ANN: New PEP Format: reStructuredText

Magnus Lie Hetland mlh at
Sat Aug 31 08:40:45 EDT 2002

In article <mailman.1030796387.5329.python-list at>, Richard
Jones wrote:
>On Sat, 31 Aug 2002 9:44 pm, Magnus Lie Hetland wrote:
>> In article <0z+c7LA8mHc9EwYa at>, Robin Becker wrote:
>> [snip]
>> - Magnus (who finds reStructuredText to be much more complicated than
>>   XML)
>How on earth is this:
>more complex than this...
>... can't see it myself... :)

Heh. Well, without getting into an argument over this, I can try to
explain what I mean.

reStructuredText (as opposed to StructuredText and several other
simpler formats) has lots of syntactic rules for various special
cases. XML has the following rules (more or less):

  Beginning tags: <foo>
  Ending tags:    </foo>
  Empty tags:     <foo/>
  Attributes:     <foo bar="baz"/>
  Tags nest, and beginning/end tags pair up.

A given document format can then list what tags are allowed etc.

To me, this is very simple.

I like plain-text formats, but I reStructuredText is too convoluted
(and has too many strange constructs, like lots of underscores and
double colons etc) for my taste. I'm sure many others (among them, I'm
sure, the designers) will find it to be the perfect balance of
simplicity and functionality.

(And, yes, I am aware that there is a usable, simple subset. But
that's true of TeX and troff too, so... ;)

>     Richard

Magnus Lie Hetland                                  The Anygui Project                        

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