Interested in Org but not enough to monitor the mailing list? In this blog I digest developments, and each month regurgitate what I consider the highlights, along with anything else Org-related I consider nifty.

Posts are published in .html, .org, .org.html, .txt, and .pdf forms — because why not 😛

Special Announcement 2022-04-01

It has become apparent to the Org Mode developers that Org is suffering from a severe lack of enterprise adoption. To rectify this, we will be leveraging our collective decades working on holistic human-markup interaction tools to rapidly pivot to what we believe to be the true markup format of the future — Confluence Wiki Markup.

With this paradigm shift, you can look forward to a much more intuitive syntax, empowering you to create next-generation agile documents.

To assist you in this transition, we’ll give you a brief overview of the changes you can expect. Text formatting is almost unaffected, with a few sensible changes made to the surrounding characters.

Figure 1: Translation between Org’s syntax and our new Confluence overlords’s equivalents

We’d like to thank the FSF for giving the Org project the space and support to grow to become a world-class project. In our new venture, copyright assignment to the FSF is no longer required. Instead, copyright must be assigned to Atlassian prior to contributing.

This new partnership enables new and exciting integrations with Atlassian’s proprietary technologies. Over the next few months we will be transforming Org to a cloud-native serverless professional markup offering. Unlike Confluence, we will allow you to both write and edit documents using plaintext markup. We believe that by unlocking the synergy between plaintext and Confluence the Org project will become a thought leader in hyper-scale markup solutions.

The shift to Confluence wiki markup will come as a surprise to many of you, but after doing a deep dive into the scalability of Org we realised that there were no low-hanging fruit available — only out of the box thinking will allow for the innovation so many of our users crave.

We hope this change will not just disrupt your documents, but the entire markup industry.

February 2022 2022-02-30

Timothy (TEC) here. This month we have a guest post from a different part of the Org ecosystem, to highlight one of the most promising efforts to provide a good experience outside Emacs.

“But I use Emacs, I don’t care” you may say. In that case, I’d like to point out that wider spread and better Org support enriches the Org ecosystem as a whole. It makes the format more approachable, and useful for other people. This is good for everybody.

Without any further ado, here’s the guest post kindly written by Kristijan. Enjoy!

Like every beginner Vim user, at some point I ran into a usual editor war post: Vim vs Emacs. At that time, I didn’t have an idea what “Emacs” was.

Read more…

January 2022 2022-01-31

There are less “obvious user-facing changes” this month, but a lot of good work has been happening 🙂.

The cache continues to make strides

Nine months ago, Ihor started working on the org-element cache. The cache has existed for a while now, but it used to be too buggy to be useful.

This is no longer the case! We’re finally confident enough to flip org-element-use-cache’s default from nil to t. I mentioned some of the improvements in , however Ihor has continued to make strides with the cache.

Getting the cache right is tough though, and so while the situation is much improved there are still lingering bugs which need to be chased down. If you only take one thing away from the post, I’d like it to be this:

Read more…

December 2021 2021-12-31

Just over eight months ago, I kicked off This Month in Org with an emphatic announcement of the blog’s in the form of a Welcome post. If you haven’t guessed, this is the first “blog post” I’ve ever written. In that welcome post, I gave my motivation for starting the blog — essentially to bridge a perceived gap in information sources between a subscription to the Org project mailing list, and nothing.

That is why I thought this blog should exist, but until now I have neglected to mention what I want to accomplish with it. By starting TMiO I hoped to:

  • Engage more people with the improvements being made to Org[1].
  • Highlight some of the great work being done by Org[1] contributors.
  • Read more…

November 2021 2021-11-30

With a 9.5 release highlight post last month, and the month before skipped, it’s now three months since the last regular instalment of TMIO. Let’s get back up to date on some of the latest happenings with Org.

Org as markup

Looking at the wider ecosystem, it certainly appears that there is a growing appetite for Org markup outside org-mode. More projects like Hugo and Logseq seem to be interested in supporting Org markup, and there has been a recent growth in editor extensions like Neovim’s orgmode.nvim (started in March this year) and Sublime Text’s OrgExtended (started in June this year).

Read more…

October 2021 2021-10-31

Turns out that life became busy enough that instead of delaying, last month’s post had to be cancelled. We’re now back to business as usual though 🙂.

There have been some cool recent developments in Org over the past two months, but you’ll have to learn about those is next month’s edition as Org 9.5 has been released 🎉. So, let’s go over some of the changes I’m most excited about, in no particular order. To get a more complete picture of the latest changes, see ORG-NEWS.

The new citation engine

August 2021 2021-08-38

Dear readers, unfortunately I’ve been unusually busy as of late, and will continue to be for a bit over a month. As such, it’s entirely likely that the next post or two may be late make use of creative dates too.

In terms of Org development, we’ve had a fairly slow month — mostly tweaks and fixes, concentrated on the new org-cite functionality. However, there have been big developments with Roam as of late.

July 2021 2021-07-31

Last month I not-at-all-subtly hinted that a certain long-awaited feature was arriving imminently. At this point, I think it’s a good idea to set the tone for the rest of this post.



June 2021 2021-06-34

The previous two months have been pretty good for Org development — with many bug fixes and feature improvements. This month has been substantially slower than the last[1], but that’s not to say not much is happening: in fact, there are some rather nifty contributions lined up for the not-too-distant future and a certain long-awaited feature branch[2] is getting very close to merging 😀. You’ll just have to stick around to hear about those in a future edition of TMIO 😉.

Figure 2: It’s right around the corner, I swear!

Customise the reference command used in LaTeX

May 2021 2021-05-31

Async Babel sessions have landed

Jack Kamm has made a fantastic contribution to Org: ob-comint.el now supports asynchronous output from source blocks with full support for sessions 🎉.

If you haven’t used sessions before, you’re in for a treat! By simply assigning a named session to a source code block, e.g. :session foo, the same process will be reused for any other code blocks that specify the foo session. To do this for a certain language across the entire document, you can set the header argument property, i.e.

Org mode
#+property: header-args:lang :session foo

Along with the asynchronous process communication in ob-comint.el, we have an implementation for Python, and we should see support for R and Ruby in the not-too-distant future 😍.

Read more…

April 2021 2021-04-30

A discussion on contributor support

Concerns were raised[1] about some contributors’ patches languishing, and it not being made clear how long it might take to get a response from someone.

In response to this, a the new role of Contributor Steward has been created to: help ensure contributors get a timely response, help out with preliminary patch feedback, and keep up to date.

Org now has three Contributor Stewards to ease the process for patch submitters and core maintainers:

  • Timothy / TEC
  • Tim Cross
  • John Corless

Read more…

Welcome 2021-04-26


Org is an absolutely marvellous project. However, a quick glance at can lead one to think “so… it’s an Emacs version of Markdown? What’s the big deal?”. While it’s easy to understand how someone might think that at first, that impression misses two crucial points:

  • While for simple constructs (bold, italic, headlines, etc.) the syntax is very much analogous[1], Org scales to much more powerful forms that are a headache to replicate in Markdown
  • Org mode was developed in Emacs, for Emacs. The integrations for Org put every other plaintext markup editing experience to shame. This is a bold statement, and I stand by it.

Read more…

CC0 To the extent possible under law, TEC has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to This Month in Org.