[Doc-SIG] Applications for Docutils/reStructuredText

David Goodger goodger@users.sourceforge.net
Thu, 09 May 2002 00:09:53 -0400

Moore, Paul wrote:
> I'm not sure what target applications are key for ReST, other than
> Python docstrings, and doc-sig postings :-)

Currently, and until docstring processing has matured, standalone
document processing is the biggest "market".  Here's how Docutils is
actually being applied now:

- HTML: http://docutils.sourceforge.net's HTML is completely
  auto-generated (except for the quickref, which Tony Ibbs
  hand-coded).  I've seen other sites using it as well (in a Google

- Presentations: Richard Jones did some initial work on PythonPoint

- General documentation: Engelbert Gruber is working on ReportLabs PDF

Contrary to the nay-sayers who have claimed that "all we need for
docstrings are paragraphs, bullet lists, and [add a random two or
three other constructs here]", I believe that a rich palette is key.
ReStructuredText is providing a rich palette for input syntax; we're
building a variety of context-aware readers, and writers for multiple
formats.  With a rich, generic syntax and a modular, flexible system,
the range of applications is very wide: from tiny docstrings to huge
documents, and nearly everything in-between.  As components are added,
the possibilities multiply.

David Goodger  <goodger@users.sourceforge.net>  Open-source projects:
  - Python Docutils: http://docutils.sourceforge.net/
    (includes reStructuredText: http://docutils.sf.net/rst.html)
  - The Go Tools Project: http://gotools.sourceforge.net/