Bastien Guerry

Computers and freedom

Org 9.4 is out. Can you help?

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Org 9.4 is out. Enjoy!

Most of the time, when you hear that a free software project is struggling, it is too late. E.g. both pdf-tools and helm don't have a maintainer since a few days: did you see this coming?

Org is doing quite well, but I feel we are at a turning point: either we attract more contributors and we can afford to fix more bugs and deliver new releases, or we might get overwhelmed by user requests and lose both our energy and our motivation to continue.

Of course, part of this problem is my limited free time over the past few years: don't worry, I am no BDFL and I will soon step down as the maintainer. Also, other core contributors have been more active than I was able to be, so I guess my feeling is still valid, even for when I won't be contributing anymore.

I think it boils down to this: we are not very good at helping you help us. So, here is my modest attempt at getting better at this:

  • If you are a power user but no Elisp hacker, can you subscribe to the mailing list and help answering questions and reproducing bug reports? I cannot insist enough on this: it really helps a lot. Of course, you are also welcome to help people on Stackoverflow and on Reddit, but upstream help on the mailing list is decisive to let code contributors focus on their contributions.
  • If you are an Elisp hacker, can you help us fix bugs? Here is a list of confirmed bugs that you can subscribe to (as RSS).
  • If you just want to help occasionally, here are our requests for help that you also can subscribe to.
  • If you have better ideas on how to let anyone contribute more, can you send a patch against the org-contribute page? See worg.git.
  • If money is not an issue for you, can you make a donation? Yes, it does help. Also, if you already contribute to Org with code, emails on the list or contributions to worg, and if money is a factor for you, please don't be shy and add yourself to the donation page.
  • If you have feature requests, they are also welcome, but at the bottom of this list. If you or a friend of yours can work on a patch for your feature request, that'd be really appreciated!

In any case, feel free to share your ideas on the list or to share them with me directly.

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