Skip to main content

All the annoying things to make YAML usable in a source controlled environment.

Project description

Primary author: Joshua Tauberer <>

This module provides wrappers around pyyaml to set sane defaults:

  • round-tripping YAML files is possible by preserving field order
  • saner output defaults are set for strings
  • a comment block found at the very beginning of a stream when loading YAML is preserved when writing it back out


pip install rtyaml
(or pip3 --- this module works in both Python 2 and Python 3)


import rtyaml
stuff = rtyaml.load(open("myfile.yaml"))
# things to stuf...
rtyaml.dump(stuff, open("myfile.yaml", "w"))

As in the underlying pyyaml library, load accepts a byte string containing YAML, a Unicode string containing YAML, an open binary file object, or an open text file object. Also, the second argument to dump is optional and if omitted the function returns the YAML in a string.

load_all and dump_all are also supported, which load and save lists of documents using YAML’s --- document separator.


  • pyyaml (in Ubuntu, the python-yaml or python3-yaml package)
  • libyaml (in Ubuntu, the libyaml-0-2 package plus, at install time only, libyaml-dev)


This library does the following:

  • Uses the native libyaml CSafeLoader and CDumper for both speed and trustable operations.
  • Parses mappings as OrderedDicts so that the field order remains the same when dumping the file later.
  • Writes unicode strings without any weird YAML tag. They just appear as strings. Output is UTF-8 encoded, and non-ASCII characters appear as Unicode without escaping.
  • Writes multi-line strings in block mode rather than quoted with embedded “n“‘s, choosing between the literal or folded mode depending on what looks better for the length of the lines in the string.
  • Writes mappings and lists in the expanded (one per line) format, which is nice when the output is going in version control.
  • Modifies the string quote rules so that any string made up of digits is serialized with quotes. (The default settings serialize the string “01” with quotes but the string “09” without quotes! (Can you figure out why?))
  • Serializes null values as the tilde rather than as “null” (without quotes), which I think is less confusing.
  • If a block comment appears at the start of the file (i.e. one or more lines starting with a ‘#’), write it back out if the same object is written with rtyaml.dump().

Public domain dedication

This project is dedicated to the public domain, as indicated in the LICENSE file:

The project is in the public domain within the United States, and copyright and related rights in the work worldwide are waived through the CC0 1.0 Universal public domain dedication.

All contributions to this project must be released under the CC0 dedication. By submitting a pull request, you are agreeing to comply with this waiver of copyright interest.

Project details

Release history Release notifications

This version
History Node


History Node


History Node


History Node


Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Filename, size & hash SHA256 hash help File type Python version Upload date
rtyaml-0.0.4-py2.py3-none-any.whl (7.6 kB) Copy SHA256 hash SHA256 Wheel py2.py3 Oct 16, 2017

Supported by

Elastic Elastic Search Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Google Google BigQuery Sentry Sentry Error logging CloudAMQP CloudAMQP RabbitMQ AWS AWS Cloud computing Fastly Fastly CDN DigiCert DigiCert EV certificate StatusPage StatusPage Status page