Every contribution to Org is very welcome. Here is a list of areas where your contribution will be useful:
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 etc/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).
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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
org-mode.gitrepository like this:
~$ git clone email@example.com:org-mode.git
If you are undertaking big changes, please create a dedicated branch for them.
Org is part of Emacs, so any contribution should follow the GNU Emacs Lisp coding conventions described in Emacs manual.
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.
For every patch you send, we suggest to use
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 -m "This is change (1)" # Commit your change
... make another change (2) ...
~$ git commit -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.)
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
For more significant contributions, the best way to submit patches is through public branches of your repository clone.
git clone git://orgmode.org/org-mode.git git clone http://orgmode.org/org-mode.git
The url using the git protocol is preferred. If you are behind a
firewall that blocks
git://, you can use the http url.
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
git remote update
to pull commits from all defined remote repositories, in particular the org-mode master at repo.or.cz.
- When you have something workable, publish the git path and branchname on the mailing list, so that people can test it and review your work.
- After your topic has been merged to the project master branch youcan 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
:PROPERTIES: :ID: c526dfd7-2b0c-4b66-9deb-6e442e48708c :END:
We have decided to no longer keep a ChangeLog file to record changes to individual functions. In a modern version control system like git, ChangeLog is duplicating information that should be in the commit message, and it is the main cause of merge conflicts.
Instead, the change log entry should be part of the commit message. A commit message should be constructed in the following way:
Here is an example for such a message:
Capture: 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-like such entries are
easily made by pressing
C in the diff listing. Another option to make
the entries is to use `C-x 4 a' in the changed function. This will create
entries in the ChangeLog file, and you can then cut and paste these to the
commit message and remove the indentation.
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.
: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:
These people have been asked to sign the papers, and they are currently considering it or a request is being processed by the FSF.
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.
(This list may be incomplete - please help completing it.)
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.