[NTG-context] reStructuredText module

Philipp Gesang philipp.gesang at alumni.uni-heidelberg.de
Tue Mar 12 21:23:55 CET 2013

···<date: 2013-03-12, Tuesday>···<from: Bill Meahan>···

> Philipp Gesang wrote:
> >···<date: 2013-03-11, Monday>···<from: Bill Meahan>···
> >>Am I correct in thinking the rst module does not process the "class"
> >>and "container" directives?
> >When I wrote the module I was working with the reST spec [0] and
> >the syntax reference [1]. It’s been a while, but afair I
> >implemented the spec completely (with the limitations described
> >in the manual). It does not, to my knowledge, define the
> >directives you mention and I don’t know what they’re supposed to
> >do.
> >
> >(Btw. like much of the spec, “container” and “class” sound
> >suspiciously HTML-specific. If that is true, they address one
> >output markup which happens to be -- not Context! I might find
> >the time to add a simple wrapper for the container thingy (to
> >boxes or framed?). However, I doubt that it’s possible to
> >replicate the behavior of HTML divs + CSS without a larger effort
> >[2]. In this case it might be preferable to have docutils
> >generate some XML and directly typeset the result with Context.)
> >
> >Best regards
> >Philipp
> The .class and .container direectives are certainly there with *ML in mind but I think there might be analog situatins in ConTeXt.
> .. class::  classname
> 	blah, blah, blah
> exists to stick a class name on the following element for styling with an external stylesheet of some sort. CSS/CSS3 are probably the primary examles but other XML-bases markus apply just as well
> .. class::classname
> 	blab, blab, blab
> could yield
>   <p class=classname>blab, blab, blab</p>
>   <h2 class=classname>blab. blab, blab</h2>
> or anything else that can take a class name attribute.

From its description [0], the “class” directive appears to be
next to meaningless outside an HTML context. It’s supposed to set
“classes”. The doctree spec [1] explicitly states that “The
classes attribute's contents should be ignorable.”

To my knowledge, the closest thing in Context to CSS classes is
the “setups=” parameter. All macros don’t accept it, though, so
I can’t think of a general way of handling it. The list of macros
where it applies would have to be hardcoded ...

Docutils’ latex2 writer -- the reference implementation, mind
you -- btw. doesn’t take the “class” directive seriously at all:
it handles paragraphs but ignores it e.g. for section heads.

> .. container:: containername
>   Foo, bar, baz
>   bunch of stuff
> yields
>   <div class=containername>
> 	foo, bar, baz
> 	bunch of stuff
>   </div>
> .. container:: probably maps to something like
> \frame[containername]

> although frames as such cannot cross page boundaries. Perhaps
> there is (or could be) a more suitable construct. I'm trying to
> be exemplary not directive. :)

Fyi [2]: “container” is docutils for “div”. How’s a “div”
supposed to look? That depends on your browser (not the spec!),
and the HTML version being used (XHTML 1.1 for python2-docutils).
What does that mean for non-HTML targets? Apparently nothing:
again, docutils ignore the directive when writing LaTeX (and man
pages, for that matter).

Nevertheless, I added some code to handle container directives:
at the moment they simply map to macros of the same name.
Existence of the macro is tested for at runtime, so you can place
the definitions in your preamble. Example:


This is a paragraph.

.. container:: xyzzy


    foo **bar** baz

This is another paragraph.


This will generate the output:


This is a paragraph.

\ifcsname xyzzy\endcsname%
  \csname xyzzy\endcsname%
  {whatever foo {\sc bar} baz}%
  {whatever foo {\sc bar} baz}%

This is another paragraph.


So if there’s no \xyzzy, the contents are treated as a simple
group. Unnamed containers default to \framed. Let me know what
you think. The code is at:


> ConTeXt environment files are certainly analogus to CSS files and are used with the same end goals in mind.
> "styling" markup elements through "class=" or equivalent is
> rapidly becoming the order of the day for a wide variety of
> documents. Certainly (X)HTML, epub2, epub3, ODT, DOCX and an
> increasing horde of others are either there or heading there very
> soon.

Sure. I have no problem with that as long as it stays

Thanks for the feedback.

[0] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/docs/ref/rst/directives.html#class
[1] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/docs/ref/doctree.html#classes
[2] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/docs/ref/rst/directives.html#container

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