It turns out to be that the titles are cached and originally they are not supposed to change frequently.

One workaround is to delete all the cache:

Cache in ~/.org-timestamps doesn't get updated to reflect the change in page title. Deleting everything under the folder and re-publish then everything goes fine, until page titles are changed again.

For more detail, see the link in the comment below.

In my org-mode project, modified page title is not updated in sitemap after re-publish. I did following steps to reproduce:

  1. a.org(title A) --> change title to AA --> re-publish --> title in sitemap.org: A -->

  2. rename a.org(AA) to b.org(AA) --> re-publish --> title in sitemap.org: AA -->

  3. change b.org(AA) to b.org(BB) --> re-publish --> title in sitemap.org: AA

Here for (1) and (3) the sitemap doesn't reflect the change in page title.

What I tried:

  • Invoke org-publish-project, delete published contents, re-publish, doesn't work

  • Add prefix C-u to org-publish-project, delete published contents, re-publish, doesn't work

It seems to be some kinds of sitemap cache, but I couldn't find any clue.

I am using GNU Emacs for Mac OS X 26.1.

Below is my project configuration init.el:

(setq make-backup-files nil)

(setq project-dir (file-name-directory load-file-name))
(setq publish-dir (concat project-dir (file-name-as-directory "publish")))
(setq css-dir (concat project-dir (file-name-as-directory "css")))

(setq current-theme "readtheorg")

(load (concat project-dir "src/theme.el"))

;; for latex

(setq org-latex-pdf-process
  '("latexmk -pdflatex='pdflatex -interaction nonstopmode' -pdf -bibtex -f %f"))

 '((emacs-lisp . t)
   (clojure . t)
   (shell . t)
   (ditaa . t)
   (dot . t)
   (plantuml . t)))

;; org project

(require 'ox-publish)

(setq org-publish-project-alist
     :components("org-pages" "org-assets"))
     :base-directory "."
     :base-extension "org"
     :publishing-directory ,publish-dir
     :makeindex t
     :recursive t
     :publishing-function org-html-publish-to-html
     :with-author "Myself"
     :headline-levels 4
     :auto-preamble t
     :auto-sitemap t
     :sitemap-title "Notes"
     :base-directory "."
     :base-extension "css\\|js\\|png\\|jpg\\|gif\\|pdf\\|mp3\\|ogg\\|swf"
     :publishing-directory ,publish-dir
     :recursive t
     :publishing-function org-publish-attachment)

(org-publish "org" t)
(delete-directory "./publish/publish" t)

(defun pub ()
  "Publish org-project \"org\""
  (org-publish-project "org")
  (delete-directory (concat publish-dir (file-name-as-directory "publish")) t))

Any help is appreciated! Thanks!

  • 1
    Just for reference: the org-publish-cache feature was introduced on orgmode mail list by Sebastian Rose. Aug 19, 2019 at 2:41
  • 1
    @skovorodkin Thanks for the information!
    – Xin
    Aug 19, 2019 at 23:11

1 Answer 1


I'm new to answering on StackExchange, so if I'm doing something wrong I'm sorry, and any advice is welcome!

This is probably a bug, but this is a temporary solution I have found :). I ran this on Emacs 26.1, org-mode 9.2 on Ubuntu 18.04. Unfortunately I didn't manage to find the bug, but maybe this will be easier to use in the meantime.

This is what I did (I tried it twice):

  1. I changed org mode titles in 2 different files and tried to force publish the project. Eventually the sitemap wouldn't update, even after a forced org-publish.
  2. Then I removed the timestamps using the function below and force published again.
(org-publish "your-project-name" t)

tl;dr - Suggestion: Sometimes it's best to search for functions / variables in Emacs.

Emacs has A LOT of functions / variables etc. I used to search for most of my answers using Google, but when it comes to Emacs, sometimes the best way to find what I needed was just to search in Emacs itself. These days I start with Google and if I can't find what I need quickly, I move to searching through variables / functions / etc. inside Emacs itself. Spacemacs makes this really easy thanks to its focus on Discoverability. There are simply keyboard shortcuts to search for functions / variables, etc. You could add them to your setup even if you don't use Spacemacs. Here is the link to the Github documentation about Discoverability in Spacemacs.

Discoverability in Spacemacs - Github Link

  • It's not a bug, it's a feature :) org-publish caches all titles to speed up sitemap generation. The author probably didn't think users would want to change titles very often. Aug 19, 2019 at 2:48

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