How to contribute to Org?

Table of Contents

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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 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.

For Org developers

Git branches

Please read READMEmaintainer file within Org's repository.

Pushing your first commit

  1. Create an account on https://code.orgmode.org
  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 git@code.orgmode.org:bzg/org-mode.git
  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/org-manual.org accordingly.
  • When you make a change in the maint branch, update doc/org.texi in maint and doc/org-manual.org 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 https://code.orgmode.org/bzg/org-mode. You can clone using any of the commands below.

    git clone git@code.orgmode.org:bzg/org-mode.git
    git clone https://code.orgmode.org/bzg/org-mode.git
    
    

    The url using the git protocol is preferred. If you are behind a firewall that blocks git://, you can use the https url.

  2. Create a repository that can be publicly accessed, for example on GitHub or on your own server.
  3. Push your topic branches (and optionally the master branch) to your 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 push REMOTE BRANCH1 [BRANCH2 BRANCH3 ...]
    
    

    e.g.

    git remote add github ssh://.../     # Done once to define the remote 'github'
    git push github my-topic
    
    
  4. Do your work on topic-specific branches, using a branch name that relates to what you are working on.
  5. Often do

    git remote update
    
    

    to pull commits from all defined remote repositories.

  6. When you have something workable, publish the git path and branch name on the mailing list, so that people can test it and review your work.
  7. After your topic has been merged to the project master branch you can 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

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.

TINYCHANGE

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

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. Abdó Roig-Maranges
  3. Achim Gratz
  4. Adam Elliott
  5. Adam Porter
  6. Adam Spiers
  7. Alan Schmitt
  8. Alex Branham
  9. Alexey Lebedeff
  10. Andreas Burtzlaff
  11. Andreas Leha
  12. Andrew Hyatt
  13. Andrzej Lichnerowicz
  14. Andy Steward
  15. Anthony John Day
  16. Anthony Lander
  17. Arni Magnusson
  18. Arun Isaac
  19. Baoqiu Cui
  20. Barry Leonard Gidden
  21. Bastien Guerry
  22. Benjamin Andresen
  23. Bernd Grobauer
  24. Bernt Hansen
  25. Bjarte Johansen
  26. Brian James Gough
  27. Brice Waegenire
  28. Carsten Dominik
  29. Charles Berry
  30. Charles Sebold
  31. Christian Egli
  32. Christian Garbs
  33. Christian Moe
  34. Christopher League
  35. Christopher Miles Gray
  36. Christopher Schmidt
  37. Christopher Suckling
  38. Clément Pit–Claudel
  39. Dan Davison
  40. Daniel M German
  41. Daniel M. Hackney
  42. David Arroyo Menéndez
  43. David Maus
  44. David O'Toole
  45. Dieter Schoen
  46. Dima Kogan
  47. Dmitry Antipov
  48. Don March
  49. Eric Abrahamsen
  50. Eric Schulte
  51. Eric S. Fraga
  52. Erik Hetzner
  53. Erik Iverson
  54. Ethan Ligon
  55. Feng Shu
  56. Florian Lindner
  57. Francesco Pizzolante
  58. Frederick Giasson
  59. Gary Oberbrunner
  60. George Kettleborough
  61. Georg Lehner
  62. Giovanni Ridolfi
  63. Grégoire Jadi (aka Daimrod)
  64. Gustav Wikström
  65. Henning Dietmar Weiss
  66. Henry Blevins
  67. Ian Barton
  68. Ian Dunn
  69. Ian Kelling
  70. Ilya Shlyakhter
  71. Ippei Furuhashi
  72. Jack Kamm
  73. Jake Romer
  74. James TD Smith
  75. Jan Böcker
  76. Jan Malakhovski
  77. Jarmo Hurri
  78. Jason Riedy
  79. Jay Kamat
  80. Jay Kerns
  81. Jeffrey Ryan Horn
  82. Joe Corneli
  83. Joel Boehland
  84. John Kitchin
  85. John Wiegley
  86. Jonas Bernoulli
  87. Jonathan Leech-Pepin
  88. Jon Snader
  89. José L. Doménech
  90. Juan Pechiar
  91. Julian Gehring
  92. Julien Barnier
  93. Julien Danjou
  94. Justin Gordon
  95. Justus Piater
  96. Karl Fogel
  97. Kaushal Modi
  98. Kodi Arfer
  99. Konstantin Antipin
  100. Kyle Meyer
  101. Lambda Coder
  102. Lawrence Mitchell
  103. Lele Gaifax
  104. Lennart Borgman
  105. Leonard Avery Randall
  106. Le Wang
  107. Luis Anaya
  108. Lukasz Stelmach
  109. Madan Ramakrishnan
  110. Magnus Henoch
  111. Manuel Giraud
  112. Marcin Borkowski
  113. Marco Wahl
  114. Martin Pohlack
  115. Martyn Jago
  116. Matt Lundin
  117. Max Mikhanosha
  118. Michael Albinus
  119. Michael Brand
  120. Michael Gauland
  121. Michael Sperber
  122. Miguel A. Figueroa-Villanueva
  123. Mikael Fornius
  124. Moritz Ulrich
  125. Nathaniel Flath
  126. Nathan Neff
  127. Neil Jerram
  128. Nicholas Dokos
  129. Nicolas Berthier
  130. Nicolas Dudebout
  131. Nicolas Goaziou
  132. Nicolas Richard
  133. Niels Giessen
  134. Nikolai Weibull
  135. Noorul Islam K M
  136. Oleh Krehel
  137. Paul Sexton
  138. Pedro Alexandre Marcelino Costa da Silva
  139. Peter Jones
  140. Phil Hudson
  141. Philip Rooke
  142. Phil Jackson
  143. Pierre Téchoueyres
  144. Pieter Praet
  145. Piotr Zielinski
  146. Puneeth Chaganti
  147. Rafael Laboissière
  148. Rainer M Krug
  149. Rasmus Pank Roulund
  150. Richard Kim
  151. Richard Klinda
  152. Richard Riley
  153. Rick Frankel
  154. Robert Michael Irelan
  155. Rüdiger Sonderfeld
  156. Russel Adams
  157. Ryo Takaishi
  158. Sacha Chua
  159. Samuel Loury
  160. Sebastian Reuße
  161. Sebastian Rose
  162. Sebastien Vauban
  163. Sergey Litvinov
  164. Seweryn Kokot
  165. Simon Michael
  166. Siraphob Phipathananunth
  167. Stardiviner
  168. Stephen Eglen
  169. Steven Rémot
  170. Suvayu Ali
  171. Tassilo Horn
  172. T.F. Torrey
  173. Thibault Marin
  174. Thierry Banel
  175. Thomas Baumann
  176. Thomas Holst
  177. Thomas S. Dye
  178. Thorsten Jolitz
  179. Tim Burt
  180. Tim Landscheidt
  181. Titus von der Malsburg
  182. Toby Cubitt
  183. Tokuya Kameshima
  184. Tomas Hlavaty
  185. Tom Breton
  186. Tony Day
  187. Trevor Murphy
  188. Ulf Stegemann
  189. Vitalie Spinu
  190. Vladimir Panteleev
  191. Yann Hodique
  192. Yasushi Shoji
  193. Yoshinari Nomura
  194. Yuri D. Lensky
  195. Zhang Weize
  196. Zhuo Qingliang (Killy Draw)

Processing

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 Jensen
  2. Adam Aviv
  3. Aliaksey Artamonau
  4. Allen Li
  5. Aman Yang
  6. Andrew Burgess
  7. Andrew Eggenberger
  8. Andy Lutomirski
  9. Anthony Cowley
  10. Arun Persaud
  11. Aurélien Aptel
  12. Austin Walker
  13. Axel Kielhorn
  14. Brian Carlson
  15. Christian Schwarzgruber
  16. Chunyang Xu
  17. Craig Tanis
  18. Daniel Peres Gomez
  19. Derek Feichtinger
  20. Doro Rose
  21. Eduardo Bellani
  22. Eric Danan
  23. Federico Beffa
  24. Feng Zhou
  25. Fernando Varesi
  26. Florian Beck
  27. Francesco Montanari
  28. Galen Menzel
  29. Georgiy Tugai
  30. Gong Qijian
  31. Gregor Zattler
  32. Greg Tucker-Kellogg
  33. Hiroshi Saito
  34. Ivan Vilata i Balaguer
  35. Jack Henahan
  36. Jacob Gerlach
  37. Jacob Matthews
  38. Jakob Lombacher
  39. Jan Seeger
  40. Jason Furtney
  41. Jeff Larson
  42. Joe Hirn
  43. John Foerch
  44. Jonas Hörsch
  45. Jon Miller
  46. Joost Diepenmaat
  47. Jose Robins
  48. Kodi Arfer
  49. Konstantin Kliakhandler
  50. Leslie Harlley Watter
  51. Lixin Chin
  52. Luke Amdor
  53. Marc Ihm
  54. Mario Frasca
  55. Mario Martelli
  56. Marshall Flax
  57. Martin Šlouf
  58. Martin Vuk
  59. Matthew Gidden
  60. Matthew MacLean
  61. Matt Price
  62. Michaël Cadilhac
  63. Michael O'Connor
  64. Michael Strey
  65. Michael Welle
  66. Michael Weylandt
  67. Mike McLean
  68. Miro Bezjak
  69. Moritz Kiefer
  70. Muchenxuan Tong
  71. Myles English
  72. Myq Larson
  73. Nathaniel Nicandro
  74. Nick Gunn
  75. Peter Feigl
  76. Peter Moresi
  77. Philip (Pip Cet)
  78. Renato Ferreira
  79. Richard Hansen
  80. Richard Lawrence
  81. Richard Y. Kim (Kim)
  82. Roberto Huelga
  83. Robert P. Goldman
  84. Roger Welsh
  85. Ruben Maher
  86. Sami Airaksinen
  87. Saulius Menkevičius
  88. Sebastien Le Maguer
  89. Sergey Gordienko
  90. Stefan-W. Hahn
  91. Stig Brautaset
  92. Sylvain Chouleur
  93. Teika Kazura
  94. Thierry Pellé
  95. Thomas Alexander Gerds
  96. Thomas Rikl
  97. Tobias Schlemmer
  98. Tom Hinton
  99. Vicente Vera Parra
  100. Viktor Rosenfeld
  101. Vladimir Lomov
  102. Wojciech Gac
  103. Xavier Martinez-Hidalgo
  104. Xi Shen
  105. York Zhao
  106. Yue Zhu
  107. Zane D. Purvis
  108. 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.

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