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