From the reStructuredText site:
reStructuredText is an easy-to-read, what-you-see-is-what-you-get plaintext markup syntax and parser system. It is useful for in-line program documentation (such as Python docstrings), for quickly creating simple web pages, and for standalone documents. reStructuredText is designed for extensibility for specific application domains. The reStructuredText parser is a component of Docutils. reStructuredText is a revision and reinterpretation of the StructuredText and Setext lightweight markup systems.
Many of the artifacts I create and work with use plain-text tables. Working with plain-text tables manually can be painful. The other day I stumbled on emacs’ support for text-based tables. I found it pretty useful.