README: Docutils 0.12
|Copyright:||This document has been placed in the public domain.|
This is for those who want to get up & running quickly.
Docutils requires Python (version 2.4 or later), available from
See Requirements below for details.
Use the latest Docutils code. Get the code from the Subversion repository or from the snapshot:
See Releases & Snapshots below for details.
Unpack the tarball in a temporary directory (not directly in Python's
site-packages), go to the directory created by expanding the archive, and run
setup.py installwith admin rights. On Windows systems it may be sufficient to double-click
See Installation below for details.
Use the front-end scripts to convert reStructuredText documents. Try for example:
rst2html.py FAQ.txt FAQ.html (Unix) python tools/rst2html.py FAQ.txt FAQ.html (Windows)
See Usage below for details.
The purpose of the Docutils project is to create a set of tools for processing plaintext documentation into useful formats, such as HTML, XML, and LaTeX. Support for the following sources has been implemented:
- Standalone files.
- PEPs (Python Enhancement Proposals).
Support for the following sources is planned:
- Inline documentation from Python modules and packages, extracted with namespace context.
- Email (RFC-822 headers, quoted excerpts, signatures, MIME parts).
- Wikis, with global reference lookups of "wiki links".
- Compound documents, such as multiple chapter files merged into a book.
- And others as discovered.
While we are trying to follow a "release early & often" policy, features are added very frequently. Since the code in the Subversion repository is usually in a bug-free state, we recommend that you use the current snapshot (which is usually updated within an hour of changes being committed to the repository):
- Snapshot of Docutils code, documentation, front-end tools, and tests: http://docutils.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/docutils/trunk/docutils/?view=tar
- Snapshot of the Sandbox (experimental, contributed code): http://docutils.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/docutils/trunk/sandbox/?view=tar
To keep up to date on the latest developments, download fresh copies of the snapshots regularly or use a working copy of the Subversion repository.
Docutils uses the following packages for enhanced functionality, if they are installed:
- The Python Imaging Library, or PIL, is used for some image manipulation operations.
- The Pygments syntax highlighter is used for content of code directives and roles.
The Docutils codebase is written for Python 2 and uses "on-demand" translation for porting to Python 3.
- The setup.py script generates Python 3 compatible sources in
build/and tests in
tests3/sub-directories during installation with Python 3.
- The scripts in the
tools/sub-directory work with all supported Python versions without conversion.
- To convert the sources without installing (e.g. for testing), run
python3 setup.py build.
- When editing the source, do changes on the Python 2 versions of the files and re-run the build command.
Using Docutils with Python 3.x is less tested and might still have some issues.
- README.txt: You're reading it.
- COPYING.txt: Public Domain Dedication and copyright details for non-public-domain files (most are PD).
- FAQ.txt: Frequently Asked Questions (with answers!).
- RELEASE-NOTES.txt: Summary of the major changes in recent releases.
- HISTORY.txt: A detailed change log, for the current and all previous project releases.
- BUGS.txt: Known bugs, and how to report a bug.
- THANKS.txt: List of contributors.
- setup.py: Installation script. See "Installation" below.
- install.py: Quick & dirty installation script. Just run it. For any kind of customization or help though, setup.py must be used.
- docutils: The project source directory, installed as a Python package.
- docs: The project documentation directory. Read
docs/index.txtfor an overview.
- docs/user: The project user documentation directory. Contains the
following documents, among others:
- docs/user/tools.txt: Docutils Front-End Tools
- docs/user/latex.txt: Docutils LaTeX Writer
- docs/user/rst/quickstart.txt: A ReStructuredText Primer
- docs/user/rst/quickref.html: Quick reStructuredText (HTML only)
- docs/ref: The project reference directory.
docs/ref/rst/restructuredtext.txtis the reStructuredText reference.
- licenses: Directory containing copies of license files for non-public-domain files.
- tools: Directory for Docutils front-end tools. See
- test: Unit tests. Not required to use the software, but very useful if you're planning to modify it. See Running the Test Suite below.
Generated directories when installing under Python 3:
- build: Converted sources.
- test3: Converted tests.
The first step is to expand the
.tgz archive in a temporary
directory (not directly in Python's
contains a distutils setup file "setup.py". OS-specific installation
Open a shell.
Go to the directory created by expanding the archive:
Install the package (you may need root permissions to complete this step):
su (enter admin password) python setup.py install
If the python executable isn't on your path, you'll have to specify the complete path, such as
To install for a specific Python version, use this version in the setup call, e.g.
python3.1 setup.py install
To install for different Python versions, repeat step 3 for every required version. The last installed version will be used in the shebang line of the
install.py. If this doesn't work, try the
Open a DOS Box (Command Shell, MS-DOS Prompt, or whatever they're calling it these days).
Go to the directory created by expanding the archive:
Install the package:
<path_to_python.exe>\python setup.py install
To install for a specific python version, specify the Python executable for this version.
To install for different Python versions, repeat step 3 for every required version.
There are many front-end tools in the unpacked "tools" subdirectory.
Installation under Unix places copies in the PATH.
You may want to begin with the "rst2html.py" front-end tool. Most
tools take up to two arguments, the source path and destination path,
with STDIN and STDOUT being the defaults. Use the "--help" option to
the front-end tools for details on options and arguments. See
Docutils Front-End Tools (
docs/user/tools.txt) for full documentation.
The package modules are continually growing and evolving. The
docutils.statemachine module is usable independently. It contains
extensive inline documentation (in reStructuredText format of course).
Contributions are welcome!
After unpacking and installing the Docutils package, the following shell commands will generate HTML for all included documentation:
cd <archive_directory_path>/tools ./buildhtml.py ../
On Windows systems, type:
cd <archive_directory_path>\tools python buildhtml.py ..
The final directory name of the
"docutils" for snapshots. For official releases, the directory may be
called "docutils-X.Y.Z", where "X.Y.Z" is the release version.
cd <archive_directory_path> tools/buildhtml.py --config=tools/docutils.conf (Unix) python tools\buildhtml.py --config=tools\docutils.conf (Windows)
Some files may generate system messages (warnings and errors). The
docs/user/rst/demo.txt file (under the archive directory) contains
five intentional errors. (They test the error reporting mechanism!)
The test suite is documented in Docutils Testing (docs/dev/testing.txt).
To run the entire test suite, open a shell and use the following commands:
cd <archive_directory_path>/test ./alltests.py
Under Windows, type:
cd <archive_directory_path>\test python alltests.py
For testing with Python 3 use the converted test suite:
cd <archive_directory_path>/test3 python3 alltests.py
You should see a long line of periods, one for each test, and then a summary like this:
Ran 1111 tests in 24.653s OK Elapsed time: 26.189 seconds
The number of tests will grow over time, and the times reported will depend on the computer running the tests. The difference between the two times represents the time required to set up the tests (import modules, create data structures, etc.).
If any of the tests fail, please open a bug report, send email,
or post a message via the web interface (see Bugs).
Please include all relevant output, information about your operating
system, Python version, and Docutils version. To see the Docutils
version, use one of the
rst2* front ends or
--version option, e.g.:
cd ../tools ./quicktest.py --version
Windows users type these commands:
cd ..\tools python quicktest.py --version
If you have questions or need assistance with Docutils or reStructuredText, please post a message to the Docutils-users mailing list.