Every now and then, I get asked the question, “Is it possible to convert AsciiDoc to a Google Doc (or the like) so people can edit it?”
At the risk of sounding presumptuous, I think this is the wrong question to ask. Here are my thoughts.
> Not everyone knows AsciiDoc
I recognize that there will be a transition period as people become accustomed to AsciiDoc, as with any new technology. AsciiDoc is catching on quickly, though, so I expect this issue to subside proportionally.
Often times, I'm able to get over that hump by saying, "it's similar in spirit to Markdown". That helps them understand what type of tool they should use to read it (i.e., a text editor). Keep in mind we continue to improve the live preview tools like the add-on for Atom (see https://atom.io/packages/asciidoc-preview
> AsciiDoc can be hard to "read" in its non output form when reviewing
The whole idea of AsciiDoc is that it is easy to read in raw form. Admittedly, there are times when it is not. I think we need to work from both ends to solve the problem. One one end, we need to write simpler documents. Cutting out excessive formatting is better for everyone (including the reader). On the other end, we continue to work to make the syntax simpler (either by modifying core or adding extensions). AsciiDoc isn't perfect, and experience will tell us where and how we can simplify it.
> I don't really want people adding comments to AsciiDoc file itself even if they could read AsciiDoc as they probably will mess up syntax somewhere.
Again, I'd argue this is actually the point of AsciiDoc. People add inline or block comments to communicate back and forth. As they are addressed, those comments can be removed. This is how I collaborate on AsciiDoc and I've found it to be very effective. If the reviewer understands a few rules, they can avoid breaking the document rather easily in my experience.
> Ideally, there would be some nice PDF viewer that we could share a document and everyone would see everyone's feedback as its added to a document.
This goes against our philosophy in Asciidoctor. Our philosophy is that docs should be treated like code. They should be committed to a revision control system and that revision control system should be used to manage the collaboration (edits, additions, deletions and comments). When you go to PDF, you put up a huge barrier to collaboration and ownership.
> if I send them an AsciiDoc to review won't really know what to do with it....
They are smart people. I'm confident they'll figure it out :) Most of the time, people are just resisting change. We need to nudge them ;) The benefits of AsciiDoc far outweigh the inconvenience and a little training.