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