Is YAML becoming a thing of the past?


I started using Hassio on a Raspberry Pi in Jan 2019. Not going to lie, I’ve done basic stuff, mainly because I get very little time to mess with it. I’ve only added the following relays for simply toggling loads, Sonoff basic, and shelly 2.5. Also, I have a Sonoff RF bridge (tasmota) with one PIR sensor and door contact. I’ve only messed around with one automation for the PIR sensor in my living room… A while back, I remember seeing some comments/posts about “YAML going away.”

Fast forward to now. I’m ready to start harnessing the full power of HA and start using Node-Red. So, lest week I started over and did a new install of HA supervised on a dedicated i5 machine. When I read through the HA documentation, most of it still references the YAML way of configuring things. I’m confused. Is YAML becoming a thing of the past in HA? At the moment, I don’t understand how to configure groups via the web UI, and I don’t know how to add the 433mhz sensors to HA via the web UI, i.e., the non YAML way.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated!


I also started 2 times with HA, still a novice though. My impression is the developer dont know yet. The system grows more and more complex also offering “many ways to Rome”. There a GUI editosr for some elements, for some not. There a YAML config files for the GUI Lovelace but you can also config via the Webend… etc…
Documentation is always behind these ideas and “branches”.
In my understanding the YAML config files are too essential for the whole setup to be abandoned in the near future.

To say this has been a ‘controversial’ topic would be an understatement. Have a read of and the discussion that followed.


You can’t. There is no UI support for the rfbridge (tasmota)

There are MANY MANY Things that you can do with the GUI.
There are MANY MANY More that you can’t.

I know that the devs are working on trying to level the playing field AND are actively delaying some aspects of HA until the GUI can catch up.

All said though, if all you want/need is to put this on at that time or Turn this on when that goes off OR “Ooooh ! it’s sunset Turn on a Porch Light” - Then the GUI will suit you fine.

A complication arises when you want to insert a template (which is possible from the GUI editor now (I believe, I’m a yaml man)) What do you put in ? It’s a bit like saying “I want a bedtime story for my kid” - Insert one here.
You have to know something about the elements involved, how they interact and how to layout your logic so that the “Story” is about the right subject and comes away with the right result.
That’s not anything the GUI can ever get right - for example (and it’s ficticious) : -

I live at a lattitude of (say) 60 degrees (So my sunsets vary quite a bit and the time between sunset and dusk also varies quite a bit)
I want my Porch light to come on at 3 degrees above the horizon (so a more consistent light level than a time interval) but only if someone is home Or someone is within 5 miles of home And it’s a Weekday. Oh and if ‘everyone’ is home just rely on the motion sensor turning the light on and off.

Good luck with that in the GUI

So the danger is you do the simple stuff and you come to the forum for a “Guru” to write you a template and you keep doing that, What are you learning ? Who is actually controlling your setup ? Can you take pride in the work of others ? How long before the “Guru” gets fed up with your "can I get one like that but with chocolate instead of pistachio ? " on a regular (or semi-regular) basis ?
Or “you made me one with chocolate but it needs to be triggered by this and not that, how do I change it ?”

Ultimately you will decide for yourselves - And that’s fine too, but is it good for you ?

Edit: Or you’ll go straight to NodeRed and bypass the issue, but may suffer ‘breaking changes’ every so often (it’s not frequent but it’s higher than almost zero).
There are also Issues about support for the GUI - How many threads can you find with solutions to ‘GUI questions’ that actually end up with a GUI solution ?

About the Sonoff RF Bridge, just search the forum, lots of posts where installing is explained.

It actually says when you add an integration that not all are possible from the UI. yet!


For the sonoff rfbridge, everything is explained here :

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Only for integrations (for most but not all integrations).

Everything else like automations, scripts, scenes, etc remains continues to store its data in YAML format. There may be UI-based editors for them but, under the hood, they use YAML for their storage format.

  • Integrations that use the new “config flow” method store their data in JSON format and in a hidden directory (.storage) because the data is not meant to be edited manually (only via the UI).

  • If you use Configuration > Helpers, the input_booleans, input_numbers, etc that you create that way are stored in JSON format in .storage.

  • Lovelace Dashboards are stored as JSON in .storage (unless you choose “YAML mode”).

Thank you for all the replies. It’s a lot of great food for thought.