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11 August 2013

Markdown in Docstrings (finally)

by Else

Willie has been mixing Markdown and ReStructuredText in its documentation for some time. I found it was easier to use Markdown for the automatically generated wiki pages than to use ReST (although, really, Markdown is just about always easier to use than ReST), so all the modules used Markdown in their documentation. But since we use Sphinx to generate the API docs, and Sphinx only does ReST, that some files had ReST docs and some had Markdown. No longer. Thanks to a quick and dirty hack, we can send the docstrings through Pandoc to translate them from Markdown to ReST. Now, only the overall template has to be written in ReST, while the vast majority of the documentation can be written in the much easier Markdown.

From Ducking about trying to find a solution to this, it seems there are a lot of people who want this, but nobody else has published a solution. I’ve put my hack up on GitHub, so hopefully people will find some use for it. Maybe at some point I’ll be motivated to create a Sphinx- like tool that uses Markdown through-and-through…