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The Project DIAL feasibility study and prototype has benefited from the assistance and encouragement of many people, to whom I extend my thanks, and particularly to those I have mentioned below.
The DIAL prototype would not exist without the software developed by three of my colleagues at the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII). Foremost is Geoffrey King who developed the Feathers web indexing software, the means of integrating it with a web spider, the search interface to make all of the software deliver the results, and the DIALogue e-mail interface - often under trying circumstances. Daniel Austin developed the Gromit/Wallace web spider software and tend the data it is accumulating at an escalating rate. Andrew Mowbray developed the SINO search engine which underlies DIAL Search.
Project DIAL owes its origins to Barry Metzger, the Bank's General Counsel, who recognised the value of legal information on the internet to the Bank's DMCs and to the achievement of the Bank's objectives, and has provided constant encouragement to Project DIAL's realisation. Omar Tiwana, of the Bank's Counsel has supervised the Project and has been extremely generous with his time, patience and valuable advice. All of the Counsel in the Bank's Office of the General Counsel have provided valuable contacts in DMCs, comments on the progress on the prototype, participation in DIALogue and assistance generally.
I have been assisted in the location and addition of content to the DIAL Index by Jill Matthews of DataLex and by Alison Dare, Law Librarian at the University of New England. I am also increasingly indebted to those DIAL users who suggesting valuable additions via the `Add a Link' facility. Otherwise, the responsibility for content is mine.
AustLII and its management committee agreed to let AustLII host the DIAL prototype, due to its value to AustLII users, and we are grateful for that assistance. AustLII's Manager, Philip Chung and our other AustLII colleagues have been generous and understanding when some of us were preoccupied with Project DIAL matters.
Special thanks to Jill Matthews for assistance in many aspects of the Project including content development, administration of contact with DIALogue participants, reading the whole report in draft, and constant encouragement.
Our local survey assistants in seven DMCs, all of whose names and affiliations are listed in Chapter 3 of the Report, have provided very useful information concerning their countries, often at short notice, and have made that aspect of the Report possible.
Our DIALogue Panelists , distinguished experts in law and development, have our thanks for agreeing to provide the benefit of their knowledge and experience to DMC officials on a voluntary basis. Similarly, DIALogue's Authorised Users, senior government and court officials, have our thanks for agreeing to participate in an experiment in e-mail communication.
Geoffrey King and Andrew Mowbray have been joint consultants with me on this project via DataLex Pty Ltd.
For errors and omissions in the Report that follows, I must take the responsibility.
Professor of Law, University of New South Wales
Co-Director, Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII)
Consultant, Project DIAL
31 January 1998