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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.

4.2.1. AustLII host facilities

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[110]. 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'[111]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 stored[112]http://elj.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/LegInfo/97_2gree/green2.htm]. The processing and storage capacity is to be doubled in early 1998[113].

4.2.2. SINO search engine, LINKS indexing software, web spider

The project consultants and other AustLII personnel have developed the following software which has been used to develop the Project DIAL prototype: All 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.

Further details of the software are contained in the Annexure to this Chapter.

[110] The University of Technology, Sydney and the University of New South Wales

[111] - the Journal of Information, Law & Technology (JILT)

[112] Details of current facilities are in `Managing Large Scale Hypertext Databases' in `The AustLII Papers' -

[113] 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.


[115] The names `Wendolyn' and `Wensleydale' are likely to be used for future software developed for this project. For further details see

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