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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 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 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]].
  • 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 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 assignment contract with the FSF, we
  • might include your contribution in the distribution, and then in GNU Emacs.

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


Git branches

Please read README_maintainer file within Org's repository.

Pushing your first commit

  1. Create an account on
  2. Add your public key to the account
  3. Ask Bastien to be added as a collaborator on the repository
  4. Clone org-mode.git=: =~$ git clone
  5. Commit your changes against the code and the documentation.
  6. Run make test
  7. If the tests pass, push your changes.

If you are undertaking big changes, please create a dedicated branch and make sure you have a clean commit history before merging it into the maint or master branch.

Taking care of the manual in both branches

  • When you make a change in the master branch, update
  • doc/ accordingly.
  • When you make a change in the maint branch, update doc/org.texi in
  • maint and doc/ when you merge maint into master.

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 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.

  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


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. Aaron Jensen
  3. Abdó Roig-Maranges
  4. Achim Gratz
  5. Adam Elliott
  6. Adam Porter
  7. Adam Spiers
  8. Alan Schmitt
  9. Alex Branham
  10. Alexey Lebedeff
  11. Allen Li
  12. Andreas Burtzlaff
  13. Andreas Leha
  14. Andrew Hyatt
  15. Andrzej Lichnerowicz
  16. Andy Steward
  17. Anthony John Day
  18. Anthony Lander
  19. Arni Magnusson
  20. Arun Isaac
  21. Baoqiu Cui
  22. Barry Leonard Gidden
  23. Bastien Guerry
  24. Benjamin Andresen
  25. Bernd Grobauer
  26. Bernt Hansen
  27. Bjarte Johansen
  28. Brian James Gough
  29. Brice Waegenire
  30. Carlos Pita
  31. Carsten Dominik
  32. Charles Berry
  33. Charles Sebold
  34. Christian Egli
  35. Christian Garbs
  36. Christian Moe
  37. Christopher League
  38. Christopher Miles Gray
  39. Christopher Schmidt
  40. Christopher Suckling
  41. Clément Pit--Claudel
  42. Dan Davison
  43. Daniel M German
  44. Daniel M. Hackney
  45. David Arroyo Menéndez
  46. David Maus
  47. David O'Toole
  48. Dieter Schoen
  49. Dima Kogan
  50. Dmitry Antipov
  51. Don March
  52. Emmanuel Charpentier
  53. Eric Abrahamsen
  54. Eric Schulte
  55. Eric S. Fraga
  56. Erik Hetzner
  57. Erik Iverson
  58. Ethan Ligon
  59. Feng Shu
  60. Florian Lindner
  61. Francesco Pizzolante
  62. Frederick Giasson
  63. Gary Oberbrunner
  64. George Kettleborough
  65. Georg Lehner
  66. Giovanni Ridolfi
  67. Grégoire Jadi (aka Daimrod)
  68. Gustav Wikström
  69. Henning Dietmar Weiss
  70. Henry Blevins
  71. Ian Barton
  72. Ian Dunn
  73. Ian Kelling
  74. Ilya Shlyakhter
  75. Ippei Furuhashi
  76. Jack Kamm
  77. Jake Romer
  78. James TD Smith
  79. Jan Böcker
  80. Jan Malakhovski
  81. Jarmo Hurri
  82. Jason Riedy
  83. Jay Kamat
  84. Jay Kerns
  85. Jeffrey Ryan Horn
  86. Jens Lechtenboerg
  87. Joe Corneli
  88. Joel Boehland
  89. John Kitchin
  90. John Wiegley
  91. Jonas Bernoulli
  92. Jonathan Leech-Pepin
  93. Jon Snader
  94. José L. Doménech
  95. Juan Pechiar
  96. Julian Gehring
  97. Julien Barnier
  98. Julien Danjou
  99. Justin Gordon
  100. Justus Piater
  101. Karl Fogel
  102. Kaushal Modi
  103. Kevin Brubeck Unhammer
  104. Kodi Arfer
  105. Konstantin Antipin
  106. Kyle Meyer
  107. Lambda Coder
  108. Lawrence Mitchell
  109. Lele Gaifax
  110. Lennart Borgman
  111. Leonard Avery Randall
  112. Le Wang
  113. Luis Anaya
  114. Lukasz Stelmach
  115. Madan Ramakrishnan
  116. Magnus Henoch
  117. Manuel Giraud
  118. Marcin Borkowski
  119. Marco Wahl
  120. Mark A. Hershberger
  121. Martin Pohlack
  122. Martyn Jago
  123. Matt Lundin
  124. Max Mikhanosha
  125. Michael Albinus
  126. Michael Brand
  127. Michael Gauland
  128. Michael Sperber
  129. Miguel A. Figueroa-Villanueva
  130. Mikael Fornius
  131. Moritz Ulrich
  132. Nathaniel Flath
  133. Nathan Neff
  134. Neil Jerram
  135. Nicholas Dokos
  136. Nicolas Berthier
  137. Nicolas Dudebout
  138. Nicolas Goaziou
  139. Nicolas Richard
  140. Niels Giessen
  141. Nikolai Weibull
  142. Noorul Islam K M
  143. Oleh Krehel
  144. Paul Sexton
  145. Pedro Alexandre Marcelino Costa da Silva
  146. Peter Jones
  147. Phil Hudson
  148. Philip Rooke
  149. Phil Jackson
  150. Pierre Téchoueyres
  151. Pieter Praet
  152. Piotr Zielinski
  153. Puneeth Chaganti
  154. Rafael Laboissière
  155. Rainer M Krug
  156. Rasmus Pank Roulund
  157. Richard Kim
  158. Richard Klinda
  159. Richard Riley
  160. Rick Frankel
  161. Robert Michael Irelan
  162. Rüdiger Sonderfeld
  163. Russel Adams
  164. Ryo Takaishi
  165. Sacha Chua
  166. Samuel Loury
  167. Sebastian Reuße
  168. Sebastian Rose
  169. Sebastien Vauban
  170. Sergey Litvinov
  171. Seweryn Kokot
  172. Simon Michael
  173. Siraphob Phipathananunth
  174. Stardiviner
  175. Stephen Eglen
  176. Steven Rémot
  177. Suvayu Ali
  178. Tassilo Horn
  179. T.F. Torrey
  180. Thibault Marin
  181. Thierry Banel
  182. Thomas Baumann
  183. Thomas Holst
  184. Thomas S. Dye
  185. Thorsten Jolitz
  186. Tim Burt
  187. Tim Landscheidt
  188. Titus von der Malsburg
  189. Toby Cubitt
  190. Tokuya Kameshima
  191. Tomas Hlavaty
  192. Tom Breton
  193. Tony Day
  194. Toon Claes
  195. Trevor Murphy
  196. Ulf Stegemann
  197. Vitalie Spinu
  198. Vladimir Panteleev
  199. Yann Hodique
  200. Yasushi Shoji
  201. Yoshinari Nomura
  202. Yuri D. Lensky
  203. Zhang Weize
  204. 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. Adam Aviv
  2. Aliaksey Artamonau
  3. Aman Yang
  4. Andrew Burgess
  5. Andrew Eggenberger
  6. Andy Lutomirski
  7. Anthony Cowley
  8. Arun Persaud
  9. Aurélien Aptel
  10. Austin Walker
  11. Axel Kielhorn
  12. Brad Knotwell
  13. Brian Carlson
  14. Christian Schwarzgruber
  15. Chunyang Xu
  16. Craig Tanis
  17. Daniel Peres Gomez
  18. Derek Feichtinger
  19. Dima Gerasimov
  20. Dominik Schrempf
  21. Doro Rose
  22. Eduardo Bellani
  23. Eric Danan
  24. Federico Beffa
  25. Feng Zhou
  26. Fernando Varesi
  27. Florian Beck
  28. Francesco Montanari
  29. Galen Menzel
  30. Georgiy Tugai
  31. Gong Qijian
  32. Gregor Zattler
  33. Greg Tucker-Kellogg
  34. Hiroshi Saito
  35. Ivan Vilata i Balaguer
  36. Jack Henahan
  37. Jacob Gerlach
  38. Jacob Matthews
  39. Jakob Lombacher
  40. Jamie Forth
  41. Jan Seeger
  42. Jason Furtney
  43. Jeff Larson
  44. Joe Hirn
  45. John Foerch
  46. Jonas Hörsch
  47. Jon Miller
  48. Joost Diepenmaat
  49. Jose Robins
  50. Kodi Arfer
  51. Konstantin Kliakhandler
  52. Leslie Harlley Watter
  53. Leslie Watter
  54. Lixin Chin
  55. Luke Amdor
  56. Marc Ihm
  57. Mario Frasca
  58. Mario Martelli
  59. Marshall Flax
  60. Martin Šlouf
  61. Martin Vuk
  62. Matthew Gidden
  63. Matthew MacLean
  64. Matt Price
  65. Michaël Cadilhac
  66. Michael O'Connor
  67. Michael Strey
  68. Michael Welle
  69. Michael Weylandt
  70. Mike McLean
  71. Miro Bezjak
  72. Moritz Kiefer
  73. Muchenxuan Tong
  74. Myles English
  75. Myq Larson
  76. Nathaniel Nicandro
  77. Nick Gunn
  78. Peter Feigl
  79. Peter Moresi
  80. Philip (Pip Cet)
  81. Renato Ferreira
  82. Renato Ferreira
  83. Richard Hansen
  84. Richard Lawrence
  85. Richard Y. Kim (Kim)
  86. Roberto Huelga
  87. Robert P. Goldman
  88. Roger Welsh
  89. Ruben Maher
  90. Sami Airaksinen
  91. Saulius Menkevičius
  92. Sebastien Le Maguer
  93. Sergey Gordienko
  94. Sigmund Tzeng
  95. Stefan-W. Hahn
  96. Stig Brautaset
  97. Sylvain Chouleur
  98. Tadashi Hirata
  99. Teika Kazura
  100. Thierry Pellé
  101. Thomas Alexander Gerds
  102. Thomas Rikl
  103. Tobias Schlemmer
  104. Tom Hinton
  105. Vicente Vera Parra
  106. Viktor Rosenfeld
  107. Vladimir Lomov
  108. Wojciech Gac
  109. Xavier Martinez-Hidalgo
  110. Xi Shen
  111. York Zhao
  112. Yue Zhu
  113. Zane D. Purvis
  114. 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.