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Python parser for the CommonMark Markdown spec

Project description

Pure Python port of [jgm]('s [commonmark.js](, a Markdown parser and renderer for the [CommonMark]( specification, using only native modules. Once both this project and the CommonMark specification are stable we will release the first `1.0` version and attempt to keep up to date with changes in `commonmark.js`.

We are currently at the same development stage (actually a bit ahead because we have implemented HTML entity conversion and href URL escaping) as `commonmark.js`. Since Python versions pre-3.4 use outdated (i.e. not HTML5 spec) entity conversion, I've converted the 3.4 implementation into a single file, `` which so far seems to work (all tests pass on 2.7, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5).

**Current version:** 0.6.0

[![Build Status](](


rolands@kamaji:~$ pip install commonmark


import CommonMark
parser = CommonMark.DocParser()
renderer = CommonMark.HtmlRenderer()
ast = parser.parse("Hello *World*")
html = renderer.render(ast)
json = CommonMark.ASTtoJSON(ast)
CommonMark.dumpAST(ast) # pretty print generated AST structure
print(html) # <p>Hello <em>World</em><p/>

----- or -----

rolands@kamaji:~$ -o README.html
rolands@kamaji:~$ -o README.json -aj # output AST as JSON
rolands@kamaji:~$ -a # pretty print generated AST structure
rolands@kamaji:~$ -h
usage: [-h] [-o [O]] [-a] [-aj] [infile]

Process Markdown according to the CommonMark specification.

positional arguments:
infile Input Markdown file to parse, defaults to stdin

optional arguments:
-h, --help show this help message and exit
-o [O] Output HTML/JSON file, defaults to stdout
-a Print formatted AST
-aj Output JSON AST


If you would like to offer suggestions/optimizations/bugfixes through pull requests please do! Also if you find an error in the parser/renderer that isn't caught by the current test suite please open a new issue and I would also suggest you send the [CommonMark]( project a pull request adding your test to the existing test suite.


The tests script, ``, is pretty much a devtool. As well as running all the tests embeded in `spec.txt` it also allows you to run specific tests using the `-t` argument, provide information about passed tests with `-p`, percentage passed by category of test with `-s`, and enter markdown interactively with `-i` (In interactive mode end a block by inputing a line with just `end`, to quit do the same but with `quit`). `-d` can be used to print call tracing.

rolands@kamaji:~/utils/CommonMark-py$ python -h
usage: [-h] [-t T] [-p] [-f] [-i] [-d] [-np] [-s]

script to run the CommonMark specification tests against the

optional arguments:
-h, --help show this help message and exit
-t T Single test to run or comma seperated list of tests (-t 10 or -t 10,11,12,13)
-p Print passed test information
-f Print failed tests (during -np...)
-i Interactive Markdown input mode
-d Debug, trace calls
-np Only print section header, tick, or cross
-s Print percent of tests passed by category

* [Bibek Kafle](
* [Roland Shoemaker](

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