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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.\nbsp{}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.\nbsp{}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. Ingo Lohmar
  76. Ippei Furuhashi
  77. Jack Kamm
  78. Jake Romer
  79. James TD Smith
  80. Jan Böcker
  81. Jan Malakhovski
  82. Jarmo Hurri
  83. Jason Riedy
  84. Jay Kamat
  85. Jay Kerns
  86. Jeffrey Ryan Horn
  87. Jens Lechtenboerg
  88. Joe Corneli
  89. Joel Boehland
  90. John Kitchin
  91. John Wiegley
  92. Jonas Bernoulli
  93. Jonathan Leech-Pepin
  94. Jon Snader
  95. José L.\nbsp{}Doménech
  96. Juan Pechiar
  97. Julian Gehring
  98. Julien Barnier
  99. Julien Danjou
  100. Justin Gordon
  101. Justus Piater
  102. Karl Fogel
  103. Kaushal Modi
  104. Kevin Brubeck Unhammer
  105. Kodi Arfer
  106. Konstantin Antipin
  107. Kyle Meyer
  108. Lambda Coder
  109. Lawrence Mitchell
  110. Lele Gaifax
  111. Lennart Borgman
  112. Leonard Avery Randall
  113. Le Wang
  114. Luis Anaya
  115. Lukasz Stelmach
  116. Madan Ramakrishnan
  117. Magnus Henoch
  118. Manuel Giraud
  119. Marcin Borkowski
  120. Marco Wahl
  121. Mark A.\nbsp{}Hershberger
  122. Martin Pohlack
  123. Martyn Jago
  124. Matt Lundin
  125. Max Mikhanosha
  126. Michael Albinus
  127. Michael Brand
  128. Michael Gauland
  129. Michael Sperber
  130. Miguel A.\nbsp{}Figueroa-Villanueva
  131. Mikael Fornius
  132. Moritz Ulrich
  133. Nathaniel Flath
  134. Nathan Neff
  135. Neil Jerram
  136. Nicholas Dokos
  137. Nicolas Berthier
  138. Nicolas Dudebout
  139. Nicolas Goaziou
  140. Nicolas Richard
  141. Niels Giessen
  142. Nikolai Weibull
  143. Noorul Islam K M
  144. Oleh Krehel
  145. Paul Sexton
  146. Pedro Alexandre Marcelino Costa da Silva
  147. Peter Jones
  148. Phil Hudson
  149. Philip Rooke
  150. Phil Jackson
  151. Pierre Téchoueyres
  152. Pieter Praet
  153. Piotr Zielinski
  154. Puneeth Chaganti
  155. Rafael Laboissière
  156. Rainer M Krug
  157. Rasmus Pank Roulund
  158. Richard Kim
  159. Richard Klinda
  160. Richard Riley
  161. Rick Frankel
  162. Robert Michael Irelan
  163. Rüdiger Sonderfeld
  164. Russel Adams
  165. Ryo Takaishi
  166. Sacha Chua
  167. Samuel Loury
  168. Sebastian Miele
  169. Sebastian Reuße
  170. Sebastian Rose
  171. Sebastien Vauban
  172. Sergey Litvinov
  173. Seweryn Kokot
  174. Simon Michael
  175. Siraphob Phipathananunth
  176. Stardiviner
  177. Stephen Eglen
  178. Steven Rémot
  179. Suvayu Ali
  180. Takaaki Ishikawa
  181. Tassilo Horn
  182. T.F.\nbsp{}Torrey
  183. Thibault Marin
  184. Thierry Banel
  185. Thomas Baumann
  186. Thomas Fitzsimmons
  187. Thomas Holst
  188. Thomas S.\nbsp{}Dye
  189. Thorsten Jolitz
  190. Tim Burt
  191. Tim Landscheidt
  192. Titus von der Malsburg
  193. Toby Cubitt
  194. Tokuya Kameshima
  195. Tomas Hlavaty
  196. Tom Breton
  197. Tom Gillespie
  198. Tony Day
  199. Toon Claes
  200. Trevor Murphy
  201. Ulf Stegemann
  202. Vitalie Spinu
  203. Vladimir Panteleev
  204. Yann Hodique
  205. Yasushi Shoji
  206. Yoshinari Nomura
  207. Yuri D.\nbsp{}Lensky
  208. Zhang Weize
  209. 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 L.\nbsp{}Zeng
  2. Abhishek Chandratre
  3. Adam Aviv
  4. Aliaksey Artamonau
  5. Aman Yang
  6. Anders Johansson
  7. Andrew Burgess
  8. Andrew Eggenberger
  9. Andrii Kolomoiets
  10. Andy Lutomirski
  11. Anthony Cowley
  12. Anton Latukha
  13. Arun Persaud
  14. Aurélien Aptel
  15. Austin Walker
  16. Axel Kielhorn
  17. Brad Knotwell
  18. Brian Carlson
  19. Cheong Yiu Fung
  20. Christian Schwarzgruber
  21. Chunyang Xu
  22. Craig Tanis
  23. Daniel Peres Gomez
  24. Derek Feichtinger
  25. Dima Gerasimov
  26. Dominik Schrempf
  27. Doro Rose
  28. Eduardo Bellani
  29. Eric Danan
  30. Federico Beffa
  31. Feng Zhou
  32. Fernando Varesi
  33. Florian Beck
  34. Francesco Montanari
  35. Galen Menzel
  36. Georgiy Tugai
  37. Gong Qijian
  38. Gregor Zattler
  39. Greg Tucker-Kellogg
  40. Hiroshi Saito
  41. Ivan Vilata i Balaguer
  42. Jack Henahan
  43. Jacob Gerlach
  44. Jacob Matthews
  45. Jakob Lombacher
  46. Jamie Forth
  47. Jan Seeger
  48. Jason Dunsmore
  49. Jason Furtney
  50. Jeff Larson
  51. Joaquín Aguirrezabalaga
  52. Joe Hirn
  53. John Foerch
  54. John Lee
  55. Jonas Hörsch
  56. Jon Miller
  57. Joost Diepenmaat
  58. Jose Robins
  59. Kévin Le Gouguec
  60. Kodi Arfer
  61. Konstantin Kliakhandler
  62. Kovacsics Robert
  63. Leslie Harlley Watter
  64. Leslie Watter
  65. Lixin Chin
  66. Luke Amdor
  67. Marc Ihm
  68. Mario Frasca
  69. Mario Martelli
  70. Marshall Flax
  71. Martin Šlouf
  72. Martin Vuk
  73. Matthew Gidden
  74. Matthew MacLean
  75. Matt Huszagh
  76. Matt Price
  77. Max Mouratov
  78. Michaël Cadilhac
  79. Michael O'Connor
  80. Michael Strey
  81. Michael Welle
  82. Michael Weylandt
  83. Mike Ivanov
  84. Mike McLean
  85. Miro Bezjak
  86. Moritz Kiefer
  87. Muchenxuan Tong
  88. Myles English
  89. Myq Larson
  90. Nathaniel Nicandro
  91. Nick Gunn
  92. Nicolò Balzarotti
  93. Peter Feigl
  94. Peter Moresi
  95. Philip (Pip Cet)
  96. Piet van Oostrum
  97. Renato Ferreira
  98. Renato Ferreira
  99. Richard Hansen
  100. Richard Lawrence
  101. Richard Y.\nbsp{}Kim (Kim)
  102. Roberto Huelga
  103. Robert P.\nbsp{}Goldman
  104. Roger Welsh
  105. Ruben Maher
  106. Sami Airaksinen
  107. Saulius Menkevičius
  108. Sebastien Le Maguer
  109. Sergey Gordienko
  110. Sigmund Tzeng
  111. Stefano Rodighiero
  112. Stefan-W.\nbsp{}Hahn
  113. Stig Brautaset
  114. Sylvain Chouleur
  115. Tadashi Hirata
  116. Teika Kazura
  117. Terje Larsen
  118. Thierry Pellé
  119. Thomas Alexander Gerds
  120. Thomas Plass
  121. Thomas Rikl
  122. Tobias Schlemmer
  123. Tom Hinton
  124. Vicente Vera Parra
  125. Viktor Rosenfeld
  126. Vladimir Lomov
  127. Wojciech Gac
  128. Xavier Martinez-Hidalgo
  129. Xi Shen
  130. York Zhao
  131. Yue Zhu
  132. Zane D.\nbsp{}Purvis
  133. 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.