I added require ('org-journal) to my .emacs.
Now I get the error message: 'Symbol's value as variable is void: require', when emacs is started. Without require ('org-journal) there is no error message.
But Org Journal seems to work (even with the error message during the start): the key-binding C-c C-j for org-journal-new-entry works, but i get the message.

Source file ‘/home/nilss/.emacs.d/elpa/org-journal-1.12.0  
/org-journal.el’ newer than byte-compiled file

Output with emacs --debug-init:

[init-file-user system-type delayed-warnings-list user-init-file  
inhibit-default-init inhibit-startup-screen ms-dos "~" "/_emacs"  
windows-nt "/.emacs" directory-files nil "^\\.emacs\\(\\.elc?\\)?$"   
        "~/.emacs" "^_emacs\\(\\.elc?\\)?$" initialization format-message 
"`_emacs'   init file is deprecated, please use `.emacs'" "~/_emacs" t 
load expand-  file-name "init" file-name-as-directory "/.emacs.d" 
file-name-extension   "elc" file-name-sans-extension ".el" 
file-exists-p file-newer-than-file-p message "Warning: %s is newer than
 %s" sit-for 1 "default"] 7]()

I don't understand what this message wants to tell me.

  • 2
    try (require 'org-journal)
    – JeanPierre
    Apr 30, 2017 at 9:28
  • @JeanPierre: Please consider making that an answer, explaining things.
    – Drew
    Apr 30, 2017 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


You're not using the correct syntax, you should use:

(require 'org-journal)

In lisp syntax, this is the way to call the function require with argument 'org-journal. On the other hand in:

require ('org-journal)

require is not at a place a function should be, so emacs thinks you talk about a variable with name require and this is exactly what

Symbol's value as variable is void: require

is saying (ok, in a non totally obvious way for a beginner :-).

I would suggest you read at least the beginning of Introduction to Programming in Emacs Lisp to get the basics of lisp.

Now, org-journal seems to work anyway. Certainly something else forces its loading. There may be other files loaded at startup as described in this section of emacs manual.

As for the message

Source file ‘/home/nilss/.emacs.d/elpa/org-journal-1.12.0
/org-journal.el’ newer than byte-compiled file

.el files are emacs lisp source files, but for performance reasons emacs can also load byte-compiled .elc files. The message says it found both the source and the byte-compiled file (which is ok) but that the source is newer than the byte-compiled one (which suggests the source file has been changed but the compiled file has not been regenerated and so may be outdated). Since you apparently installed org-journal from elpa, you could try to reinstall it with M-x list-package.

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