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Versions: 00 01 02                                                      
HTTPAPI                                                         R. Polli
Internet-Draft     Digital Transformation Department, Italian Government
Intended status: Informational                                  E. Wilde
Expires: 25 December 2022                                          Axway
                                                                  E. Aro
                                                                 Mozilla
                                                            23 June 2022


                            YAML Media Type
                 draft-ietf-httpapi-yaml-mediatypes-02

Abstract

   This document registers the application/yaml media type and the +yaml
   structured syntax suffix on the IANA Media Types registry.

Note to Readers

   _RFC EDITOR: please remove this section before publication_

   Discussion of this draft takes place on the HTTP APIs working group
   mailing list (httpapi@ietf.org), which is archived at
   https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/browse/httpapi/
   (https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/browse/httpapi/).

   The source code and issues list for this draft can be found at
   https://github.com/ietf-wg-httpapi/mediatypes (https://github.com/
   ietf-wg-httpapi/mediatypes).

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at https://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on 25 December 2022.





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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2022 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents (https://trustee.ietf.org/
   license-info) in effect on the date of publication of this document.
   Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights
   and restrictions with respect to this document.  Code Components
   extracted from this document must include Revised BSD License text as
   described in Section 4.e of the Trust Legal Provisions and are
   provided without warranty as described in the Revised BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     1.1.  Notational Conventions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     1.2.  Fragment identification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  Media Type and Structured Syntax Suffix registrations . . . .   4
     2.1.  Media Type application/yaml . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     2.2.  The +yaml Structured Syntax Suffix  . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   3.  Interoperability Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     3.1.  YAML is an Evolving Language  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     3.2.  YAML and JSON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     3.3.  Fragment identifiers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   4.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     4.1.  Arbitrary Code Execution  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     4.2.  Resource Exhaustion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   5.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   6.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
     6.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
     6.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   Appendix A.  Examples related to fragment identifier
           interoperability  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     A.1.  Unreferenceable nodes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     A.2.  Referencing a missing node  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     A.3.  Representation graph with anchors and cyclic
           references  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   Appendix B.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   FAQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   Change Log  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
     Since draft-ietf-httpapi-yaml-mediatypes-01 . . . . . . . . . .  14
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14







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1.  Introduction

   YAML [YAML] is a data serialization format that is widely used on the
   Internet, including in the API sector (e.g. see [OAS]), but the
   relevant media type and structured syntax suffix previously had not
   been registered by IANA.

   To increase interoperability when exchanging YAML data and leverage
   content negotiation mechanisms when exchanging YAML resources, this
   specification registers the application/yaml media type and the +yaml
   structured syntax suffix.

   Moreover, it provides security considerations and interoperability
   considerations related to [YAML], including its relation with [JSON].

1.1.  Notational Conventions

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in
   BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all
   capitals, as shown here.  These words may also appear in this
   document in lower case as plain English words, absent their normative
   meanings.

   This document uses the Augmented BNF defined in [RFC5234] and updated
   by [RFC7405].

   The terms "content", "content negotiation", "resource", and "user
   agent" in this document are to be interpreted as in [SEMANTICS].

   The terms "fragment" and "fragment identifier" in this document are
   to be interpreted as in [URI].

   The terms "node", "alias node", "anchor" and "named anchor" in this
   document are to be intepreded as in [YAML].

1.2.  Fragment identification

   This section describes how to use alias nodes (see Section 3.2.2.2
   and 7.1 of [YAML]) as fragment identifiers to designate nodes.

   A YAML alias node can be represented in a URI fragment identifier by
   encoding it into octects using UTF-8 [UTF-8], while percent-encoding
   those characters not allowed by the fragment rule in Section 3.5 of
   [URI].





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   If multiple nodes would match a fragment identifier, the first such
   match is selected.

   A fragment identifier is not guaranteed to reference an existing
   node.  Therefore, applications SHOULD define how an unresolved alias
   node ought to be handled.

   Users concerned with interoperability of fragment identifiers:

   *  SHOULD limit alias nodes to a set of characters that do not
      require encoding to be expressed as URI fragment identifiers: this
      is generally possible since named anchors are a serialization
      detail;

   *  SHOULD NOT use alias nodes that match multiple nodes.

   In the example resource below, the URL file.yaml#*foo references the
   alias node *foo pointing to the node with value scalar; whereas the
   URL file.yaml#*bar references the alias node *bar pointing to the
   node with value [ some, sequence, items ].

    %YAML 1.2
    ---
    one: &foo scalar
    two: &bar
      - some
      - sequence
      - items

2.  Media Type and Structured Syntax Suffix registrations

   This section describes the information required to register the above
   media type according to [MEDIATYPE]

2.1.  Media Type application/yaml

   The media type for YAML text is application/yaml; the following
   information serves as the registration form for this media type.

   Type name:  application

   Subtype name:  yaml

   Required parameters:  None

   Optional parameters:  None; unrecognized parameters should be ignored

   Encoding considerations:  binary



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   Security considerations:  see Section 4 of this document

   Interoperability considerations:  see Section 3 of this document

   Published specification:  [YAML]

   Applications that use this media type:  HTTP

   Fragment identifier considerations:  An empty fragment identifier
      references the root node.

      A fragment identifier starting with "*" is to be interpreted as a
      YAML alias node Section 1.2.

      A fragment identifier starting with "/" is to be interpreted as a
      JSON Pointer [JSON-POINTER] and is evaluated on the YAML
      representation graph, walking through alias nodes; this syntax can
      only reference YAML nodes that are on a path that is made up of
      nodes interoperable with the JSON data model (see Section 3.2).

   Additional information:

   *  Deprecated alias names for this type: application/x-yaml, text/
      yaml, text/x-yaml

   *  Magic number(s) n/a

   *  File extension(s): yaml, yml

   *  Macintosh file type code(s): n/a

   Person and email address to contact for further information:  See Aut
      hors' Addresses section.

   Intended usage:  COMMON

   Restrictions on usage:  None.

   Author:  See Authors' Addresses section.

   Change controller:  n/a

2.2.  The +yaml Structured Syntax Suffix

   The suffix +yaml MAY be used with any media type whose representation
   follows that established for application/yaml.  The media type
   structured syntax suffix registration form follows.  See [MEDIATYPE]
   for definitions of each of the registration form headings.



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   Name:  YAML Ain't Markup Language (YAML)

   +suffix:  +yaml

   References:  [YAML]

   Encoding considerations:  see Section 2.1

   Fragment identifier considerations:  Differently from application/
      yaml, there is no fragment identification syntax defined for
      +yaml.

      A specific xxx/yyy+yaml media type needs to define the syntax and
      semantics for fragment identifiers because the ones in Section 2.1
      do not apply unless explicitly expressed.

   Interoperability considerations:  See Section 2.1

   Security considerations:  See Section 2.1

   Contact:  See Authors' Addresses section.

   Author:  See Authors' Addresses section

   Change controller:  n/a

3.  Interoperability Considerations

3.1.  YAML is an Evolving Language

   YAML is an evolving language and, over time, some features have been
   added and others removed.

   While this document is based on a given YAML version [YAML], the
   media type registration does not imply a specific version.  This
   allows content negotiation of version-independent YAML resources.

   Implementers concerned about features related to a specific YAML
   version can specify it in documents using the %YAML directive (see
   Section 6.8.1 of [YAML]).

3.2.  YAML and JSON

   When using flow collection styles (see Section 7.4 of [YAML]) a YAML
   document could look like JSON [JSON], thus similar interoperability
   considerations apply.





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   When using YAML as a more efficient format to serialize information
   intented to be consumed as JSON, information can be discarded: this
   includes comments (see Section 3.2.3.3 of [YAML]) and alias nodes
   (see Section 7.1 of [YAML]), that do not have a JSON counterpart.

   # This comment will be lost
   # when serializing in JSON.
   Title:
     type: string
     maxLength: &text_limit 64

   Name:
     type: string
     maxLength: *text_limit  # Replaced by the value 64.

          Figure 1: JSON replaces alias nodes with static values.

   Implementers need to ensure that relevant information will not be
   lost during the processing.  For example, they might consider
   acceptable that alias nodes are replaced by static values.

   In some cases an implementer may want to define a list of allowed
   YAML features, taking into account that the following ones might have
   interoperability issues with JSON:

   *  non UTF-8 encoding, since YAML supports UTF-16 and UTF-32 in
      addition to UTF-8;

   *  mapping keys that are not strings;

   *  circular references represented using anchor (see Section 4.2 and
      Figure 3);

   *  .inf and .nan float values, since JSON does not support them;

   *  non-JSON types, including the ones associated with tags like
      !!timestamp that were included in the default schema of older YAML
      versions;

   *  tags in general, and specifically the ones that do not map to JSON
      types like custom and local tags such as !!python/object and
      !mytag (see Section 2.4 of [YAML]);









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    %YAML 1.2
    ---
    non-json-keys:
      0: a number
      2020-01-01: a timestamp
      [0, 1]: a sequence
      ? {k: v}
      : a map
    non-json-value: 2020-01-01

          Figure 2: Example of mapping keys not supported in JSON

3.3.  Fragment identifiers

   To allow fragment identifiers to traverse alias nodes, the YAML
   representation graph needs to be generated before the fragment
   identifier evaluation.  It is important that this evaluation will not
   cause the issues mentioned in Section 3.2 and in Security
   considerations (Section 4) such as infinite loops and unexpected code
   execution.

   Implementers need to consider that the YAML version and supported
   features (e.g. merge keys) can impact on the generation of the
   representation graph (see Figure 8).

   In Section 2.1, this document extends the use of specifications based
   on the JSON data model with support for YAML fragment identifiers.
   This is to improve the interoperability of already consolidated
   practices, such as the one of writing OpenAPI documents [OAS] in
   YAML.

   Appendix A provides a non exhaustive list of examples that could help
   understanding interoperability issues related to fragment
   identifiers.

4.  Security Considerations

   Security requirements for both media type and media type suffix
   registrations are discussed in Section 4.6 of [MEDIATYPE].

4.1.  Arbitrary Code Execution

   Care should be used when using YAML tags, because their resolution
   might trigger unexpected code execution.







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   Code execution in deserializers should be disabled by default, and
   only be enabled explicitly.  In those cases, the implementation
   should ensure - for example, via specific functions - that the code
   execution results in strictly bounded time/memory limits.

   Many implementations provide safe deserializers addressing these
   issues.

4.2.  Resource Exhaustion

   YAML documents are rooted, connected, directed graphs and can contain
   reference cycles, so they can't be treated as simple trees (see
   Section 3.2.1 of [YAML]).  An implementation that attempts to do that
   can infinite-loop traversing the YAML representation graph at some
   point, for example:

   *  when trying to serialize it JSON;

   *  or when searching/identifying nodes using specifications based on
      the JSON data model (e.g.  [JSON-POINTER]).

   x: &x
     y: *x

                        Figure 3: A cyclic document

   Even if a document is not cyclic, treating it as a simple tree could
   lead to improper behaviors (such as the "billion laughs" problem).

   x1: &a1 ["a", "a"]
   x2: &a2 [*a1, *a1]
   x3: &a3 [*a2, *a2]

                    Figure 4: A billion laughs document

   This can be addressed using processors limiting the anchor recursion
   depth and validating the input before processing it; even in these
   cases it is important to carefully test the implementation you are
   going to use.  The same considerations apply when serializing a YAML
   representation graph in a format that does not support reference
   cycles (see Section 3.2).

5.  IANA Considerations

   This specification defines the following new Internet media type
   [MEDIATYPE].





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   IANA has updated the "Media Types" registry at
   https://www.iana.org/assignments/media-types
   (https://www.iana.org/assignments/media-types) with the registration
   information provided below.

            +==================+==============================+
            | Media Type       | Section                      |
            +==================+==============================+
            | application/yaml | Section 2.1 of this document |
            +------------------+------------------------------+

                                  Table 1

   IANA has updated the "Structured Syntax Suffixes" registry at
   https://www.iana.org/assignments/media-type-structured-suffix
   (https://www.iana.org/assignments/media-type-structured-suffix) with
   the registration information provided below.

                 +========+==============================+
                 | Suffix | Section                      |
                 +========+==============================+
                 | +yaml  | Section 2.2 of this document |
                 +--------+------------------------------+

                                  Table 2

6.  References

6.1.  Normative References

   [JSON]     Bray, T., Ed., "The JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) Data
              Interchange Format", STD 90, RFC 8259,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8259, December 2017,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8259>.

   [JSON-POINTER]
              Bryan, P., Ed., Zyp, K., and M. Nottingham, Ed.,
              "JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) Pointer", RFC 6901,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6901, April 2013,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc6901>.

   [MEDIATYPE]
              Freed, N., Klensin, J., and T. Hansen, "Media Type
              Specifications and Registration Procedures", BCP 13,
              RFC 6838, DOI 10.17487/RFC6838, January 2013,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc6838>.





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   [OAS]      Darrel Miller, Jeremy Whitlock, Marsh Gardiner, Mike
              Ralphson, Ron Ratovsky, and Uri Sarid, "OpenAPI
              Specification 3.0.0", 26 July 2017.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc2119>.

   [RFC5234]  Crocker, D., Ed. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax
              Specifications: ABNF", STD 68, RFC 5234,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5234, January 2008,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc5234>.

   [RFC7405]  Kyzivat, P., "Case-Sensitive String Support in ABNF",
              RFC 7405, DOI 10.17487/RFC7405, December 2014,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc7405>.

   [RFC8174]  Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC
              2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174,
              May 2017, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8174>.

   [SEMANTICS]
              Fielding, R. T., Nottingham, M., and J. Reschke, "HTTP
              Semantics", Work in Progress, Internet-Draft, draft-ietf-
              httpbis-semantics-19, 12 September 2021,
              <https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/html/draft-ietf-httpbis-
              semantics-19>.

   [URI]      Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter, "Uniform
              Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax", STD 66,
              RFC 3986, DOI 10.17487/RFC3986, January 2005,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc3986>.

   [UTF-8]    Yergeau, F., "UTF-8, a transformation format of ISO
              10646", STD 63, RFC 3629, DOI 10.17487/RFC3629, November
              2003, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc3629>.

   [YAML]     Oren Ben-Kiki, Clark Evans, Ingy dot Net, Tina Müller,
              Pantelis Antoniou, Eemeli Aro, and Thomas Smith, "YAML
              Ain't Markup Language Version 1.2", 1 October 2021,
              <https://yaml.org/spec/1.2.2/>.

6.2.  Informative References

   [I-D.ietf-jsonpath-base]
              Gössner, S., Normington, G., and C. Bormann, "JSONPath:
              Query expressions for JSON", Work in Progress, Internet-



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              Draft, draft-ietf-jsonpath-base-05, 25 April 2022,
              <https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/html/draft-ietf-
              jsonpath-base-05>.

Appendix A.  Examples related to fragment identifier interoperability

A.1.  Unreferenceable nodes

   In this example, a couple of YAML nodes that cannot be referenced
   based on the JSON data model since their mapping keys are not
   strings.

    %YAML 1.2
    ---
    a-map-cannot:
      ? {be: expressed}
      : with a JSON Pointer

    0: no numeric mapping keys in JSON

      Figure 5: Example of YAML nodes that are not referenceable based
                            on JSON data model.

A.2.  Referencing a missing node

   In this example the fragment #/0 does not reference an existing node

   0: "JSON Pointer `#/0` references a string mapping key."

       Figure 6: Example of a JSON Pointer that does not reference an
                               existing node.

A.3.  Representation graph with anchors and cyclic references

   In this YAML document, the #/foo/bar/baz fragment identifier
   traverses the representation graph and references the string you.
   Moreover, the presence of a cyclic reference implies that there are
   infinite fragment identifiers #/foo/bat/../bat/bar referencing the
   &anchor node.

    anchor: &anchor
      baz: you
    foo: &foo
      bar: *anchor
      bat: *foo

         Figure 7: Example of a cyclic references and alias nodes.




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   Many YAML implementations will resolve the merge key "<<:"
   (https://yaml.org/type/merge.html) defined in YAML 1.1 in the
   representation graph.  This means that the fragment #/book/author/
   given_name references the string Federico and that the fragment
   #/book/<< will not reference any existing node.

    %YAML 1.1
    ---
    # Many implementations use merge keys.
    the-viceroys: &the-viceroys
      title: The Viceroys
      author:
        given_name: Federico
        family_name: De Roberto
    book:
      <<: *the-viceroys
      title: The Illusion

                   Figure 8: Example of YAML merge keys.

Appendix B.  Acknowledgements

   Thanks to Erik Wilde and David Biesack for being the initial
   contributors of this specification, and to Darrel Miller and Rich
   Salz for their support during the adoption phase.

   In addition to the people above, this document owes a lot to the
   extensive discussion inside and outside the HTTPAPI workgroup.  The
   following contributors have helped improve this specification by
   opening pull requests, reporting bugs, asking smart questions,
   drafting or reviewing text, and evaluating open issues:

   Tina (tinita) Mueller, Ben Hutton, Manu Sporny and Jason Desrosiers.

FAQ

   This section is to be removed before publishing as an RFC.

   Q: Why this document?  After all these years, we still lack a proper
      media-type for YAML.  This has some security implications too (eg.
      wrt on identifying parsers or treat downloads)

   Q: Why using alias nodes as fragment identifiers?  Alias nodes starts
      with *. This allow to distinguish a fragment identifier expressed
      as an alias node from one expressed in JSON Pointer [JSON-POINTER]
      which is expected to start with /. Moreover, since json-path
      [I-D.ietf-jsonpath-base] expressions start with $, this mechanism
      is even extensible that specification.



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Change Log

   This section is to be removed before publishing as an RFC.

Since draft-ietf-httpapi-yaml-mediatypes-01

   *  application/yaml fragment identifiers compatible with JSON Pointer
      #41 (#47).

Authors' Addresses

   Roberto Polli
   Digital Transformation Department, Italian Government
   Italy
   Email: robipolli@gmail.com


   Erik Wilde
   Axway
   Switzerland
   Email: erik.wilde@dret.net


   Eemeli Aro
   Mozilla
   Finland
   Email: eemeli@gmail.com
























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