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
  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 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.

  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 ...]


    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
    (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

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