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SPIP Database to Markdown

spip2md is a litle Python app that can export a SPIP database into a plain text, Markdown + YAML repository, usable with static site generators.


spip2md is currently able to:

  • Export every section (spip_rubriques), with every article (spip_articles) they contain
    • Replace authors (spip_auteurs) IDs with their name (in YAML block)
    • Generate different files for each language found in <multi> blocks
    • Copy over all the attached files (spip_documents), with proper links
    • Convert SPIP Markup language
    • Convert SPIP ID-based internal links (like <art123>) into path-based, normal links


spip2md needs Python version 3.9 or supperior.

spip2md uses three Python libraries(as defined in pyproject.toml):

  • Peewee, with a database connection for your database:
    • pymysql (MySQL/MariaDB)
  • PyYaml
  • python-slugify (unidecode variant prefered)


Simple pip method

Install the package with pip install spip2md (or python -m pip install spip2md if you dont have pip installed).

Assuming your $PATH contains your pip install directory, you can now run spip2md a normal command of the same name.

Traditional method

Clone this git repo with command git clone and cd into the created directory.

Either make sure you have the dependencies installed system-wide, or create a Python virtual-environment and install them inside.

You can then run spip2md as a Python module with command python -m spip2md. Make sure to replace spip2md with a path to directory spip2md if you didnt cd into this repositorys directory.

Configuration and Usage

Make sure you have access to the SPIP database you want to export on a MySQL/MariaDB server. By default, spip2md expects a database named spip hosted on localhost, with a user named spip of which password is password, but you can totally configure this as well as other settings in the YAML config file.

If you want to copy over attached files like images, you also need access to the data directory of your SPIP website, usually named IMG, and either rename it data in your current working directory, or set data_dir setting to its path.

YAML configuration file

To configure spip2md you can place a file named spip2md.yml in standard *nix configuration locations, set it with the command line argument, or run the program with a spip2md.yml file in your working directory.

Heres the default configuration optionswith comments explaining their meaning:

# Data source settings
db: spip # Name of the database
db_host: localhost # Host of the database
db_user: spip # The database user
db_pass: password # The database password
data_dir: data # The directory in which SPIP images & files are stored

# Data destination settings
export_languages: ["en"] # Array of languages to export, two letter lang code
# If set, directories will be created only for this language, according to this
# languages titles. Other languages will be written along with correct url: attribute
storage_language: null
output_dir: output/ # The directory in which files will be written

# Destination directories names settings
# Prepend ID to directory slug, preventing collisions
# If false, a counter will be appended in case of name collision
prepend_id: false
# Prepend lang of the object to directory slug, prenventing collision between langs
prepend_lang: false
title_max_length: 42 # Maximum length (chars) of a single filename

# Text body processing settings
remove_html: true # Should we clean remaining HTML blocks
metadata_markup: false # Should we keep markup (Markdown) in metadata fields, like title
unknown_char_replacement: ?? # String to replace broken encoding that cannot be repaired
prepend_h1: false # Add title of articles as Markdown h1, looks better on certain themes
# Array of objects with 2 or 3 values, allowing to move some fields into others.
# {src: moved_field_name, dest: destination_field_name, repr: "how to merge them"}
# repr is formatted with "{}" being the moved field, and "_" the destination one
# For example, to append a field "subtitle" to a field "title":
#   - src: subtitle
#     dest: title
#     repr: "{} _" # (this is the default repr)
move_fields: []
# Some taxonomies (Spip Mots types) to not export, typically specific to Spip functions
ignore_taxonomies: ["Gestion du site", "Gestion des articles", "Mise en page"]
rename_taxonomies: { equipes: "tag-equipes" } # Rename taxonomies (prenvent conflict)

# Ignored data settings
export_drafts: true # Should we export drafts
export_empty: true # Should we export empty articles
ignore_patterns: [] # List of regexes: Matching sections or articles will be ignored

# Settings you probably dont want to modify
clear_log: true # Clear logfile between runs instead of appending to
clear_output: true # Clear output dir between runs instead of merging into

logfile: log-spip2md.log # Name of the logs file
loglevel: WARNING # Refer to Pythons loglevels

export_filetype: md # Filetype of exported text files


These tables seem to contain not-as-useful information, but this needs to be investicated:

  • spip_evenements
  • spip_meta
  • spip_mots
  • spip_syndic_articles
  • spip_mots_liens
  • spip_zones_liens
  • spip_groupes_mots
  • spip_meslettres
  • spip_messages
  • spip_syndic
  • spip_zones

These tables seem technical, SPIP specific:

  • spip_depots
  • spip_depots_plugins
  • spip_jobs
  • spip_ortho_cache
  • spip_paquets
  • spip_plugins
  • spip_referers
  • spip_referers_articles
  • spip_types_documents
  • spip_versions
  • spip_versions_fragments
  • spip_visites
  • spip_visites_articles

These tables are empty:

  • spip_breves
  • spip_evenements_participants
  • spip_forum
  • spip_jobs_liens
  • spip_ortho_dico
  • spip_petitions
  • spip_resultats
  • spip_signatures
  • spip_test
  • spip_urls