language

    YAML ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language

    YAML ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup languag eain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language

    YAML ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language

    YAML ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language

    YAML ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language

    YAML ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language ain't markup language

    It's just turtles all the way down..

    Whomever came up with this recursive acronym deserves a swift kick to the family jewels.

  29. DropBear Silver badge
    Trollface

    Re: YAML aint markup language

    Is that a valid proof that YAML is in effect identical to ZAML (or VAML or WAML...) considering their meaningful* part will never resolve to anything that isn't identical regardless of amount of recursion...?

    * which makes comparisons with 1.3333... =/= 2.3333... rather unfair considering "1" and "2" are very much meaningful parts of those numbers

  30. John Styles

    The most popular kind of cheese is baked-beans.

  31. Joefish
    Trollface

    ...BREAKING NEWS...

    'DevOps' article on The Register attracts more than two comments. Misleading clickbait title suspected. Film at 11.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "according to devops biz Datree.io"

    Is there a source for this claim?

    I've looked on Datree.io and various Google searches and can't find any reference to the actual data that seems to be the basis of this article

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018