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Types of contributions

Every contribution to Org is very welcome. Here is a list of areas where your contribution will be useful:

  • you can submit bug reports -- Before sending a bug report, make
  • sure you have read this section of Org's manual: [[][Feedback]] You can also read this great text: "[[][How to Send Bug Reports Effectively]]"
  • you can submit feature requests -- Org is already mature, but new
  • ideas keep popping up. If you want to request a feature, it might be a good idea to have a look at the current [[][Issue tracking file]] which captures both bug reports and feature requests. Or dig into the mailing list for possible previous discussions about your idea. If you cannot find back your idea, formulate it as detailed as possible, if possible with examples, and send it to the mailing list.
  • you can submit patches -- You can submit patches to the mailing
  • list. See the [[For Org contributors: preferred way of submitting patches][Preferred way of submitting patches]] section for details. You can run =make test= to check that your patch does not introduce new bugs.

If your patch is against a file that is part of Emacs, then your total contribution (all patches you submit) should change less than 15 lines (See the CONTRIBUTE file in GNU Emacs.) If you contribute more, you have to assign the copyright of your contribution to the Free Software Foundation (see below).

  • you can submit Org add-ons -- there are many Org add-ons.
  • The best way is to submit your code to the mailing list to discuss
  • it with people.
  • If it is useful, you might consider contributing it to the
  • =lisp/contrib/= directory in the git repository. It will be reviewed, and if it passes, it will be included. Ask help from [[][Eric Schulte]] for this step. The =lisp/contrib/= directory is somehow relaxed: it is not distributed with Emacs, and does not require a formal copyright assignment.
  • If you decide to sign the [[*Copyright issues when contributing to
  • Emacs Org mode][assignment contract with the FSF]], we might include your contribution in the distribution, and then in GNU Emacs.
  • you can submit material to the Worg website -- This website is
  • made of Org files that you can contribute to. Learn what Worg is [[][about]] and how to contribute to it [[][through git]].

Copyright issues when contributing to Emacs Org mode

Org is made of many files. Most of them are also distributed as part of GNU Emacs. These files are called the Org core, and they are all copyrighted by the Free Software Foundation, Inc. If you consider contributing to these files, your first need to grant the right to include your works in GNU Emacs to the FSF. For this you need to complete this form, and send it to The FSF will send you the assignment contract that both you and the FSF will sign. Please let the Org-mode maintainer know when this process is complete. Some people consider this assignment process a hassle. I don't want to discuss this in detail here - there are some good reasons for getting the copyright registered, an example is discussed in this FLOSS weekly podcast. Furthermore, by playing according to the Emacs rules, we gain the fantastic advantage that every version of Emacs ships with Org-mode already fully built in. So please consider doing this - it makes our work as maintainers so much easier, because we can then take your patches without any additional work.

If you want to learn more about why copyright assignments are collected, read this: Why the FSF gets copyright assignments from contributors?

By submitting patches to, or by pushing changes to the Org-mode repository, you are placing these changes under the same licensing terms as those under which GNU Emacs is published.

;; GNU Emacs is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify ;; it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by ;; the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or ;; (at your option) any later version.

If at the time you submit or push these changes you do have active copyright assignment papers with the FSF, for future changes to either Org-mode or to Emacs, this means that copyright to these changes is automatically transferred to the FSF. The Org-mode repository is seen as upstream repository for Emacs, anything contained in it can potentially end up in Emacs. If you do not have signed papers with the FSF, only changes to files in the contrib/ part of the repository will be accepted, as well as very minor changes (so-called /tiny changes/) to core files. We will ask you to sign FSF papers at the moment we attempt to move a contrib/ file into the Org core, or into Emacs.

For Org developers


  1. Send your public key to Bastien
  1. Wait for confirmation that your public key has been added to the
  2. server.

  • Clone org-mode.git repository like this:
    1. ~$ git clone
    1. Commit your changes.
    1. Run make test
    1. If the tests pass, push your changes.

    If you are undertaking big changes, please create a dedicated branch for them.

    For Org contributors: preferred way of submitting patches

    Coding conventions

    Org is part of Emacs, so any contribution should follow the GNU Emacs Lisp coding conventions described in Emacs manual.

    Sending patch with git

    Org-mode is developed using git as the version control system. Git provides an amazing framework to collaborate on a project. Git can be used to make patches and send them via email -- this is perfectly fine for major and minor changes.

    When sending a patch (either using git diff or git format-patch) please always add a properly formatted Emacs ChangeLog entry. See this section for details on how to create such a ChangeLog.

    Sending commits

    For every patch you send, we suggest to use git format-patch.

    This is easy for small patches and more consequent ones. Sometimes, you might even want to work in several steps and send each commit separately. Here is the suggested workflow:

      ~$ git pull                 # make sure your repo is up to date
      ~$ git branch my-changes    # create a new branch from master
      ~$ git checkout my-changes  # switch to this new branch

    ... make some changes (1) ...

      ~$ git commit -a -m "This is change (1)"  # Commit your change

    ... make another change (2) ...

      ~$ git commit -a -m "This is change (2)"  # Commit your change
      ~$ git format-patch master                # Creates two patches

    ... Then two patches for your two commits are ready to be sent to the list.

    Write useful commit messages: please provide 1) a reason for it in your email and 2) a ChangeLog entry in the commit message (see this section on how to format a ChangeLog entry.)

    Sending quick fixes for testing purpose

    If you want to send a quick fix that needs to be further tested by other people (before you submit a real patch), here is how you can do:

    This command will make a patch between the staging area (in your computer), and the file you modified:

    git diff -p org-whatever.el > org-whatever.el.diff

    If you already committed your changes to your index (staging area), then you should compare against a particular branch (in this example, origin/master):

    git diff -p origin/master org-whatever.el > org-whatever.el.diff

    You email the output to the mailing list, adding [PATCH] to the subject, and description of what you fixed or changed.

    Note that small patches sent like this still need to have a ChangeLog entry to be applied. If your patch looks good to you, it's always better to send a patch through git format-patch.

    Sharing changes from a public branch

    For more significant contributions, the best way to submit patches is through public branches of your repository clone.

    1. Clone our git repository at
    2. You can clone using any of the commands below.

    git clone

    git clone

    The url using the git protocol is preferred. If you are behind a firewall that blocks git://, you can use the https url.

    1. Create a repository that can be publicly accessed, for example on
    2. /GitHub/, /, or on your own server.
    1. Push your topic branches (and optionally the master branch) to your
    2. public repository.

    Define a remote for your public repository you push topics to.

    git remote add REMOTE URL-GOES-HERE

    Push branches to the remote

    git push REMOTE BRANCH1 [BRANCH2 BRANCH3 ...]


    git remote add github ssh://.../     # Done once to define the remote 'github'
    git push github my-topic
    1. Do your work on topic-specific branches, using a branch name that
    2. relates to what you are working on.
    1. Often do

    git remote update

    to pull commits from all defined remote repositories, in particular the org-mode master at

    1. When you have something workable, publish the git path and branch
    2. name on the mailing list, so that people can test it and review your work.
    1. After your topic has been merged to the project master branch you
    2. can delete the topic on your local and remote repositories.

    git branch -d NEWTOPIC

    git push REMOTE :NEWTOPIC

    The instructions above are generally useful to let people test new features before sending the patch series to the mailing list, but the patches remain the preferred way of receiving contributions.

    Commit messages and ChangeLog entries

    We have decided to no longer keep a ChangeLog file to record changes to individual functions.

    A commit message should be constructed in the following way:

    • Line 1 of the commit message should always be a short description of
    • the overall change. Line 1 does /not/ get a dot at the end and does not start with a star. Generally, it starts with the filename that has been changed, followed by a colon.
    • Line 2 is an empty line.
    • In line 3, the ChangeLog entry should start. A ChangeLog entry
    • looks like [[][this]]:

    * org-timer.el (org-timer-cancel-timer, org-timer-stop): Enhance

    message. (org-timer-set-timer): Use the number of minutes in the Effort property as the default timer value. Three prefix arguments will ignore the Effort value property.
    • After the changelog, another empty line should come before any
    • additional information that the committer wishes to provide in order to explain the patch.
    • If the change is a minor change made by a committer without
    • copyright assignment to the FSF, the commit message should also contain the cookie =TINYCHANGE= (anywhere in the message). When we later produce the ChangeLog file for Emacs, the change will be marked appropriately.
    • Variables and functions names are quoted like `this' (backquote and
    • single quote).
    • Sentences should be separated by two spaces.
    • Sentences should start with an uppercase letter.
    • Avoid the passive form: i.e., use "change" instead of "changed".

    Here is an example for such a message:

    org-capture.el: Fix the case of using a template file

    ,* lisp/org-capture.el (org-capture-set-plist): Make sure txt is a string before calling `string-match'. (org-capture-templates): Fix customization type.

    ,* doc/org.texi (Capture): Document using a file for a template.

    The problem here was that a wrong keyword was given in the customization type. This let to a string-match against a list value.

    Modified from a patch proposal by Johan Friis.


    If you are using magit.el in Emacs, the ChangeLog for such entries are easily produced by pressing C in the diff listing.

    Another option to produce the entries is to use `C-x 4 a' in the changed function or in the diff listing. This will create entries in the ChangeLog file, and you can then cut and paste these to the commit message and remove the indentation.

    Copyrighted contributors to Org mode

    Here is the list of people who have contributed actual code to the Org-mode core. Note that the manual contains a more extensive list with acknowledgments, including contributed ideas! The lists below are mostly for house keeping, to help the maintainers keep track of copyright issues.

    Current contributors

    :PROPERTIES: :CUSTOM_ID: contributors_with_fsf_papers :END:

    Here is the list of people who signed the papers with the Free Software Foundation and can now freely submit code to Org files that are included within GNU Emacs:

    1. Aaron Ecay
    2. Abdó Roig-Maranges
    3. Achim Gratz
    4. Adam Elliott
    5. Adam Porter
    6. Adam Spiers
    7. Alan Schmitt
    8. Alex Branham
    9. Alexey Lebedeff
    10. Andreas Burtzlaff
    11. Andreas Leha
    12. Andrew Hyatt
    13. Andrzej Lichnerowicz
    14. Andy Steward
    15. Anthony John Day
    16. Anthony Lander
    17. Arni Magnusson
    18. Arun Isaac
    19. Baoqiu Cui
    20. Barry Leonard Gidden
    21. Bastien Guerry
    22. Benjamin Andresen
    23. Bernd Grobauer
    24. Bernt Hansen
    25. Brian James Gough
    26. Brice Waegenire
    27. Carsten Dominik
    28. Charles Berry
    29. Charles Sebold
    30. Christian Egli
    31. Christian Garbs
    32. Christian Moe
    33. Christopher League
    34. Christopher Miles Gray
    35. Christopher Schmidt
    36. Christopher Suckling
    37. Clément Pit--Claudel
    38. Dan Davison
    39. Daniel M German
    40. Daniel M. Hackney
    41. David Arroyo Menéndez
    42. David Maus
    43. David O'Toole
    44. Dieter Schoen
    45. Dima Kogan
    46. Dmitry Antipov
    47. Don March
    48. Eric Abrahamsen
    49. Eric S. Fraga
    50. Eric Schulte
    51. Erik Hetzner
    52. Erik Iverson
    53. Ethan Ligon
    54. Feng Shu
    55. Florian Lindner
    56. Francesco Pizzolante
    57. Frederick Giasson
    58. Gary Oberbrunner
    59. Georg Lehner
    60. George Kettleborough
    61. Giovanni Ridolfi
    62. Grégoire Jadi (aka Daimrod)
    63. Gustav Wikström
    64. Henning Dietmar Weiss
    65. Ian Barton
    66. Ian Kelling
    67. Ilya Shlyakhter
    68. Ippei Furuhashi
    69. Jack Kamm
    70. Jake Romer
    71. James TD Smith
    72. Jan Böcker
    73. Jan Malakhovski
    74. Jarmo Hurri
    75. Jason Riedy
    76. Jay Kamat
    77. Jay Kerns
    78. Jeffrey Ryan Horn
    79. Joe Corneli
    80. Joel Boehland
    81. John Kitchin
    82. John Wiegley
    83. Jon Snader
    84. Jonas Bernoulli
    85. Jonathan Leech-Pepin
    86. José L. Doménech
    87. Juan Pechiar
    88. Julian Gehring
    89. Julien Barnier
    90. Julien Danjou
    91. Justin Gordon
    92. Justus Piater
    93. Karl Fogel
    94. Kaushal Modi
    95. Kodi Arfer
    96. Konstantin Antipin
    97. Kyle Meyer
    98. Lambda Coder
    99. Lawrence Mitchell
    100. Le Wang
    101. Lele Gaifax
    102. Lennart Borgman
    103. Leonard Avery Randall
    104. Luis Anaya
    105. Lukasz Stelmach
    106. Madan Ramakrishnan
    107. Magnus Henoch
    108. Manuel Giraud
    109. Marcin Borkowski
    110. Marco Wahl
    111. Martin Pohlack
    112. Martyn Jago
    113. Matt Lundin
    114. Max Mikhanosha
    115. Michael Albinus
    116. Michael Brand
    117. Michael Gauland
    118. Michael Sperber
    119. Miguel A. Figueroa-Villanueva
    120. Mikael Fornius
    121. Moritz Ulrich
    122. Nathan Neff
    123. Nathaniel Flath
    124. Neil Jerram
    125. Nicholas Dokos
    126. Nicolas Berthier
    127. Nicolas Goaziou
    128. Nicolas Richard
    129. Niels Giessen
    130. Nikolai Weibull
    131. Noorul Islam K M
    132. Oleh Krehel
    133. Paul Sexton
    134. Pedro Alexandre Marcelino Costa da Silva
    135. Peter Jones
    136. Phil Hudson
    137. Phil Jackson
    138. Philip Rooke
    139. Pieter Praet
    140. Piotr Zielinski
    141. Puneeth Chaganti
    142. Rafael Laboissière
    143. Rainer M Krug
    144. Rasmus Pank Roulund
    145. Richard Kim
    146. Richard Klinda
    147. Richard Riley
    148. Rick Frankel
    149. Russel Adams
    150. Ryo Takaishi
    151. Rüdiger Sonderfeld
    152. Sacha Chua
    153. Samuel Loury
    154. Sebastian Reuße
    155. Sebastian Rose
    156. Sebastien Vauban
    157. Sergey Litvinov
    158. Seweryn Kokot
    159. Simon Michael
    160. Stephen Eglen
    161. Steven Rémot
    162. Suvayu Ali
    163. T.F. Torrey
    164. Tassilo Horn
    165. Thibault Marin
    166. Thierry Banel
    167. Thomas Baumann
    168. Thomas Holst
    169. Thomas S. Dye
    170. Thorsten Jolitz
    171. Tim Burt
    172. Titus von der Malsburg
    173. Toby Cubitt
    174. Tokuya Kameshima
    175. Tom Breton
    176. Tomas Hlavaty
    177. Tony Day
    178. Trevor Murphy
    179. Ulf Stegemann
    180. Vitalie Spinu
    181. Yann Hodique
    182. Yasushi Shoji
    183. Yoshinari Nomura
    184. Yuri D. Lensky
    185. Zhang Weize
    186. Zhuo Qingliang (Killy Draw)


    These people have been asked to sign the papers, and they are currently considering it or a request is being processed by the FSF.

    • Brian Carlson [2016-05-24 Tue]
    • Bill Wishon
    • Mats Kindahl (as of 2013-04-06) for this patch
    • Georg Lehner (as of 2013-06-27)
    • Kodi Arfer (as of 2013-06-29)

    Tiny Changes

    These people have submitted tiny change patches that made it into Org without FSF papers. When they submit more, we need to get papers eventually. The limit is a cumulative change of 20 non-repetitive change lines. Details are given in this document.

    1. Aaron Jensen
    2. Adam Aviv
    3. Allen Li
    4. Aman Yang
    5. Andrew Burgess
    6. Andy Lutomirski
    7. Anthony Cowley
    8. Arun Persaud
    9. Aurélien Aptel
    10. Austin Walker
    11. Axel Kielhorn
    12. Brian Carlson
    13. Chunyang Xu
    14. Craig Tanis
    15. Derek Feichtinger
    16. Doro Rose
    17. Eduardo Bellani
    18. Eric Danan
    19. Federico Beffa
    20. Feng Zhou
    21. Fernando Varesi
    22. Florian Beck
    23. Francesco Montanari
    24. Galen Menzel
    25. Georgiy Tugai
    26. Greg Tucker-Kellogg
    27. Gregor Zattler
    28. Hiroshi Saito
    29. Ivan Vilata i Balaguer
    30. Jacob Gerlach
    31. Jacob Matthews
    32. Jakob Lombacher
    33. Jan Seeger
    34. Jan Seeger
    35. Jason Furtney
    36. Jeff Larson
    37. Joe Hirn
    38. John Foerch
    39. Jon Miller
    40. Jonas Hörsch
    41. Joost Diepenmaat
    42. Kodi Arfer
    43. Konstantin Kliakhandler
    44. Leslie Harlley Watter
    45. Lixin Chin
    46. Luke Amdor
    47. Marc Ihm
    48. Mario Frasca
    49. Mario Martelli
    50. Marshall Flax
    51. Martin Vuk
    52. Martin Šlouf
    53. Matt Price
    54. Matthew Gidden
    55. Matthew MacLean
    56. Michael O'Connor
    57. Michael Strey
    58. Michael Welle
    59. Michael Weylandt
    60. Michaël Cadilhac
    61. Mike McLean
    62. Miro Bezjak
    63. Moritz Kiefer
    64. Muchenxuan Tong
    65. Myles English
    66. Myq Larson
    67. Nathaniel Nicandro
    68. Nick Gunn
    69. Peter Feigl
    70. Peter Moresi
    71. Philip (Pip Cet)
    72. Renato Ferreira
    73. Richard Hansen
    74. Richard Lawrence
    75. Richard Y. Kim (Kim)
    76. Robert P. Goldman
    77. Roberto Huelga
    78. Ruben Maher
    79. Sami Airaksinen
    80. Saulius Menkevičius
    81. Sebastien Le Maguer
    82. Sergey Gordienko
    83. Stardiviner
    84. Stefan-W. Hahn
    85. Stig Brautaset
    86. Sylvain Chouleur
    87. Teika Kazura
    88. Thierry Pellé
    89. Thomas Alexander Gerds
    90. Thomas Rikl
    91. Tom Hinton
    92. Vicente Vera Parra
    93. Viktor Rosenfeld
    94. Vladimir Lomov
    95. Wojciech Gac
    96. Xavier Martinez-Hidalgo
    97. Xi Shen
    98. York Zhao
    99. Zane D. Purvis
    100. Иван Трусков

    (This list may be incomplete - please help completing it.)

    No FSF assignment

    These people cannot or prefer to not sign the FSF copyright papers, and we can only accept patches that do not change the core files (the ones that are also in Emacs).

    Luckily, this list is still empty.