AsciiDoc as we know it today has been two decades in the making.


The idea of creating a shorthand format for DocBook named AsciiDoc was first conceived by Stuart Rackham in 2002 (even before Markdown). Stuart launched this new shorthand language and processor as the AsciiDoc.py project. That project evolved for a decade before Asciidoctor showed up on the scene to become its successor.

The development of Asciidoctor was motivated by the need to process AsciiDoc in Ruby for use by the GitHub application and for publishing the git documentation online. As the story goes, GitHub was in the process of removing support for AsciiDoc since AsciiDoc.py had known attack vectors and invoking it through a subprocess was deemed suboptimal and insecure. At the same time, GitHub had started developing a Ruby implementation of AsciiDoc (which would become Asciidoctor) for the git website. Thanks to a collaboration between developers at GitHub (namely Ryan Waldron) and Red Hat (Dan Allen), they matured Asciidoctor enough to stand in for AsciiDoc.py. Support for AsciiDoc on GitHub was saved!

Asciidoctor was the first project to implement the AsciiDoc syntax in another language, in this case Ruby. The decision to write the code in Ruby also proved beneficial for allowing the same code base to be shared across Ruby, the JVM platform, and JavaScript runtimes due to the portability of Ruby itself.


Below you can find a timeline of major events of AsciiDoc’s history leading up to the 2.0.0 release of Asciidoctor and the formation of the AsciiDoc Working Group.

Nov 25, 2002

First public release of AsciiDoc.py (1.0) by Stuart Rackham

Nov 25, 2002

AsciiDoc.py project registered at SourceForge.net under the name asciidoc

Nov 25, 2002

First publication of AsciiDoc.py website at www.methods.co.nz/asciidoc (written in AsciiDoc and powered by AsciiDoc.py)

Oct 23, 2007

AsciiDoc.py source repository converted to mercurial and transferred Google Code
see code.google.com/archive/p/asciidoc/

Mar 01, 2012

Dan discovers AsciiDoc and posts about it to Google+
archived at asciidoctor.org/news/2012/03/01/wow-asciidoc-is-incredible/

Apr 03, 2012

First commit of asciidoc.rb (Asciidoctor prototype) by Nick Hengeveld to github.com/git/git-scm.com
see github.com/git/git-scm.com/commit/5a5edecfc2c4a1bcff86af432e062d2c6f860bed

Jun 01, 2012

First commit to Asciidoctor by Ryan Waldron based on the prototype written by Nick Hengeveld and others for the Git website (git-scm.com) see github.com/asciidoctor/asciidoctor/commit/67833eed5cb7a22499662f2d98734ef08ae61eca

Jun 14, 2012

First release of Asciidoctor by Ryan Waldron to rubygems.org/gems/asciidoctor
see rubygems.org/gems/asciidoctor/versions/0.0.1

Aug 03, 2012

Asciidoctor replaces the asciidoc.rb (Asciidoctor prototype) in the git-scm.com repository
see github.com/git/git-scm.com/blob/ab9efdc8d95c65b9e74954a4847de8b8f98486fb/lib/asciidoc.rb (last version of prototype) and github.com/git/git-scm.com/pull/582/commits/90d47b8a1f54e73431e5a2db088bb2b5d32545d4 (switch to Asciidoctor)

Dec 03, 2012

asciidoc.org domain registered by Dan Allen

Dec 10, 2012

Stuart Rackham gives his support for Asciidoctor
“Hat’s off to anyone who can port AsciiDoc with reasonable fidelity.”

Dec 27, 2012

asciidoctor.org domain registered

Jan 08, 2013

GitHub disables AsciiDoc rendering in GitHub repositories due to security concerns with AsciiDoc.py

Jan 17, 2013

GitHub reenables AsciiDoc rendering in GitHub repositories using Asciidoctor instead of AsciiDoc.py
announcement: asciidoctor.org/news/2013/01/30/asciidoc-returns-to-github/

Jan 30, 2013

Asciidoctor project transferred to the asciidoctor organization on GitHub
see github.com/asciidoctor/asciidoctor

Jan 30, 2013

Initial Asciidoctor website published (written in AsciiDoc and powered by Asciidoctor)
announcement: asciidoctor.org/news/2013/04/08/a-new-resource-for-asciidoc/

Feb 04, 2013

First release of the Asciidoctor Gradle Plugin by Andres Almiray and the Basel Hackergarten group

Feb 18, 2013

First release of the Asciidoctor Maven Plugin by Jason Porter
announcement: asciidoctor.org/news/2013/04/16/introducing-the-asciidoctor-maven-plugin/

Mar 18, 2013

First commit to AsciidoctorJ by Alex Soto

Apr 11, 2013

First release of AsciidoctorJ (then Asciidoctor Java integration) by Alex Soto
announcement: asciidoctor.org/news/2013/04/18/enjoy-the-magic-of-asciidoctor-in-java/

Apr 16, 2013

Project leadership of Asciidoctor transferred from Ryan Waldron to Dan Allen

Apr 28, 2013

Asciidoctor Maven Plugin switches to using AsciidoctorJ (then Asciidoctor Java integration) by Jason Porter
announcement: asciidoctor.org/news/2013/04/28/asciidoctor-maven-plugin-0-1-2-released/

Apr 25, 2013

First release published by Dan Allen of Asciidoctor to rubygems.org/gems/asciidoctor
see rubygems.org/gems/asciidoctor/versions/0.1.2
announcement: asciidoctor.org/news/2013/04/25/asciidoctor-0-1-2-released/

May 18, 2013

Dan got Asciidoctor working in JavaScript (converting the whole AsciiDoc Python user guide)

May 19, 2013

First commit of Asciidoctor.js by Dan Allen

May 21, 2013

First working prototype of Asciidoctor.js by Dan Allen
announcement: asciidoctor.org/news/2013/05/21/asciidoctor-js-render-asciidoc-in-the-browser/

May 31, 2013

Asciidoctor 0.1.3 released, marking a transition from implementing AsciiDoc to beginning to advance it
announcement: asciidoctor.org/news/2013/05/31/asciidoctor-0-1-3-released/

Jun 01, 2013

First release of Asciidoclet by John Ericksen
announcement: asciidoctor.org/news/2013/06/03/asciidoclet-announcement/

Sep 05, 2013

Asciidoctor 0.1.4 released with an extension facility and numerous language enhancements
announcement: asciidoctor.org/news/2013/09/05/asciidoctor-0-1-4-released/

Sep 18, 2013

First release of the Asciidoctor.js browser extension (then Live Preview) by Guillaume Grossetie
announcement: asciidoctor.org/news/2013/09/18/introducing-asciidoctor-js-live-preview/

Nov 27, 2013

Stuart Rackham approves moving the AsciiDoc.py source code to the asciidoc organization on GitHub

Dec 21, 2013

AsciiDoc.py source repository converted to git and transferred to the asciidoc organization on GitHub
see github.com/asciidoc/asciidoc

Feb 13, 2014

First Asciidoctor Diagram release by Pepijn Van Eeckhoudt
announcement: asciidoctor.org/news/2014/02/18/plain-text-diagrams-in-asciidoctor/

Jul 29, 2014

First release of Asciidoctor EPUB3 by Dan Allen

Jul 31, 2014

First Asciidoctor.js release by Guillaume Grossettie

Aug 12, 2014

Asciidoctor 1.5.0 released, introducing a modernized syntax for AsciiDoc
announcement: asciidoctor.org/news/2014/08/12/asciidoctor-1-5-0-released/

Aug 21, 2014

First version of AsciidoctorJ released with its new name by Alex Soto
announcement: asciidoctor.org/news/2014/08/21/asciidoctorj-1-5-0-released/

Aug 23, 2014

Asciidoctor.js 1.5.0 released with feature parity with Asciidoctor Ruby by Guillaume Grossetie and Anthonny Quérouil
announcement: asciidoctor.org/news/2014/08/23/asciidoctor-js-1-5-0-released/

Sep 04, 2014

First release of Asciidoctor PDF by Dan Allen

Mar 31, 2015

asciidoc.org resolves to main AsciiDoc.py website

Nov 26, 2016

Asciidoctor gem downloaded over 1 million times

Nov 06, 2017

Asciidoctor gets a brand identity and official logo, contributed by mmajko
see github.com/asciidoctor/brand

Dec 31, 2018

Semantic versioning adopted by Asciidoctor Project
announcement: asciidoctor.org/news/2018/12/31/making-the-switch-to-semver/

Jan 07, 2019

Announcement of intent to launch an AsciiDoc specification
announcement: asciidoctor.org/news/2019/01/07/asciidoc-spec-proposal/

Mar 22, 2019

First release of Asciidoctor 2 by Dan Allen
announcement: github.com/asciidoctor/asciidoctor/releases/tag/v2.0.0

Apr 24, 2019

First release of AsciidoctorJ 2 by Robert Panzer

Jan 20, 2020

First release of Asciidoctor EPUB3 under leadership of Marat Radchenko

Jul 21, 2020

AsciiDoc Working Group officially formed
see www.eclipse.org/lists/asciidoc-wg/msg00113.html

Dec 13, 2020

Asciidoctor gem downloaded over 10 million times

Jan 05, 2021

Launch of new docs site for Asciidoctor at docs.asciidoctor.org

Mar 03, 2021

Launch of new project chat for Asciidoctor at chat.asciidoctor.org (hosted on zulipchat.com)

Apr 20, 2022

Relaunch of the asciidoc.org site to reflect the current status and direction of AsciiDoc under the governance of the AsciiDoc WG