AsciiDoc is a plain text human readable/writable document format that can be translated to DocBook or HTML using the asciidoc(1) command. You can then either use asciidoc(1) generated HTML directly or run asciidoc(1) DocBook output through your favorite DocBook toolchain or use the AsciiDoc a2x(1) toolchain wrapper to produce PDF, EPUB, DVI, LaTeX, PostScript, man page, HTML and text formats.
The AsciiDoc format is a useful presentation format in its own right: AsciiDoc markup is simple, intuitive and as such is easily proofed and edited.
AsciiDoc is light weight: it consists of a single Python script and a bunch of configuration files. Apart from asciidoc(1) and a Python interpreter, no other programs are required to convert AsciiDoc text files to DocBook or HTML. See Example AsciiDoc Documents below.
Text markup conventions tend to be a matter of (often strong) personal preference: if the default syntax is not to your liking you can define your own by editing the text based asciidoc(1) configuration files. You can also create configuration files to translate AsciiDoc documents to almost any SGML/XML markup.
asciidoc(1) comes with a set of configuration files to translate AsciiDoc articles, books and man pages to HTML or DocBook backend formats.
My AsciiDoc Itch
DocBook has emerged as the de facto standard Open Source documentation format. But DocBook is a complex language, the markup is difficult to read and even more difficult to write directly — I found I was spending more time typing markup tags, consulting reference manuals and fixing syntax errors, than I was writing the documentation.