I recently attended an awesome Python course taught by Dave Beazley and noticed that his class exercises were generated into HTML from something called ‘AsciiDoc’. Given my experimentation with LaTeX in academic publishing, reST/Sphinx for automated forensic report generation, and MarkDown on StackExchange and other random places on the web, I was surprised that I hadn’t learned about this format yet (particularly since it’s been around for awhile).
I was happy to see that AsciiDoc has a Python base, but I quickly found a toolchain called Asciidoctor that makes it easier to generate nice-looking HTML5, PDF, and other output from this document format. The down side of Asciidoctor is that it’s written in Ruby—but I like the HTML output a lot better than the default AsciiDoc output.
I like the AsciiDoc syntax much better than reST, and it’s certainly easier than LaTeX (although LaTeX will always have a special place in my heart). It’s similar enough to MarkDown to make it easy to learn and use, yet extensive enough to offer things I want in documents that MarkDown simply doesn’t support well (like nice tables). Perhaps I’ve found a new forensic report format—only time will tell.