EtText Documentation (version 2.4)

Similar Systems

EtText-like plain-text-to-markup conversion systems have a long history. The first time I came across the concept was with Setext, which was included with Tony Sanders' Plexus web server, back in September 1993. Yes, 1993. Setext has been around for a while!

WikiWikiWeb is quite a recent, well-established system which uses a similar markup style.

txt2html provided a lot of impetus to rewrite the core of EtText since 2.0, since its list-parsing engine was much better. However EtText is now up to scratch again ;)

The real inspiration for EtText was Userland's Frontier; Dave Winer's evangelisation of its easily-editable markup system convinced me that it was worth polishing up the rudimentary EtText system I had then. In addition, the name "EtText" is derived from "Edit This Text", in a tip of the hat to Dave's "Edit This Page" concept.

Some well-known sites that use their own converters to convert plain-text to markup include, (for comments) and

Jorn Barger maintains an impressive summary of etext formats at his Robot Wisdom site. Skip down to section 3, Internet etext standards, for the directly-relevant stuff.

Zope and ZWiki use a format called StructuredText, which again comes from WikiLand. There's some interesting work going on there with the STXDocument object, which is "a web-managable object that contains information marked up in the structured text format".

EtText Documentation (version 2.4)