Welcome to rstblog documentation

rstblog project is about a simple blog driven by articles written using reStructuredText markup language.

This is its documentation.

General introduction

This project is developed using Django, a web framework based on the Python language. This fact is important to you only if you wish to modify how the project work. In other words if you need to change the programming code of the project.

Central to this work is also the reStructuredText markup language (for short: reST from now on). This is a method to sign a text achieving formatting effects, as writing charactes in bold, or creating a table, or an html link to another document.

And this fact is important to you as a user of this project. Why? we’ll see.

Let’s assume you have an rstblog installation functioning and responding to address https://my.blog.org (original, isn’t it?). And, of corse, you know a username (& password) authorized to publish an article on it.

Well, now you have a fantastic idea you need to share with mankind.

First think first: you write a vibrant article using your favourite text editor in your computer, formatting it using reST [1]. Note: by now your work is saved in a file on your PC.

When you are satisfied of your article, using your web browser, you navigate to https://my.blog.org/blog/load-article.

rstblog will request your username and password. If you feed them, it will request to you what file you need to load. Browse to it and click the send button. rstblog will respond you: article xxx loaded [2]

We are done: homepage at https://my.blog.org will show the title and summary of your new article. And if you click on title, you’ll see your article in all its glory.

Well, there is some little trick to use to obtain the right result. But I swear: it’s all very simple. Otherwise I would not be able to use it.

Now. I imagine you are asking yourself: “for God’s sake: why I need use a text editor and upload a file to my site, if wordpress or drupal allow me to write it directly in the browser window?”.

Due to some reasons.

First of all: never appened while you are writing, something goes wrong ( power failure at your adsl router, a timeout to your server, …) and do you risk to loose your work? It appened to me. From that moment on, I got used to write long articles in files before to feed drupal with them.

But … this habit lead to different use of the tools. Long articles initially written by files. The short ones written directly using the user interface of the blog, without a local file in your computer.

And when you need to make a little correction to an article, for sure you’ll do it using the blog user interface. So your local file in a moment will no longer be aligned with the online version of your article.

So you ask to me: “where is the problem?”. The problem is the fact that your articles are stored partially only in the database of your blog software. Partially because probably images, and other files that your refer to into your articles are in the web server file system. So you need to backup all these informations and wish you will not have to change the blog software, or you might encounter some (big) problems to transfer them from one kind of system to the other.

Again: but … if there is a think I know working in IT for over 30 years is that for sure your data will have to change system type. Every type of system type :-). Even not only the name of software (e.g. from Drupal to Wordpress), but from type of software to another (e.g. from specialized Blog to general purpouse CMS), or even more complex scenarios.

In these cases, you have more chance of success if your data are in some form of source format. The simpler it is, the better it is.

So, returning to us, I decided to experiment to use a simple markup language, as reSt, or markdown, to write a local copy of the articles. And, while I’m living a full copy of them on my PC (this is a local backup, from start!), I upload them to a web server able to host them and catalog their contents by some simple fields written in the article file text.

So, in case of restore in other server I can load my local copy. And in case of a radical software change, I can think to write some (hopefully) simple interface to load my files in a future shocking AI.

If this long introduction did not make you escape, and you are still interested to know better how use rstblog, I can propose you these chapters:


This project is open source hosted on GitHub.

And here there is the author’s website. Its contents are mainly written in italian language.

This is the launch article about this project.

Indices and tables

[1]To be honest, you can also use markdown, or html too. But we are a little fanatic about reST; so: this is a link to a primer to reST.
[2]Or, in case of error, it will prompt you.