From the Release Announcement:
The bits are on the wire and NetLing is live! See the wiki at http://www.netling.org/ [The website is no longer available –josh 8 aug 2008]
NetLing is a tool to aid in historical analysis and live monitoring of lexical variation using Internet-available bodies of text as corpora (i.e. Web, Usenet, mailing list archives, IRC chat, etc.) The initial release is designed to analyze the correspondence of the Linux Kernel Mailing List, though expansion into a wider range of data sources is a priority due to the extremely technical nature of that list. The program itself is written in Ruby and designed to interface with a MySQL database, although efforts at database independence (to allow Postgres, Firebird, and so on) have been made, and will be a focus for the next release.
NetLing was inspired by the author’s observation that his English usage began to shift lexically away from American and towards British and continental European usage as he interacted in online mailing lists with people from those regions. Though the project initially focuses on English, its ultimate vision is to gain a view of past and current directions in the lexicon of many of the world’s languages.
The project is so far a one man show by Josh Hansen, an undergraduate student in linguistics at Brigham Young University. Help and answers are available at [email address redacted]
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