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
firstname.lastname@example.org 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 orgmode.org 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
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
- Russel Adams came up with the idea for drawers.
- Suvayu Ali has steadily helped on the mailing list, providing useful
feedback on many features and several patches.
- Luis Anaya wrote ox-man.el.
- Thomas Baumann wrote org-bbdb.el and org-mhe.el.
- Michael Brand helped by reporting many bugs and testing many features.
He also implemented the distinction between empty fields and 0-value fields
in Org’s spreadsheets.
- Christophe Bataillon created the great unicorn logo that we use on the
Org mode website.
- Alex Bochannek provided a patch for rounding timestamps.
- Jan Böcker wrote org-docview.el.
- Brad Bozarth showed how to pull RSS feed data into Org mode files.
- Tom Breton wrote org-choose.el.
- Charles Cave’s suggestion sparked the implementation of templates
for Remember, which are now templates for capture.
- Pavel Chalmoviansky influenced the agenda treatment of items with
- Gregory Chernov patched support for Lisp forms into table
calculations and improved XEmacs compatibility, in particular by porting
nouline.el to XEmacs.
- Sacha Chua suggested copying some linking code from Planner, and helped
make Org popular through her blog.
- Toby S. Cubitt contributed to the code for clock formats.
- Baoqiu Cui contributed the first DocBook exporter. In Org 8.0, we go a
different route: you can now export to Texinfo and export the .texi
file to DocBook using
- Eddward DeVilla proposed and tested checkbox statistics. He also
came up with the idea of properties, and that there should be an API for
- Nick Dokos tracked down several nasty bugs.
- Kees Dullemond used to edit projects lists directly in HTML and so
inspired some of the early development, including HTML export. He also
asked for a way to narrow wide table columns.
- Jason Dunsmore has been maintaining the Org-Mode server at Rackspace for
several years now. He also sponsored the hosting costs until Rackspace
started to host us for free.
- Thomas S. Dye contributed documentation on Worg and helped integrating
the Org-Babel documentation into the manual.
- Christian Egli converted the documentation into Texinfo format, inspired
the agenda, patched CSS formatting into the HTML exporter, and wrote
org-taskjuggler.el, which has been rewritten by Nicolas Goaziou as
ox-taskjuggler.el for Org 8.0.
- David Emery provided a patch for custom CSS support in exported
- Sean Escriva took over MobileOrg development on the iPhone platform.
- Nic Ferrier contributed mailcap and XOXO support.
- Miguel A. Figueroa-Villanueva implemented hierarchical checkboxes.
- John Foerch figured out how to make incremental search show context
around a match in a hidden outline tree.
- Raimar Finken wrote org-git-line.el.
- Mikael Fornius works as a mailing list moderator.
- Austin Frank works as a mailing list moderator.
- Eric Fraga drove the development of BEAMER export with ideas and
- Barry Gidden did proofreading the manual in preparation for the book
publication through Network Theory Ltd.
- Niels Giesen had the idea to automatically archive DONE trees.
- Nicolas Goaziou rewrote much of the plain list code. He also wrote
org-element.el and org-export.el, which was a huge step forward
in implementing a clean framework for Org exporters.
- Kai Grossjohann pointed out key-binding conflicts with other packages.
- Brian Gough of Network Theory Ltd publishes the Org mode manual as a
- Bernt Hansen has driven much of the support for auto-repeating tasks,
task state change logging, and the clocktable. His clear explanations have
been critical when we started to adopt the Git version control system.
- Manuel Hermenegildo has contributed various ideas, small fixes and
- Phil Jackson wrote org-irc.el.
- Scott Jaderholm proposed footnotes, control over whitespace between
folded entries, and column view for properties.
- Matt Jones wrote MobileOrg Android.
- Tokuya Kameshima wrote org-wl.el and org-mew.el.
- Jonathan Leech-Pepin wrote ox-texinfo.el.
- Shidai Liu ("Leo") asked for embedded LaTeX and tested it. He also
provided frequent feedback and some patches.
- Matt Lundin has proposed last-row references for table formulas and named
invisible anchors. He has also worked a lot on the FAQ.
- David Maus wrote org-atom.el, maintains the issues file for Org,
and is a prolific contributor on the mailing list with competent replies,
small fixes and patches.
- Jason F. McBrayer suggested agenda export to CSV format.
- Max Mikhanosha came up with the idea of refiling and sticky agendas.
- Dmitri Minaev sent a patch to set priority limits on a per-file
- Stefan Monnier provided a patch to keep the Emacs-Lisp compiler
- Richard Moreland wrote MobileOrg for the iPhone.
- Rick Moynihan proposed allowing multiple TODO sequences in a file
and being able to quickly restrict the agenda to a subtree.
- Todd Neal provided patches for links to Info files and Elisp forms.
- Greg Newman refreshed the unicorn logo into its current form.
- Tim O’Callaghan suggested in-file links, search options for general
file links, and TAGS.
- Osamu Okano wrote orgcard2ref.pl, a Perl program to create a text
version of the reference card.
- Takeshi Okano translated the manual and David O’Toole’s tutorial
- Oliver Oppitz suggested multi-state TODO items.
- Scott Otterson sparked the introduction of descriptive text for
links, among other things.
- Pete Phillips helped during the development of the TAGS feature, and
provided frequent feedback.
- Francesco Pizzolante provided patches that helped speeding up the agenda
- Martin Pohlack provided the code snippet to bundle character insertion
into bundles of 20 for undo.
- Rackspace.com is hosting our website for free. Thank you Rackspace!
- T.V. Raman reported bugs and suggested improvements.
- Matthias Rempe (Oelde) provided ideas, Windows support, and quality
- Paul Rivier provided the basic implementation of named footnotes. He
also acted as mailing list moderator for some time.
- Kevin Rogers contributed code to access VM files on remote hosts.
- Frank Ruell solved the mystery of the
keymapp nil bug, a
conflict with allout.el.
- Jason Riedy generalized the send-receive mechanism for Orgtbl tables with
- Philip Rooke created the Org reference card, provided lots
of feedback, developed and applied standards to the Org documentation.
- Christian Schlauer proposed angular brackets around links, among
- Christopher Schmidt reworked
orgstruct-mode so that users can
enjoy folding in non-org buffers by using Org headlines in comments.
- Paul Sexton wrote org-ctags.el.
- Linking to VM/BBDB/Gnus was first inspired by Tom Shannon’s
- Ilya Shlyakhter proposed the Archive Sibling, line numbering in literal
examples, and remote highlighting for referenced code lines.
- Stathis Sideris wrote the ditaa.jar ASCII to PNG converter that is
now packaged into Org’s contrib directory.
- Daniel Sinder came up with the idea of internal archiving by locking
- Dale Smith proposed link abbreviations.
- James TD Smith has contributed a large number of patches for useful
tweaks and features.
- Adam Spiers asked for global linking commands, inspired the link
extension system, added support for mairix, and proposed the mapping API.
- Ulf Stegemann created the table to translate special symbols to HTML,
LaTeX, UTF-8, Latin-1 and ASCII.
- Andy Stewart contributed code to org-w3m.el, to copy HTML content
with links transformation to Org syntax.
- David O’Toole wrote org-publish.el and drafted the manual
chapter about publishing.
- Jambunathan K contributed the ODT exporter and rewrote the HTML exporter.
- Sebastien Vauban reported many issues with LaTeX and BEAMER export and
enabled source code highlighting in Gnus.
- Stefan Vollmar organized a video-recorded talk at the
Max-Planck-Institute for Neurology. He also inspired the creation of a
concept index for HTML export.
- Jürgen Vollmer contributed code generating the table of contents
in HTML output.
- Samuel Wales has provided important feedback and bug reports.
- Chris Wallace provided a patch implementing the ‘QUOTE’
- David Wainberg suggested archiving, and improvements to the linking
- Carsten Wimmer suggested some changes and helped fix a bug in
linking to Gnus.
- Roland Winkler requested additional key bindings to make Org
work on a tty.
- Piotr Zielinski wrote org-mouse.el, proposed agenda blocks
and contributed various ideas and code snippets.
- Marco Wahl wrote org-eww.el.