"YAML is a human friendly data serialization standard for all programming languages." - yaml.org
The Camel Brief YAML reference
---" separates sections ("documents") of YAML. Using "
--- (YAML lines)
---" for Markdown frontmatter is sort of a hack; "
---" in Markdown will mean a horizontal line, and seeing "
--- (YAML lines)" is YAML-friendly. By definition, "
---" will never appear in a YAML "document" (since it delimits the start of the next document), so it's safe to use the second "
---" to delimit the end of first YAML document -- er, the Markdown front matter.
(In YAML, though, the real end of a document is "
...". So if there's no "
..." at the end of the front matter, a naive YAML parser reading a Markdown file with front matter would expect the Markdown to be a second YAML document, so don't feed your Markdown file with front matter to a naive YAML parser.)
(Ironically (in the Morrisette sense), YAML has its own "front matter"; in a YAML file, before the first "
---", there can be optional "directives". Markdown-with-front-matter doesn't typically have YAML directives, though.)