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reStructuredText v. EtText

reStructuredText is apparently the new wave of text-based markup — in the Python community at least. ;)

It’s basically a reworking of Zope’s StructuredText, which — like my own EtText, which is what this blog is written in — is itself a reworking of Setext. Setext is an old Amiga smart-text format which I first encountered in the Plexus web server back in 1993. Plexus, BTW, was what HTTP server number 70-something ran.

It’s interesting. I’d been considering modifying EtText to use some StructuredText ideas, such as indentation indicating tag-nesting levels. But it looks like reStructuredText has got rid of that idea, and instead does what EtText does: ie. indentation indicates quoting. So it must have driven someone up the wall in that case.

There’s a reStructuredText primer here. Compare with EtText’s quick intro. (gack, what is that font I’m using there? ;)

Still, a few other nice ideas to steal ;) — I like the idea of ending the paragraph with colon-colon to indicate that the next quoted block is a code sample in monospace format. hmm…

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