WordNet.Net is the product of three important projects. The first is
WordNet, the second is
initial port of WordNet to the .Net Framework, and the third is my
updates to Malcolm's library to complete the word relations searches, update it
to the latest WordNet release, and fix bugs.
WordNet.Net is released under the LGPL license, meaning that the source may
be used for any purpose without charge or further negotiation whilst complying
with the LGPL. In summary that requires that the source code for the open
source component must be distributed with any resulting application (as well as
all modifications and derived code from it), whilst a
closed source portion of the application can remain while it does not contain
any LGPL'd code. Please visit
http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/lesser.html for a full overview of the license
if you have any doubts. Effectively, you maintain the library as open
source whilst you can close any application built around it.
What is WordNet, What is it Good For?
WordNet is a lexicon - a database of over a hundred thousand words with
meanings and a complex architecture of word links. We see WordNet in
applications in the form of thesauruses, dictionaries, puzzle solvers, and
probably most importantly to the WordNet developers - artificial intelligence
applications. I won't pretend to fully understand the entire WordNet
architecture, I have made modifications to the library purely based on the WordNet C
code in conjunction with Malcolm's port.
The idea of this project is not necessarily for me to lead any exact
direction of the library, but to open it up to the ideas of those who can add to
and improve the library as a whole so that it becomes a powerful basis for
projects by researchers, software developers and tinkerers alike. Anyone
is free to suggest what they would like to be in the library, and it will be up
to the community as to what gets developed and what stays on the backburner. As
such, anyone is also free to contribute code to help build the library into
something more substantial. In the meantime the library is 100% usable,
offering 100% of the search capabilities of the original WordNet library.
Why Open Source?
Malcolm's source code from his port was open from the start, however he
ceased development after getting the code to work. I wanted to make
projects for other platforms based on WordNet, and because the .Net language was
my main interest at the time I persisted in updating Malcolm's code and
subsequently closed the code on my own updates. The main reason for this
is that it took me a while to figure out the workings and the reason for some
elusive bugs. My variation of Malcolm's code was of no use to anybody
whilst the bugs and the limitations remained - therefore, everyone who was
interested in WordNet .Net development had the same access to Malcolm's code as
I did, so there was no advantage in me releasing the library.
Over a good period of time I have tried and tested my fixes on the library
and now I am finally satisfied that it is 100% functional. I could be
wrong however, there could be some minute functionality missing, and that is
part of the reason for going open source. The other reason is that I would
like to draw knowledge from the community to make the library even better.
There is an opportunity to add extensions, optimise the code, and to hopefully
draw from the experience of those who really know the WordNet database well.