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This project provides a simple library and CLI for converting YAML to JSON, written separately in Python and Go.


Build the Go utilities:

$ go get -u{yaml2json,json2yaml}

Convert YAML → JSON:

# read from stdin
$ [... generate some YAML...] | yaml2json

# read from a file
$ yaml2json foo.yaml

Convert JSON → YAML:

# read from stdin
$ [... generate some JSON...] | json2yaml

# read from a file
$ json2yaml foo.json

In all cases, the output is to stdout.


Some programs and utilities only support JSON as their configuration input format; however, JSON is very strict and limited (which makes it great for computers and programs), but it's insufficient for the needs of human developers. A number of issues result from humans directly editing JSON:

  • JSON does not support comments, so it's not possible to add context or annotations for why something is the way it is
  • JSON is quite verbose, requiring double quotes around each field name
  • JSON requires commas at the end of each key/value pair, but disallows a comma after the last key/value in an object — this is minor, but still somewhat tedious to have to remember to deal with

Thus, it's easier to write simple configs in YAML, but in that case, we find ourselves in need of having a simple YAML-to-JSON converter, and rather than re-implement the same simple converter within each project, I wanted to have a stand-alone project which has this already pre-built.


Or, why not [another language] instead?

Because YAML is (mostly) simple, readable, and well-known. It supports comments, does not require double quotes, or commas after fields. For many use cases, what's needed is a simple hierarchical configuration format with comments for annotating rationale, providing context, or links to related work. In those cases, advanced features such as computation, reuse, or overrides are unnecessary. If you need those types of features, you can use a language such as Jsonnet, which supports templates and overrides, and it has its own conversion to JSON.


See for details.


Apache 2.0; see LICENSE for details.


This project is not an official Google project. It is not supported by Google and Google specifically disclaims all warranties as to its quality, merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose.