4.2. Facilities and software used for the prototype
As mentioned in Chapter 1, the project consultants are each members of the
management team of the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII).
AustLII has agreed to allow the Project DIAL prototype to be hosted on its web
server facilities. The software used to create the Project DIAL prototype is
also used on the AustLII system.
The Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII - http://www.austlii.edu.au/)
operates a large free access law site on the Internet, and its personnel also
research and teach computerisation of law, and provide some consultancy
services such as for Project DIAL. It is operated jointly by two University law
faculties. The AustLII web site
contains over 3 gigabytes of Australian legal materials, including the full
texts of over 75,000 court and tribunal decisions and 500,000 sections of
legislation, with over 13M automatically inserted hypertext links within those
materials. The site receives over 80,000 `hits' per working day, nearly 2M
`hits' per month. AustLII has also developed since 1995 its own `intellectual
indexes' to law on the Internet, now containing about 2,000 links, about half
of which are to Australian legal materials, and the balance to legal materials
around the world. A full description of AustLII and its research is available
on the web in `The AustLII Papers'http://elj.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/LegInfo/97_2gree/default.htm].
The web server facilities used for the AustLII system consist of three Sun
Microsystems servers, two of which are linked directly via a 100 Mbps fibre
interface to the main 32G RAID disk array on which AustLII's data is storedhttp://elj.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/LegInfo/97_2gree/green2.htm].
The processing and storage capacity is to be doubled in early 1998.
The project consultants and other AustLII personnel have developed the
following software which has been used to develop the Project DIAL prototype:
of this software is used in other aspects of the AustLII system. Project DIAL
has provided the first opportunity for extensive testing of the targeted web
spider. It will soon play a significant role in other projects, both in
relation to Australian legal materials and other international materials such
as an indigenous law, human rights law, industrial law, and a world library of
case law. Some of the research on Internet law indexing is supported by
Australian Research Council grants.
- Internet indexing software (`Feathers') which allows remote updating by
multiple contributors to an index, full search facilities over the index
entries, and a facility to `target' a robot to fully index specific sites
identified in the index. The interface to Feathers is similar to that made
familiar by Yahoo!http://www.yahoo.com]
- A robot or `web spider' (`Gromit'), and a `harness' or means of
controlling it (`Wallace').
- A search engine (SINO), which has the full range of boolean and proximity
search commands, optional relevance ranking of search results, and a facility
for limiting the scope of searches to specific databases or collections of
databases (`Libraries'); a new interface to SINO (`Shaun') has been developed
for Project DIALhttp://www.wallaceandgromit.com/].
Further details of the software are contained in the Annexure to this Chapter.
 The University of Technology, Sydney
and the University of New South Wales
 - the Journal of Information, Law
& Technology (JILT)
 Details of current facilities are in
`Managing Large Scale Hypertext Databases' in `The AustLII Papers' -
 Sun Enterprise 3000 server with dual
processors (250 MHz each) and 256 MB of RAM, plus additional 32 Gbyte of RAID
storage are on order.
 The names `Wendolyn' and `Wensleydale'
are likely to be used for future software developed for this project. For
further details see