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Split rendered reStructuredText into JSON

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Project Status: Active — The project has reached a stable, usable state and is being actively developed. https://travis-ci.com/jwodder/rst2json.svg?branch=master https://codecov.io/gh/jwodder/rst2json/branch/master/graph/badge.svg https://img.shields.io/pypi/pyversions/rst2json.svg MIT License

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rst2json renders a reStructuredText document as HTML or (Xe)LaTeX, but — unlike Docutils’ builtin converters, which produce a complete output document — it outputs a JSON object in which the document “frontmatter” (title, subtitle, bibliographic fields, etc.) has been broken out from the body and split into multiple fields. By combining the output with a templating system like Jinja, the user can perform more powerful & more customizable templating than is possible with Docutils’ built-in template support. Version 0.3.0 even introduces the ability to split apart documents at section boundaries, thereby making it possible to convert a single input document into multiple output files.

Sample templates that make use of the library’s output, along with a sample application for splitting sections into separate files, can be found in the repository’s examples/ directory.

Installation

rst2json requires Python 3.6 or higher. Just use pip for Python 3 (You have pip, right?) to install rst2json and its dependencies:

python3 -m pip install rst2json

Command-Line Usage

rst2json provides a single command, also named rst2json, that converts an input reStructuredText document to markup organized into a JSON object:

rst2json [--format <FMT>] [<docutils options>] [<infile> [<outfile>]]

The target markup format is specified with the -f or --format option. Valid values (case insensitive) are:

html (default)
Alias for html4. When Docutils eventually changes rst2html.py to produce HTML 5 output instead of HTML 4, this alias will likewise update to point to html5.
html4
HTML 4 / XHTML 1.0 output, based on the Docutils writer used for rst2html4.py. A CSS stylesheet (such as the html4css1.css stylesheet distributed with Docutils) must be added to the final document in order for everything to render properly.
html5
HTML 5 output, based on the Docutils writer used for rst2html4.py. A CSS stylesheet (such as the minimal.css and plain.css stylesheets distributed with Docutils) must be added to the final document in order for everything to render properly.
latex
LaTeX output, based on the Docutils writer used for rst2latex.py
latex2e
Alias for latex
xetex
Alias for xelatex
xelatex
XeLaTeX output, based on the Docutils writer used for rst2xetex.py

In addition to the --format option, the rst2json command accepts all options that Docutils’ rst2html4.py, rst2html5.py, rst2latex.py, and rst2xetex.py commands accept, and it can also be configured via a Docutils configuration file the same way as the respective Docutils commands. Additional rst2json-specific options are also accepted; see “Configuration Options” for details.

Library Usage

Convenience Function

New in version 0.2.0

rst2json.core.rst2json(source, format='html', options=None, config_files=None, destination_path=None)

rst2json provides a rst2json.core.rst2json() function for rendering & splitting reStructuredText into a dict directly within Python.

source specifies the input reStructuredText markup. It can be a path to a file (a string), a file-like object (with read() and close() methods), or a path-like object.

format is a string specifying the markup format to produce. It has the same set of possible values as the --format option to the rst2json command. Alternatively, it may be set directly to an instance of a Docutils writer class.

options sets values for Docutils settings. When non-None, it must be a dict that maps option names to option values. Option names must be given as listed at <https://docutils.sourceforge.io/docs/user/config.html>, i.e., no leading hyphens, with internal hyphens replaced with underscores. Option values must be of the appropriate Python type, e.g., bool for on/off switches or List[str] for comma-separated values. Both standard Docutils options and the rst2json-specific options listed under “Configuration Options” are accepted.

config_files is a list of file paths specifying the Docutils configuration files to read from; if None, configuration is read from the files specified in the DOCUTILSCONFIG environment variable, or from the standard configuration files if that is not set. Settings in configuration files override any conflicting settings given in options.

destination_path is a path to a file (which need not exist) which stylesheet paths in HTML <link> tags will be rewritten relative to; if None, the paths are rewritten relative to the current directory. This parameter is only relevant when emitting HTML with math_output set to html with a stylesheet argument.

Docutils Writers

The actual rendering & conversion to JSON is done by custom Writer classes inheriting from Docutils’ built-in Writers. Users familiar with Docutils can use these Writers directly in combination with other Docutils machinery.

The rst2json.writers.get_json_writer_class() function can be used to retrieve a specific Writer class by case-insensitive name. The classes and their names are as follows:

Names Class
html, html4 rst2json.writers.html4.Writer
html5 rst2json.writers.html5.Writer
latex, latex2e rst2json.writers.latex.Writer
xelatex, xetex rst2json.writers.xelatex.Writer

Each Writer’s translate() method sets writer.json_data to the final JSON structure as a dict and sets writer.output to json_data as a JSON-serialized string. After assemble_parts() is then called, writer.parts["json_data"] will also equal the JSON dict.

Configuration Options

New Options

In addition to the standard Docutils options, rst2json accepts the following options, both via configuration files and (for the command) via the command line. When setting these options via a configuration file, they should be placed in an [rst2json] section.

split_section_level

New in version 0.3.0

Set this option to an integer value. Setting it to a positive number causes the content body to be split up into an "intro" field (all content before the start of the first section) and a "sections" field (each section represented as an object). The sections’ subsections are split up as well, up to a depth given by the value of split_section_level. Setting this option to zero disables section splitting; setting it to a negative number causes all sections at all depths to be split up.

As an example, consider the following document:

Text before sections, except after C.

Section 1
=========

.. _foo:

Lorem ipsum yadda yadda yadda.

Section 2
=========

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

Section 2.1
-----------

.. _bar:

All mimsy were the borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe.

Section 2.1.1
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

Processing this document with split_section_level set to 1 will produce a JSON document in which the content object’s body field is replaced with the following fields (Some fields have been omitted for brevity):

{
    "intro": "<p>Text before sections, except after C.</p>",
    "sections": [
        {
            "title": "Section 1",
            "ids": ["section-1"],
            "depth": 1,
            "body": "<p id=\"foo\">Lorem ipsum yadda yadda yadda.</p>\n"
        },
        {
            "title": "Section 2",
            "ids": ["section-2"],
            "depth": 1,
            "body": "<p>'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.</p>\n<div class=\"section\" id=\"section-2-1\">\n<h2>Section 2.1</h2>\n<p id=\"bar\">All mimsy were the borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe.</p>\n<div class=\"section\" id=\"section-2-1-1\">\n<h3>Section 2.1.1</h3>\n<p>Beware the Jabberwock, my son!</p>\n</div>\n</div>"
        }
    ]
}

Processing with the option set to 2 causes all top-level sections’ bodies to be split up into "intro" and "sections" like so:

{
    "intro": "<p>Text before sections, except after C.</p>",
    "sections": [
        {
            "title": "Section 1",
            "ids": ["section-1"],
            "depth": 1,
            "intro": "<p id=\"foo\">Lorem ipsum yadda yadda yadda.</p>",
            "sections": []
        },
        {
            "title": "Section 2",
            "ids": ["section-2"],
            "depth": 1,
            "intro": "<p>'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.</p>",
            "sections": [
                {
                    "title": "Section 2.1",
                    "ids": ["section-2-1"],
                    "depth": 2,
                    "body": "<p id=\"bar\">All mimsy were the borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe.</p>\n<div class=\"section\" id=\"section-2-1-1\">\n<h3>Section 2.1.1</h3>\n<p>Beware the Jabberwock, my son!</p>\n</div>"
                }
            ]
        }
    ]
}

Setting the option to 3 will in turn cause the “Section 2.1” object to also be split up, and so forth.

Default: 0. Command line option: --split-section-level

Ignored Options

rst2json ignores the following Docutils configuration options, as they have no effect on its operation:

  • documentclass
  • documentoptions
  • latex_preamble
  • stylesheet_path
  • stylesheet
  • template
  • use_latex_abstract
  • use_latex_docinfo

In addition, the embed_stylesheet and stylesheet_dirs options only have an effect when emitting HTML with math_output set to html with a stylesheet argument.

JSON Output Structure

The below description divides strings into the following types:

  • A rendered string is a string containing markup in the target format (HTML or LaTeX). Rendered strings are stripped of leading & trailing newlines.

  • A stripped string is a string in which characters with special meaning to the format are escaped but all other markup has been removed; in addition, in stripped strings with corresponding rendered strings, newlines and tabs are replaced with space characters.

    For example, under HTML, if content.title is "<i>War &amp; Peace</i>", then content.title_stripped would be "War &amp; Peace".

  • Unqualified (neither rendered nor stripped) strings are expected to never contain any special characters.


The output from rst2json is a JSON object containing the following fields:

content : object

The input document converted to the target format and broken up into the following fields:

title : rendered string or null
The document title, derived from a lone top-level section title if doctitle_xform is enabled, or null if no title was specified or doctitle_xform was not enabled.
subtitle : rendered string or null
The document subtitle, derived from a lone second-level section title after the document title if doctitle_xform is enabled, or null if no subtitle was specified or doctitle_xform was not enabled.
title_stripped : stripped string or null
The title field, but with non-escaping markup removed. This field can be used to populate an HTML document’s <title> tag.
subtitle_stripped : stripped string or null
The subtitle field, but with non-escaping markup removed. This field can be used to populate an HTML document’s <title> tag.
document_ids : list of strings
A list of all IDs assigned to the parsed document node. Such IDs should be attached to the topmost or near-topmost structure of the final templated document using HTML’s id attribute or (Xe)LaTeX’s \label command.
document_classes : list of strings
A list of classes attached to the parsed document node.
subtitle_ids : list of strings
A list of all IDs assigned to the document subtitle, or the empty list if the document does not have a subtitle. Such IDs should be attached to the templated subtitle using HTML’s id attribute or (Xe)LaTeX’s \label command.
subtitle_classes : list of strings
A list of classes attached to the document subtitle, or the empty list if the document does not have a subtitle.
authors : list of rendered strings
A list of all authors specified in the :Author: and/or :Authors: bibliographic fields, in the order that they appear in the input.
header : rendered string or null
The rendered contents of the header:: directive from the document, or null if there was no such directive. Markup for using it as a header is not included.
footer : rendered string or null
The rendered contents of the footer:: directive from the document, or null if there was no such directive. Markup for using it as a footer is not included.
docinfo : list of objects

The document’s bibliographic fields (excluding the dedication & abstract) in the order that they appear in the input, each one represented as an object with the following fields:

type : string
For registered fields, this is the name of the Docutils node class that represents the field — i.e., the English name of the field in lowercase (e.g., "author"). For unregistered fields, this is the string "field".
name : rendered string
For registered fields, this is the name of the field in the document’s language (e.g., "Author"). For unregistered fields, this is the name of the field as it appears in the input.
value

When type is "authors" (plural), this is a list of author names as rendered strings. For all other values of type, this is a rendered string.

Note that, when type is "address", whitespace in value is significant, and value should be wrapped in <pre> tags or similar.

value_stripped
The value field, but with non-escaping markup removed. When type is "authors" (plural), this is a list of stripped strings. For all other values of type, this is a stripped string. This field can be used to populate the content attribute of a <meta> tag.
classes : list of strings
A list of classes attached to the field. Normally, for registered fields, this list is empty, while for unregistered fields it contains a single element equal to the field name converted to a valid class token. This field can be used to set the CSS class of the HTML structure that contains the rendered field.
abstract : rendered string or null
The rendered contents of the document’s :Abstract: field, or null if there was no such field. The abstract title and enclosing block are not included.
dedication : rendered string or null
The rendered contents of the document’s :Dedication: field, or null if there was no such field. The dedication title and enclosing block are not included.
body : rendered string
The rendered contents of the rest of the document after the frontmatter. This field is only present if split_section_level (See “Configuration Options”) is 0.
intro : rendered string
The rendered content after the frontmatter, but before the first section. This field is only present if split_section_level is not 0.
sections : list of objects

A list of the top-level sections of the document, each one represented as an object with the below fields. This field is only present if split_section_level is not 0.

title : rendered string
The section title
subtitle : rendered string or null
The section subtitle, derived from a lone second-level title after the section title if sectsubtitle_xform is enabled, or null if no subtitle was specified or sectsubtitle_xform was not enabled.
title_stripped : stripped string
The title field, but with non-escaping markup removed
subtitle_stripped : stripped string or null
The subtitle field, but with non-escaping markup removed
ids : list of strings
A list of all IDs assigned to the parsed section node.
classes : list of strings
A list of classes attached to the parsed section node.
subtitle_ids : list of strings
A list of all IDs assigned to the section subtitle, or the empty list if the section does not have a subtitle.
subtitle_classes : list of strings
A list of classes attached to the section subtitle, or the empty list if the section does not have a subtitle.
toc_backref : string or null
If this section is listed in a table of contents with backlinks, this field will equal the ID of the location in the table of contents that the backlink should point to; otherwise, it will be null. If the section is listed in more than one table of contents with backlinks, which value ends up in this field is Docutils-implementation-defined.
number : stripped string or null
The section number as generated by the sectnum:: directive, or null if no section number was generated for the section.
depth : integer
The depth of the section: 1 for a top-level section, 2 for a subsection, 3 for a sub-subsection, etc.
body : rendered string
The rendered contents of the section. This field is only present if split_section_level is equal to the section depth.
intro : rendered string
The rendered content of the section before the first subsection. This field is only present if split_section_level is negative or greater than the section depth.
sections : list of objects
A list of the top-level subsections of this section, each one represented as an object with the same schema as content.sections[]. This field is only present if split_section_level is negative or greater than the section depth.
trailing_transition : object or null
If there is a transition between this section and the next one, this field will be an object with the fields ids (a list of IDs assigned to the transition) and classes (a list of classes assigned to the transition); otherwise, this field will be null. Note that, in a parsed document tree, inter-section transitions only ever occur between consecutive sections of the same depth.

Note: As far as the author of this library can determine, it is not possible for a reStructuredText document to produce a doctree in which the document title, docinfo, header, footer, abstract, dedication, or section title nodes have any IDs or classes, nor for any docinfo field nodes to have any IDs. rst2json thus does not output any fields for such values.

meta : object

A dictionary of data about the input document and the rst2json process, containing the following fields:

format : string
The name of the target markup format: "html4", "html5", "latex", or "xelatex".
split_section_level : integer
The value set for the split_section_level option (See “Configuration Options”). Negative values are converted to -1.
title : stripped string or null

The document’s metadata title. By default, this is equal to content.title_stripped, but it can be overridden by a title:: directive or the title configuration option. If none of these are set, the field is null.

Note that, if the title is set via the title:: directive or title configuration option, any reStructuredText markup in it will not be processed (though characters special to the output format will still be escaped). For example, including .. title:: *War & Peace* in your input document will (when outputting HTML) produce a meta.title value of "*War &amp; Peace*", with the asterisks left as-is and the ampersand escaped.

source : stripped string
The name of/path to the input file. If no name can be determined, then this will be the string "None" in Docutils 0.16 and the empty string in later versions.
language : string
The language code for the document language, as set via the language_code configuration option
docutils_version : string
The version of Docutils used to produce the output
rst2json_version : string
The version of rst2json used to produce the output
generator : stripped string
A string of the form "rst2json {version} ({url}), Docutils {version} ({url})"
html : object

A dictionary of strings to insert in the head of the final HTML document. This object only appears in the output when the target format is HTML4 or HTML5. The fields of the dictionary are as follows:

math_requires : rendered string

If the input document contains any math:: directives or :math: roles, this is a string containing the appropriate markup to add to the HTML document head in order to support them; if there are no such directives or roles, this is the empty string.

When set, the value of this field is determined by the math_output configuration option. When set to html, it is either a <link> tag or a <style> block (as determined by the embed_stylesheet configuration option) enabling the stylesheet passed as the option argument; when set to mathjax, it is a <script> tag pointing to the path or URL passed as the option argument. When math_output is mathml or latex, the math_requires field is the empty string, as nothing needs to be added to the HTML document.

meta_tags : rendered string
A string containing any & all <meta> tags added to the document with the meta:: directive. If no meta:: directives were given, this is the empty string.
latex : object

A dictionary of strings to insert in the preamble of the final (Xe)LaTeX document. This object only appears in the output when the target format is LaTeX or XeLaTeX. The fields of the dictionary are as follows:

language : string
The name of the document language (set via the language_code configuration option) in a form recognized by Babel. If Docutils does not recognize the language, this will be the empty string. Note that, when the language is not English, latex.requirements will already contain the appropriate \usepackage[LANGUAGE]{babel} command; the purpose of this field is to be able to set the language in the document options.
requirements : rendered string
Required packages and setup, mostly consisting of \includepackage commands needed for the markup in content.body. In a templated (Xe)LaTeX document, this should be placed near the beginning of the preamble.
fallbacks : rendered string
Fallback definitions (declared with \providecommand*) for the various custom commands that Docutils uses in the body. These definitions can be overridden by defining commands of the same name in the preamble before latex.fallbacks occurs. In a templated (Xe)LaTeX document, this should be placed after latex.requirements and after any custom preamble commands.
pdfsetup : rendered string
Inclusion & setup of the hyperref package. In a templated (Xe)LaTeX document, this should be placed at the end of the preamble.
system_messages : list of objects

A list of system messages generated during processing of the input document. Normally, system messages are embedded in the output in addition to being reported to stderr, but rst2json removes them from the body and places them in this list. Each system message is represented as an object with the following fields:

level : integer
The system message level as an integer from 0 (least severe) through 4 (most severe)
type : string

The name of the system message level. The names and corresponding integer values of the system message levels are as follows:

type level
DEBUG 0
INFO 1
WARNING 2
ERROR 3
SEVERE 4
source : stripped string
The name of the input file in which the message was generated. If no name can be determined, then this will be the string "None" in Docutils 0.16 and the empty string in later versions.
line : integer or null
The line of the input file at which the message was generated, or null if it cannot be determined
body : rendered string
The message itself
ids : list of strings

The IDs of the system_message node. If the parsed document tree contains a problematic node enclosing the markup that generated the system message, the rendered problematic node will link to this system message by targeting an ID in ids.

If the system message is included in the templated document, the IDs should be attached to the structure using HTML’s id attribute or (Xe)LaTeX’s \label command.

backrefs : list of strings
If the parsed document tree contains a problematic node enclosing the markup that generated the system message, backrefs will contain the rendered problematic node’s IDs, usable for creating an intra-document link.
id_sections : object

This object only appears in the output when split_section_level (See “Configuration Options”) is not 0. It is a map in which each key is an ID appearing in the rendered document body and the corresponding value is the first ID of the deepest split-section object in which the key ID occurs. IDs of inter-section transitions are mapped to the ID of the section in whose trailing_transition field they are stored. IDs that appear in content.intro are mapped to the special string "$intro". IDs of top-level sections are not included as keys in this map, but IDs of deeper sections are.

This field can be used to rewrite inter-document links when the output is used to create a separate templated document for each section.

As an example, consider the following document:

Section 1
=========

.. _foo:

Lorem ipsum yadda yadda yadda.

Section 2
=========

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

Section 2.1
-----------

.. _bar:

All mimsy were the borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe.

Section 2.1.1
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

If this is processed with a split_section_level of 1, then id_sections will look like:

{
    "foo": "section-1",
    "section-2-1": "section-2",
    "bar": "section-2",
    "section-2-1-1": "section-2"
}

If this is processed with a split_section_level of 2, then id_sections will look like:

{
    "foo": "section-1",
    "section-2-1": "section-2",
    "bar": "section-2-1",
    "section-2-1-1": "section-2-1"
}

Increasing split_section_level beyond this point or making it negative will not have any further effect.

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