Appendix B History and Acknowledgments
B.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 to me. Also, when using
outlines to take notes, I constantly wanted to restructure the tree,
organizing it parallel to 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 the
mailing list 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
- 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’,
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!
B.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
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
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.
B.3 List of Contributions
- Russell Adams came up with the idea for drawers.
- Thomas Baumann wrote ‘ol-bbdb.el’ and ‘ol-mhe.el’.
- 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 ‘ol-docview.el’.
- Brad Bozarth showed how to pull RSS feed data into Org 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.
- Baoqiu Cui contributed the DocBook exporter.
- Eddward DeVilla proposed and tested checkbox statistics. He also
came up with the idea of properties, and that there should be an API
- 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.
- 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’.
- David Emery provided a patch for custom CSS support in exported HTML
- 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.
- Kai Grossjohann pointed out key-binding conflicts with other
- Brian Gough of Network Theory Ltd publishes the Org mode manual as
- 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 ‘ol-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’.
- 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.
- 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.
- Martin Pohlack provided the code snippet to bundle character
insertion into bundles of 20 for undo.
- 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
- Jason Riedy generalized the send-receive mechanism for Orgtbl
tables with extensive patches.
- 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
- Paul Sexton wrote ‘org-ctags.el’.
- Tom Shannon’s ‘organizer-mode.el’ inspired linking to VM/BBDB/Gnus.
- 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
- Ulf Stegemann created the table to translate special symbols to
HTML, LaTeX, UTF-8, Latin-1 and ASCII.
- Andy Stewart contributed code to ‘ol-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.
- 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
- Samuel Wales has provided important feedback and bug reports.
- Chris Wallace provided a patch implementing the ‘QUOTE’ block.
- David Wainberg suggested archiving, and improvements to the
- 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
- Piotr Zielinski wrote ‘org-mouse.el’, proposed agenda
blocks and contributed various ideas and code snippets.
- Marco Wahl wrote ‘ol-eww.el’.