Open Source in CL

The official motivation behind Delph-in is described on its web pages, but I would like to explain my personal perspective here (in fact, this considerably predates DELPH-IN since we decided to make the work we were doing on the CSLI ERGO/LinGO project Open Source in the mid-1990s). So, here are the main reasons I can think of for making resources Open Source: Some of the possible downsides are as follows:

There are, however, some serious issues to think about in terms of ongoing support. A system is only really useful if there is a commitment to keep maintaining it, including supporting users who are making use of aspects of the system that you are no longer interested in yourself. Some users will have completely unrealistic expectations, others may have reasonable expectations that you simply cannot meet because of time pressure. Development of code and `lingware' does not have the same status as writing papers. A piece of code used by 1000 people does not seem to carry the same number of brownie points as a published paper cited by 10 people even though it may require many times more effort to produce. One possible (though admittedly partial) solution is to write decent documentation for the software and an accessible explanation of the underlying theory and to publish that as a book. (In this context, please see the CSLI CL series: we are very interested in publishing books with associated software.) Another (partial) solution is to link up with other people doing related work and agree to jointly maintain the software.