Although active publication seems like a panacea, the idea seems utopian. It is worthwhile recounting the obstacles so we can recognize the most serious ones first. The first question is economic.
What amount of effort is warranted?
As we can see, the evolution of computer technology has reached a point where the extra effort of making an a-doc is little more than making the document itself. the only effort is keeping a record of all the steps in preparing figures. Nearly everyone already does this anyway. The extra effort required now is mainly because older documents and computer files omitted a few small steps that were done manually, principally running a plot program and inserting the figure in the text.
What degree of openness is desired?
Another limit to the future of a-docs is the authors' desire for openness. Plainly stated, the main limit of openness is people's desire for it. An active document is software and some people sell software. Active documents will be welcomed by those who want more openness and rejected by those who don't.