(Re-)Organization of Open Linguistics

Since its formation as an Working Group of the OKFN in October 2010, the Open Linguistics Working Group (OWLG) has been active in discussing all aspects of open and linked open data in the language sciences, language technology, knowledge engineering, digital lexicography and neighboring fields of science, industry and the humanities. We organize international workshops, e.g., the workshop series “Linked Data in Linguistics”, we have developed the Linguistic Linked Open Data cloud, and we conduct occasional meetings and telcos.

As of January 2020, a number of administrative changes have been necessary. The most important is that our mailing list migrated from OKFN to Google Groups. This mailing list will remain our primary communication channel, but in addition, we maintain a Open Knowledge Forum category for public announcements. Aside from the forum, you can get in touch via

Externally provided OWLG resources include the Linguistic Linked Open (LLOD) cloud diagram: http://linguistic-lod.org/

We keep you updated on future changes.

Best regards,
for the OWLG moderators

It is very unfortunate that some group belonging to the Open Knowledge Foundation should migrate to a proprietary software for its main communication channel. Have you considered open source solutions?

Wikimedia Italia is happy to host your mailing list on mailman: https://mailman.wikimedia.it/ . The topic is also relevant for Wikimedia in general, given our interest in languages, i18n and l10n, so http://lists.wikimedia.org/ is also an option.

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Dear Nemo_bis,

I full-heartedly agree with your assessment and thank you for your offer. This was one of the major concerns we had, as well. And a Google Group was, indeed, not our first choice, but we did a two-stage democratic approach on that, well-documented in our mail archive: First with a public call for ideas about hosting options over the list, then with a vote among these options. Our first choice would have been to stay with the OKF, of course. Our second choice was to ask the Linguist List for hosting the website. Unfortunately, they don’t accept novel mailing lists anymore. Among the remaining options, we had concerns about their scope and inclusivity (special interest groups of scientific organizations), organisational overhead and thematic focus (W3C Community Group), stability (several providers) and long-term availability (university-hosted mailing lists). European GDPR is a real problem here, not because it doesn’t allow to maintain mailing lists anymore, but because it comes with a lot of administrative and legal concerns, so that Europe-based mailing services are increasingly being discontinued, sometimes at short notice. This was also one of the reasons the OKF gave us for closing the mailing list. Google Groups is a compromise most people seem to be able to live with, and the vote was unanimous. Likewise, we had a consensus to create and maintain a OK Forum category in addition to that.

I CC your message to the new open-linguistics mailing list and we can discuss there (and on the forum) about your hosting offer, but with more than 50 people already on the new list, and no way to reach people who did not migrate yet from the old one (there were more than 200 list members), I prefer not create additional confusion by moving to a new venue, again. If we do that at some point, it should certainly not be earlier than in, say, 6 months, in order to let things settle down a bit. I might be wrong, but I feel that ship has sailed, though.