⭐ Making Steps Inputs/Outputs Human Friendly

Hello there Activepiecers :smiley: !

We have been listening to your feedback and to improve your experience and make things even more intuitive, we have decided to switch from JSON format to YAML format for step outputs and inputs :star2:

Let us know what you think of this in the comments :arrow_down:

This change is only representational, it won’t affect how things are running at all.

EDIT: We reverted back to JSON check the comment below ⭐ Making Steps Inputs/Outputs Human Friendly - #29 by abuaboud


If no one else is commenting, I will, this looks dope! Thanks, Abdul. As per your addenum, it not affecting how things are run seems like a “have your cake and eat it too” situation :muscle:

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Nice! I think for many not technical people things will look more clearly even though JSON is nog difficult to read.

Keep up the good work!


I guess I’ll take the other side of the argument, I prefer JSON :man_shrugging:

YAML is decent though.

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I was quiet enthousiastic, but is this lay-out coming with this update to YAML?

Everything is now on one line and i can’t work with this. Espicialy as I have values which are that long that the end is truncated, and I am not able to modify any other keys/values which are behind that long value…

Hi @Stockton

Interesting though we still use JSON behind the scene, Is there any reason or way you would describe your preference like what it makes you feel?

Hi @Bram can you please send me a message with a sample of your input ?
also if you hover over the input you will see scrollbars to see your content.

Hello @Bram, btw you could use the little beautify button at the top right corner of your json input to have a better viewable json format for you to read, you have 18935 characters on one line.

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Partly because I’m just used to JSON and it’s very intuitive to use. But there are other reasons:

  1. JSON is what’s used by every other tool. When you are debugging a request or the data, a lot of times you’ll just copy and paste the JSON data to run in Postman or test in others ways… now you can’t do that.
  2. Most people aren’t familiar with YAML, don’t know what it is, why it matters, or what the differences are.
  3. I don’t actually think it’s easier to read… Even the untrained eye can quickly learn to skip over { } and and still be able to pick out what’s happening.

This does it for me in the input part. Thanks

It looks like you’re a technical person of some sort. For most no-code users, seeing { " " : " " } means code to them.

However, this doesn’t have to be called YAML, it’s just a natural view to the data. YAML is also convertible to JSON.

I still think the current format needs some improvement to look totally human readable rather than a step in between JSON and human readable.

Maybe copy and download should still produce JSON? I’m not sure if there is a need to copy or download these in YAML format. Thoughts @Abdul ?


why not a little toggle for us to see it in both YAML and JSON. YAML can be turned on by default.


Yeah a toggle, but also able set a default from settings.


Why do you need to customize this part as much? Isn’t the goal of the output to read and debug? Are there cases where the YAML format won’t do it for you on the UI?

Hi @ashrafsam,

Just send this to Abdul too, how should I read my errors from here? maybe there are some bug in teh display of the YAML, I am not sure btu this does not tell me much.

KR Bram

Now it’s getting interesting😂 @Abdul looks like there are more cases we have to cover in this conversion? Is that a stringified JSON or an actual JSON?

@Bram Do you have an answer or more info?

hi @ashrafsam mmm I think it’s HTML :wink: Abdul should have enough info for further testing I think, I’ve send him the data privately to work with. And we will share the outcome here.

Great, keep us posted!

As a notorious advocate for non-techy-friendliness this looks like a great change!
The YAML format tends to have some odd grammatical nuances that could confuse these people more than basic JSON, but I wouldn’t expect those to show up in plain API responses.

However, as mentioned/experienced by @Stockton and @Bram, this kind of “representation abstraction layer” can (and inevitably will) lead to issues.
If it’s indeed purely representational I’d strongly suggest adding a toggle to fallback to the “bare” JSON representation as @Karim_Yahia suggested. Technical users can then dive in if they need/want to.

Secondly, based on @Bram’s screenshot the YAML seems to be generated with 2-space indentation. I know that this is the recommended default for YAML, but for accessibility reasons this is incredibly hard to use for me and some of my colleagues. It’d be great if we could customize this, though I’d strongly recommend setting the default to 4 spaces to emphasize the “indented tree”-like nature to non-technical users, even for those without accessibility needs 2 spaces are fairly easy to miss.


I was thinking of a toggle to switch between formats, but I think that will just confuse no code users.
Your suggestion is correct, people can download/copy the YAML they see and use something like YAML to JSON Converter Online to convert their files.

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