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

We don't think so either, but config file format is getting harder to avoid


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, is more aptly described as a data serialization language, and one that's not universally beloved at that. It's typically used in configuration files for containers, packages, and other trendy technologies.

HTML has also been called a programming language – despite disagreement, there's a proof-of-concept HTML-only calculator – so there's precedence for Datree's delusion.

Out of the loop

Yet even Shimon Tolts, CTO and co-founder of Datree, in a phone interview with The Register, acknowledged, "of course it's not an actual programming language where you can write loops and stuff."

Tolts, however, argues that there's a huge transition underway, with code development and deployment being automated. Much of that is driven by the configuration data in YAML files. "Everything is becoming YAML-fied," he said. "Git is the new gateway between development and production. Everything is going from a committer into production. And all of those tools are being configured using YAML."

Datree arrived at its finding after analyzing several million open-source GitHub projects, and finding 60 million YAML files strewn about. The firm said that in 10,000 private repos of customers, every single active repository had at least one YAML file.

To understand the company's peculiar view of the world, it helps to recognize that there's a lot of YAML in devops tools like Docker and Kubernetes. Among GitHub 1.9 million repos with Dockerfiles, Datree found about 500,000 had a docker-compose.yml file for Docker service configuration.

What's more, YAML is often used in projects written in C++, Go, Java, JavaScript, Rust, and Python. The fastest growing YAML file, the company said, is circleci/config.yml, which informs CircleCI's CI/CD software.

Datree sees this as a sign of growing adoption of automated deployment.

Q. What's today's top language? A. Python... no, wait, Java... no, C

READ MORE

But other data crunchers don't see a YAML-colored world. In an email to The Register, Julia Silge, a data scientist at coding community site Stack Overflow, said, "YAML is used a lot in configuration files, and as the 'infrastructure as code' practice so important to devops culture grows in impact, a language like YAML becomes more widespread. That being said, Stack Overflow data shows that YAML is growing but is not as important as other data serialization formats, not to mention other languages."

Silge pointed to Stack Overflow data – measured by questions about certain topics rather than counts of files in repos – showing how the terms YAML, JSON, and XML compare.

"JSON and XML are both dropping in proportional popularity while YAML is growing, but YAML is still not a dominant player overall in software development," she said.

And when Python and Go are compared to YAML, YAML's surge looks even more underwhelming.

"This particular tool shows questions asked on Stack Overflow but we see largely the same patterns in our traffic," said Silge. "YAML is growing in popularity and is important in the devops landscape, but we do not see evidence for it being a dominant technology in the way that Python or Go (scripting languages used for devops) and JSON or XML (other data serialization formats) are." ®


Other stories you might like

  • Your snoozing iOS 15 iPhone may actually be sleeping with one antenna open
    No, you're not really gonna be hacked. But you may be surprised

    Some research into the potentially exploitable low-power state of iPhones has sparked headlines this week.

    While pretty much no one is going to utilize the study's findings to attack Apple users in any meaningful way, and only the most high-profile targets may find themselves troubled by all this, it at least provides some insight into what exactly your iOS handheld is up to when it's seemingly off or asleep. Or none of this is news to you. We'll see.

    According to the research, an Apple iPhone that goes asleep into low-power mode or is turned off isn't necessarily protected against surveillance. That's because some parts of it are still operating at low power.

    Continue reading
  • China will produce one in five of the chips it uses in 2026, says analyst
    Well short of planned 70 percent domestic capacity

    China’s integrated circuit (IC) production has failed to keep pace with its appetite for silicon, with market research firm IC Insights predcicting the nation will produce only one in five ICs it uses in 2026.

    That figure is a increase from 2021's one in six, and reflects eight percent compound annual growth rate from 2021 to 2026. But it means China will miss its own targets for locally-made-and-consumed silicon.

    “Although China has been the largest consuming country for ICs since 2005, it does not necessarily mean that large increases in IC production within China would immediately follow, or ever follow” said the firm in a bulletin on Wednesday.

    Continue reading
  • Tencent happily parting ways with loss-making cloud customers
    Cutting costs across sprawling business as COVID makes life hard in China

    Chinese tech giant Tencent has recorded its first ever quarter-to-quarter revenue fall, warned that COVID-19 lockdowns will hurt messing with its business, and cautioned against assumptions that Beijing is ready to enthusiastically support tech companies.

    On its Q1 2022 earnings call yesterday, the company offered more explanation of its shifting cloud strategy.

    Chief strategy officer James Mitchell told investors the company is pleased to have shown loss-making cloud customers the door, and “proactively scaled back … deeply discounted infrastructure-only contracts for basic services such as cloud compute and content delivery network.” Projects that had high costs and/or relied on sub-contractors have also been scaled back.

    Continue reading
  • Will this be one of the world's first RISC-V laptops?
    A sneak peek at a notebook that could be revealed this year

    Pic As Apple and Qualcomm push for more Arm adoption in the notebook space, we have come across a photo of what could become one of the world's first laptops to use the open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture.

    In an interview with The Register, Calista Redmond, CEO of RISC-V International, signaled we will see a RISC-V laptop revealed sometime this year as the ISA's governing body works to garner more financial and development support from large companies.

    It turns out Philipp Tomsich, chair of RISC-V International's software committee, dangled a photo of what could likely be the laptop in question earlier this month in front of RISC-V Week attendees in Paris.

    Continue reading
  • Did ID.me hoodwink Americans with IRS facial-recognition tech, senators ask
    Biz tells us: Won't someone please think of the ... fraud we've stopped

    Democrat senators want the FTC to investigate "evidence of deceptive statements" made by ID.me regarding the facial-recognition technology it controversially built for Uncle Sam.

    ID.me made headlines this year when the IRS said US taxpayers would have to enroll in the startup's facial-recognition system to access their tax records in the future. After a public backlash, the IRS reconsidered its plans, and said taxpayers could choose non-biometric methods to verify their identity with the agency online.

    Just before the IRS controversy, ID.me said it uses one-to-one face comparisons. "Our one-to-one face match is comparable to taking a selfie to unlock a smartphone. ID.me does not use one-to-many facial recognition, which is more complex and problematic. Further, privacy is core to our mission and we do not sell the personal information of our users," it said in January.

    Continue reading
  • Meet Wizard Spider, the multimillion-dollar gang behind Conti, Ryuk malware
    Russia-linked crime-as-a-service crew is rich, professional – and investing in R&D

    Analysis Wizard Spider, the Russia-linked crew behind high-profile malware Conti, Ryuk and Trickbot, has grown over the past five years into a multimillion-dollar organization that has built a corporate-like operating model, a year-long study has found.

    In a technical report this week, the folks at Prodaft, which has been tracking the cybercrime gang since 2021, outlined its own findings on Wizard Spider, supplemented by info that leaked about the Conti operation in February after the crooks publicly sided with Russia during the illegal invasion of Ukraine.

    What Prodaft found was a gang sitting on assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars funneled from multiple sophisticated malware variants. Wizard Spider, we're told, runs as a business with a complex network of subgroups and teams that target specific types of software, and has associations with other well-known miscreants, including those behind REvil and Qbot (also known as Qakbot or Pinkslipbot).

    Continue reading
  • Supreme Court urged to halt 'unconstitutional' Texas content-no-moderation law
    Everyone's entitled to a viewpoint but what's your viewpoint on what exactly is and isn't a viewpoint?

    A coalition of advocacy groups on Tuesday asked the US Supreme Court to block Texas' social media law HB 20 after the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals last week lifted a preliminary injunction that had kept it from taking effect.

    The Lone Star State law, which forbids large social media platforms from moderating content that's "lawful-but-awful," as advocacy group the Center for Democracy and Technology puts it, was approved last September by Governor Greg Abbott (R). It was immediately challenged in court and the judge hearing the case imposed a preliminary injunction, preventing the legislation from being enforced, on the basis that the trade groups opposing it – NetChoice and CCIA – were likely to prevail.

    But that injunction was lifted on appeal. That case continues to be litigated, but thanks to the Fifth Circuit, HB 20 can be enforced even as its constitutionality remains in dispute, hence the coalition's application [PDF] this month to the Supreme Court.

    Continue reading
  • How these crooks backdoor online shops and siphon victims' credit card info
    FBI and co blow lid off latest PHP tampering scam

    The FBI and its friends have warned businesses of crooks scraping people's credit-card details from tampered payment pages on compromised websites.

    It's an age-old problem: someone breaks into your online store and alters the code so that as your customers enter their info, copies of their data is siphoned to fraudsters to exploit. The Feds this week have detailed one such effort that reared its head lately.

    As early as September 2020, we're told, miscreants compromised at least one American company's vulnerable website from three IP addresses: 80[.]249.207.19, 80[.]82.64.211 and 80[.]249.206.197. The intruders modified the web script TempOrders.php in an attempt to inject malicious code into the checkout.php page.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022