Failure to parse sequences as key

Issue #54 new
Lars Kellogg-Stedman
created an issue

I encountered a YAML file that contains syntax like the following:

? - 0
  - 100
: This is a sample.

While this is perfectly valid YAML, PyYAML chokes on it with:

yaml.constructor.ConstructorError: while constructing a mapping
  in "sample.yaml", line 1, column 1
found unacceptable key (unhashable type: 'list')
  in "sample.yaml", line 1, column 3

And this is of course the sequence argument to the ? indicator is producing a Python list, which can't be used as a dictionary key. What about just transforming lists into tuples if they are the key in a mapping object? E.g., like this:

diff --git a/lib/yaml/ b/lib/yaml/
index 635faac..87192a5 100644
--- a/lib/yaml/
+++ b/lib/yaml/
@@ -124,8 +124,11 @@ class BaseConstructor(object):
         mapping = {}
         for key_node, value_node in node.value:
-            key = self.construct_object(key_node, deep=deep)
+            is_sequence = isinstance(key_node, SequenceNode)
+            key = self.construct_object(key_node, deep=deep or is_sequence)
+                if is_sequence:
+                    key = tuple(key)
             except TypeError, exc:
                 raise ConstructorError("while constructing a mapping", node.start_mark,

This permits PyYAML to correctly parse the given syntax...but I'm not familiar enough with PyYAML to know if this is going to break something else.

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