This will be brief: RST beats Asciidoc.  I actually prefer Asciidoc’s syntax; it uses markup inherited from the markup people have been using in emails for more than a dozen years, while RST is hacky, obtuse, and contrived.  I never will understand why people ignore defacto, organic standards in favor of inventing new standards which are worse.  In any case, Asciidoc’s syntax is better – but the parse rules are just too involved.  It can be difficult to construct a document from scratch; the parser is extremely picky, and there are too many dependencies on unstable libraries.  This is supposed to be human-composable, human-readable text; the syntax rules should be more relaxed, and the parser more forgiving.  So, for now, I’m sticking with RST, even though it has serious flaws1.  It does have unparalleled table syntax, although unfortunately without any support for text alignment in cells.


  1. Such as:

    • No easy syntax for underscore, strike-through, superscript, or subscript
    • Bizarre, unintuitive choices for markup, like *xyz* for italics and **xyz** for bold
    • Unnecessarily verbose syntax for footnotes
    • No mechanism for continuing lines in lists after inline blocks r inline blocks
    ↩︎