Dan Connolly's tinkering lab notebook

OLIAS Web Index, circa 1994

In preparation for the 1994 Seybold Seminar, a few months after Mark Gaither and I wrapped James Clark's SGML parser in a CGI script to create the first online HTML markup validation service, the OLIAS team at Hal Software Systems put together an Index to the World Wide Web:

OLIAS Index to the World Wide Web CD cover
Index to the World Wide Web
The best way to find information since the card catalog
Copyright (c) 1994 HaL Computer Systems, Inc.

OLIAS was state-of-the-art for electronic publishing, at the time:

Newsgroups: comp.text.sgml
Date: 26 Sep 1994 19:15:08 UT
From: John Eadie
Organization: Computing Art Inc
Subject: Re: SGML Viewers and Formatters

[Mr. Raytrace]

I am looking for an SGML viewer that supports hypertext links and that takes care of formatting the documents. We are hoping to publish SGML documents on a CD-ROM, using a Windows based viewer.

.. several viewers described ..

You might also consider OLIAS, by HaL Computer Systems -- the browser is designed to access multiple sources of SGML including the www using the same interface. The windows port is available soon.

To show off the OLIAS searching capabilities HaL handed out CD-ROMs at Seybold the week before last, that contain an SGML Info Library with 100k abstracts from www documents. On the CD-ROM you get the infolib, a browser, plus the Broker that accesses www through your local firewall. Anybody that would like to try an OLIAS `Index to the World-Wide Web' CD-ROM (for SPARC) can contact me ..


Ps: OLIAS Version1.1 features architectural forms dtd-to-dtd conversion, an incorporated parser, a more complete web-browser, etc, etc.

klee wyck Cottage, 120 Keith Road, West Vancouver BC V7T 1L3
# # 416.287.6811 -or- 604.922.5104 Fax 604.922.5194

`The monks who did not buy printing presses are now making wine. In the years ahead, some of us will make the same choice' Steven Cherry, ELSEVIER

Presuming license to re-publish for the purpose of historical preservation, I ripped a copy and put it online:

  • OLIAS.iso 337M
    md5sum: de687dc2d49aa3a4d6dc7d7676411ec8

The index format is highly optimized for minimal seeking on a CD, and hence incomprehensible without running OLIAS itself:

The OLIAS Web Index demonstration software supports one client and two server configurations. The client configuration requires a Sun SPARC workstation running SunOS 4.1.x (Solaris 1.1.1), up to 350MB of disk space, and either X11R5 or Open Windows. The server configurations can be a machine on the client system's LAN that is connected to the Internet and running either a SOCKS server or a Web proxy server process.

Getting it running would be a retrocomputing exercise for another day, though I did get as far as finding Installing SunOS 4.1.1 to Sun3 Emulated in TME 0.8 on Linux Mar 2011 by hyunghwan chung.