Use YAML front matter for metadata

Context and Problem Statement

MADR offers the fields “Status”, “Deciders”, and “Date”. These are a kind of metadata fields. Should this data be included in the ADR directly, or should it be separated somehow?

Decision Drivers

  • Easy to read
  • Easy to write

Considered Options

  • Use YAML front matter
  • Use plain Markdown everywhere

Decision Outcome

Chosen option: “Use YAML front matter”, because comes out best (see below).

Pros and Cons of the Options

Use YAML front matter


status: accepted

## Context and problem statement

We want to record architectural decisions made in this project.
Which format and structure should these records follow?

Rendered output:

adr-013 rendered output

  • Good, because it shortens the body (essence of the ADR)
  • Good, because tools can handle it more easily
  • Good, because indicates the lower importance of the data
  • Bad, because pretends to be more accurate than it can be (e.g., possible status values)
  • Bad, because rendering not standardized
  • Bad, because not all Markdown parsers can parse it

Use plain Markdown everywhere

  • Good, because all parsers can handle it
  • Bad, because special markdown parsing tooling is needed
  • Bad, because metadata is handled the same way as the content

More Information

ADR-0008 reasons on adding metadata (such as status).