This is the official manual for the latest Org-mode release.

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Appendix C History and acknowledgments

C.1 From Carsten

Org was born in 2003, out of frustration over the user interface of the Emacs Outline mode. I was trying to organize my notes and projects, and using Emacs seemed to be the natural way to go. However, having to remember eleven different commands with two or three keys per command, only to hide and show parts of the outline tree, that seemed entirely unacceptable. Also, when using outlines to take notes, I constantly wanted to restructure the tree, organizing it paralleling my thoughts and plans. Visibility cycling and structure editing were originally implemented in the package outline-magic.el, but quickly moved to the more general org.el. As this environment became comfortable for project planning, the next step was adding TODO entries, basic timestamps, and table support. These areas highlighted the two main goals that Org still has today: to be a new, outline-based, plain text mode with innovative and intuitive editing features, and to incorporate project planning functionality directly into a notes file.

Since the first release, literally thousands of emails to me or to have provided a constant stream of bug reports, feedback, new ideas, and sometimes patches and add-on code. Many thanks to everyone who has helped to improve this package. I am trying to keep here a list of the people who had significant influence in shaping one or more aspects of Org. The list may not be complete, if I have forgotten someone, please accept my apologies and let me know.

Before I get to this list, a few special mentions are in order:

Bastien Guerry
Bastien has written a large number of extensions to Org (most of them integrated into the core by now), including the LaTeX exporter and the plain list parser. His support during the early days was central to the success of this project. Bastien also invented Worg, helped establishing the Web presence of Org, and sponsored hosting costs for the website. Bastien stepped in as maintainer of Org between 2011 and 2013, at a time when I desperately needed a break.
Eric Schulte and Dan Davison
Eric and Dan are jointly responsible for the Org-babel system, which turns Org into a multi-language environment for evaluating code and doing literate programming and reproducible research. This has become one of Org's killer features that define what Org is today.
John Wiegley
John has contributed a number of great ideas and patches directly to Org, including the attachment system (org-attach.el), integration with Apple Mail (org-mac-message.el), hierarchical dependencies of TODO items, habit tracking (org-habits.el), and encryption (org-crypt.el). Also, the capture system is really an extended copy of his great remember.el.
Sebastian Rose
Without Sebastian, the HTML/XHTML publishing of Org would be the pitiful work of an ignorant amateur. Sebastian has pushed this part of Org onto a much higher level. He also wrote org-info.js, a Java script for displaying web pages derived from Org using an Info-like or a folding interface with single-key navigation.

See below for the full list of contributions! Again, please let me know what I am missing here!

C.2 From Bastien

I (Bastien) have been maintaining Org between 2011 and 2013. This appendix would not be complete without adding a few more acknowledgments and thanks.

I am first grateful to Carsten for his trust while handing me over the maintainership of Org. His unremitting support is what really helped me getting more confident over time, with both the community and the code.

When I took over maintainership, I knew I would have to make Org more collaborative than ever, as I would have to rely on people that are more knowledgeable than I am on many parts of the code. Here is a list of the persons I could rely on, they should really be considered co-maintainers, either of the code or the community:

Eric Schulte
Eric is maintaining the Babel parts of Org. His reactivity here kept me away from worrying about possible bugs here and let me focus on other parts.
Nicolas Goaziou
Nicolas is maintaining the consistency of the deepest parts of Org. His work on org-element.el and ox.el has been outstanding, and it opened the doors for many new ideas and features. He rewrote many of the old exporters to use the new export engine, and helped with documenting this major change. More importantly (if that's possible), he has been more than reliable during all the work done for Org 8.0, and always very reactive on the mailing list.
Achim Gratz
Achim rewrote the building process of Org, turning some ad hoc tools into a flexible and conceptually clean process. He patiently coped with the many hiccups that such a change can create for users.
Nick Dokos
The Org mode mailing list would not be such a nice place without Nick, who patiently helped users so many times. It is impossible to overestimate such a great help, and the list would not be so active without him.

I received support from so many users that it is clearly impossible to be fair when shortlisting a few of them, but Org's history would not be complete if the ones above were not mentioned in this manual.

C.3 List of contributions