reStructured Text - suitable for non-documentation?

David Goodger goodger at
Mon Jun 2 16:24:33 CEST 2003

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

And it's getting more capable all the time, from users' feature requests.

> Who is using reStructured Text actively?

Lots of people.  Do a Google search for "generated by docutils from 
restructuredtext source" to see a sample (that text can be generated as 
a footer).  Search for "restructuredtext" (one word) or "restructured 
text" (two) to see lots of articles about it as well.

> Who's using it for things other than Python documentation?

People are using it to make web pages, to write books, and more.

> How applicable do you think it is for non-documentation text?

Very (but I'm biased).  Let us know what you think.

> Are there non-Python tools for processing it (preferably PHP)?

Mark Nodine is working on a Perl version, but it isn't released yet. 
Haven't heard of anything in PHP.

> Am I insane for even thinking of such a thing?

Not at all.  Multiple implementations would be welcome.  Docutils and 
reStructuredText are still very much in development though, evolving as 
needs arise.

> Are there better alternatives (i.e. ones specifically designed for
> marking up web page content in plain text)?

I don't know about "better", but there are a number of alternatives out 
there with different design philosophies.  There's Textile/PyTextile, 
which is like an HTML shorthand, which might be suitable for your task.

David Goodger    Projects:
   * Python Docutils:
     (includes reStructuredText:
   * The Go Tools Project:

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