reStructured Text - suitable for non-documentation?

Ben Finney bignose-hates-spam at
Mon Jun 2 04:31:44 CEST 2003

Howdy all,

I'm engaged on a low-priority, long-term project to "refactor" my web
pages.  I don't want the content in a database; I'm much more
comfortable editing text files.  However, I do want content to be
completely separate from presentation markup or code.

So I've been investigating the various plain-text markup schemes
available.  I.e., the ones where the idea is that the source be
reasonably readable as a plain-text document, and existing plain-text
"markup" conventions be leveraged as much as possible.  The Wiki
schemes, the BB schemes, et al are all in this group.  None of them are
particularly satisfactory though.

My latest investigation is of reStructured Text, the proposed docutil
markup scheme:


This seems a well thought out scheme, with coverage of most of the
things I want to do in web pages.

So, some questions:

Who is using reStructured Text actively?
Who's using it for things other than Python documentation?
How applicable do you think it is for non-documentation text?
Are there non-Python tools for processing it (preferably PHP)?
Am I insane for even thinking of such a thing?
Are there better alternatives (i.e. ones specifically designed for
marking up web page content in plain text)?

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