reStructuredText (reST)

reStructuredText is a complete rewrite of StructuredText by David Goodger.

It is distributed as part of Docutils.

More information:

{i} MoinMoin contains an (incomplete) bridge to the docutils's parser, you can try this by using "#format rst" as the first line of a wiki page. See RestSample for an example. This of course only works when you use the current CVS version, and when docutils is installed.

Reading reST, Writing HTML

There's surprisingly little on the web and in the documentation about reading reST, and writing HTML.

There's documentation on how to read reST, and output an entire HTML document. But if you want just a fragment of HTML, there's almost nothing.

Here are two approaches that have been found.

The "Official" Way

There is no "official" way, but here's a method that works with the reST system.

   1 from docutils import core
   2 from docutils.writers.html4css1 import Writer,HTMLTranslator
   4 class HTMLFragmentTranslator( HTMLTranslator ):
   5     def __init__( self, document ):
   6         HTMLTranslator.__init__( self, document )
   7         self.head_prefix = ['','','','','']
   8         self.body_prefix = []
   9         self.body_suffix = []
  10         self.stylesheet = []
  11     def astext(self):
  12         return ''.join(self.body)
  14 html_fragment_writer = Writer()
  15 html_fragment_writer.translator_class = HTMLFragmentTranslator
  17 def reST_to_html( s ):
  18     return core.publish_string( s, writer = html_fragment_writer )
  20 if __name__ == '__main__':
  21     test = """
  22 H1 text
  23 =======
  25 *Italic* and **Bold.**
  27 ::
  29   # Preformatted,
  30   # For communicating code.
  32   # Yes, it can have spaces.
  34 Here's a `link to`
  36 _
  38 List items:
  40 - item 1
  41 - item 2
  42 - item 3
  43 """
  44     print reST_to_html(test)

If you want everything wrapped in a div tag, (perhaps to, say, delineate a "comment" tag,) you can add the following to the HTMLFragmentTranslator class:

   1     def visit_document(self,node):
   2         self.body.append(self.starttag(node,"div",CLASS="comment"))

These techniques were culled from an ASPN article, and connected comments.

The "Easy" Way

IanBicking has contributed this code, which reads a source text (in reST), and writes HTML:

   1 html = docutils.core.publish_string(
   2            source=text,
   3            writer_name='html')
   4 html = html[html.find('<body>')+6:html.find('</body>')].strip()

"It may feel wrong, but it works, and works reliably."

The "Cool" Way

"This sure is a lot cooler and generates a nice and more kosher html fragment from the 'official' reST-to-html fragment example above."-MaxPa

   1 from docutils import core
   3 def reST_to_html_fragment(a_str):
   4     parts = core.publish_parts(
   5                           source=a_str,
   6                           writer_name='html')
   7     return parts['body_pre_docinfo']+parts['fragment']

See Also:

PyTextile is a similar, but different, text-to-html converter. It was originally intended for HTML fragments, unlike reStructuredText.


I've been having problems getting reST to work from a blog script I've written. It seems that there's a part in Publisher where I'm triggering an exception, and then Publisher calls exit, so I can't see what's wrong.

I'll leave notes here if I figure out how to get around this problem. -- LionKimbro

No luck finding a way to get around the publisher's exit, but I did find something interesting: -- LionKimbro

reStructuredText (last edited 2015-01-10 12:31:31 by WolfgangMaier)

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