Why the hate?
Twenty-five years ago, my mentor quoted to me, "There are two kinds of languages--those that suck, and those that no body uses." YAML was created to fill the gap between JSON & XML. JSON's view that all of the world is a forest of six things is obviously incomplete. XML is not even a little bit human-readable.
Personally, I find YAML easier to parse than even pretty printed JSON. YMMV on that, but JSON simply cannot admit loops in the node graph, or indeed, object references of any kind. To me that is a fatal limitation in many cases.
But human readable does not imply human writeable. I have NEVER written a YAML file, or changed the structure of a document by hand. The wise course of action is to read it into an object into your REPL, update the object, and write it back out.
It appears that a significant part of the complaint against YAML has to do with K8s. First, as I mentioned, if you are hand-editing a YAML file, you're being a masochist. Second, the recommended YAML library for go is broken. (The Billion LOLs attack on XML broke go's reader & no other...) Third, and the complaint here appears to be self-contradictory, if the files in question aren't to be read by humans, then certainly YAML is not the best way to go (and Google is REALLY big on protobuf) but how would anyone know unless they were reading the files?
Active white space is problematic--if your editor thinks it can/should replace things for you. But that's the real problem--don't edit YAML files. Generate them.