[Doc-SIG] Why isn't docutils in the Python standard library yet?
jeff at taupro.com
Fri Jan 2 04:15:48 CET 2009
ex cord wrote:
> I notice that the Python documentation is written in reStructuredText,
> but that docutils is not part of the Python standard library. Is there
> any reason why docutils doesn't come stock with Python? Is it missing
> critical features? What's holding it back?
There is a document outlining what needs to be improved in docutils before it
is ready for inclusion in the standard library:
or if that URL causes you trouble, the same page using tinyurl:
> For comparison, when you install Perl, the basic tools for reading POD
> (and converting it to other formats) come standard. And this is
> *Perl*, where there's supposed to be more than one way to do it and
> they very rarely impose any standard way to do anything upon the user.
> Quick observation to mention: I can't remember the last time I looked
> at the docs for a Python distribution and they weren't formatted in
Also remember that some projects do not want to be included in the standard
library because they have different release cycles and bug trackers.
That said, I look forward to the day it is included as it has become a key
part of so much I do these days. There are parts of docutils showing their
age that need work, support for eggs-based plugins that has caused several
public problems re pathing conflicts, folding in the excellent work done in
the Sphinx framework for marking up Python, which needs to be added to the
It seems the set of developers is too small. Certainly with David Goodger (a
major force behind docutils) acting as chair of PyCon last year and this
year, and taking on as of Dec 2008 a full-time position with the PSF, there is
a need for additional developers to come forward and get excited about the
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