PanLex development


PanLex is a project of The Long Now Foundation. Information about PanLex addressed to the public is located at the public PanLex website.

This site contains documentation for those who wish to develop, or already develop, PanLex content, PanLex technology, or PanLex-powered applications. These are the three kinds of PanLex developers. PanLex team members, interns, volunteers, partners, and unaffiliated developers all do PanLex development. If you are a PanLex developer, please comment so we can make the site work better for you.

What do you want to develop?


PanLex content developers discover, document, and edit billions of translations among the words of the languages of the world. Specifically, they do:


PanLex technology developers improve and document the design and infrastructure of the PanLex database and of its human and program interfaces. Specifically, they do:


PanLex application developers design programs to query the PanLex database. The main existing applications are listed at the main PanLex website. It is convenient to document problems and solutions for three (partly overlapping) specific kinds:

  • API-based applications: programs that use the PanLex API to submit queries.
  • Snapshot-based applications: programs that use copies (“snapshots”) of database tables, rather than the PanLex-hosted database. We make copies of tables available every month. You can retrieve them and use them to furnish data that your programs require.
  • Linked-data applications: programs that make or use links between PanLex data and other data. These programs can be either API-based or snapshot-based.

Becoming a PanLex developer

Do you want to become a PanLex developer? We invite you to study the documentation here. Please let us know what changes would make this site more effective.