Bernhard Eversberg wrote:
That may be true for some ILS systems but certainly not for all of them. If it is, then it is a weakness of that system, not a feature of MARC. Get rid of those systems or get vendors to understand that this mode of communication is - though it needs not be thrown overboard - not the only mode that is required but what you need is configureble export. Even Z39.50 is not tied in with ISO2709, it is just a convention that this is most frequently used for communication.
Sorry to press the point but I think it is a vital one: using MARC in its ISO2709 form *cannot* work with linked data. At least, it cannot work without *major revamping* which is not worthwhile to undertake. So long as MARC is linked to ISO2709, we remain stuck in place since all you can do with it is transfer a complete record from one library catalog into another library catalog.
Once we are in an XML-type of world, retaining the numbered fields and subfields is OK, although at that point, it is of relatively minor importance. Once the data is in XML, you can do anything--anything--with it: transform them into other bibliographic formats, into citations, pdfs, docs, or even movies. We could even create records in 3D, if that's what we want! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7h09dTVkdw
Z39.50 itself may have a future or not; I don't much care one way or the other since tools exist today to do what we need to do.