Render reStructuredText Directly to Firefox

reStructuredText is awesome. Anytime I need to write something in plain text, I mark it up using rST. It looks nice in plain text form, and can be rendered to HTML for improved presentation.

Sometimes, as I am working on a document, I'd like to see what it looks like once rendered to HTML, to make sure I am thinking the same way the computer is. Docutils ships with a nice little script called rst2html that will render a rST document as HTML, either to standard output or another file. What would be really nice is to be able to immediately preview the resulting HTML document in Firefox without the intermediate file. Unfortunately, Firefox doesn't read HTML from standard input, so document.rst | firefox doesn't work.

I've come up with this workaround, however, that works just fine. Using base64 and xargs, I construct a Data URI and instruct Firefox to open that: document.rst | base64 -w 0 | xargs -i firefox "data:text/html;charset=utf8;base64,{}"