Friday, January 14, 2011

RE: [RDA-L] Browse and search RDA test data

Posting to RDA-L

Bernhard Eversberg wrote:
Really, I'm not a great fan of MARC, but we do it injustice if we insist  it go away because of ISO2709. The latter has to go, and can go, and isn't being used nor required nor standing in the way in many applications right now, with no harm done to MARC whatsoever.
No, no. I guess I am not making myself clear. MARC does *not* have to go away, just its ISO2709 "incarnation". If you look at the MARC standards in the Leader and Directory,, it defines the ISO2709 structure.
The record you show is *not* what people download when they get the MARC format for their catalog. Here it is, straight from the LC catalog:
01070cam a2200289 i 4500001000900000005001700009008004100026906004500067925004400112955012600156010001700282020001800299040002800317042000800345043001200353050002400365082002000389245007400409260006100483300004600544336002100590337002500611338002300636650004500659651004400704651003200748 16097519 20101123143634.0 100219t20102010ncuab 000 0 eng a7bcbccorignewd2eepcnf20gy-gencatlg 0 aacquireb2 shelf copiesxpolicy default apc20 2010-02-19axh00 2010-09-15 to USPL/STMirf08 2010-10-07 (telework) to SLerf08 2010-10-13 to Deweywrd07 2010-11-23 a 2010923073 a9780977968169 aDLCbengcDLCerdadDLC apcc an-us-nc 00aVK1024.N8bN67 2010 00a917.5604/44222 00aNorth Carolina lighthouses :ba field guide to our coastal landmarks. aGreensboro, N.C. :bOur State Magazine,c[2010], (c)2010. a103 pages :billustrations, maps ;c20 cm atext2rdacontent aunmediated2rdamedia avolume2rdacarrier 0aLighthouseszNorth CarolinavGuidebooks. 0aNorth CarolinaxDescription and travel. 0aNorth CarolinavGuidebooks.
So to get the display you showed for the ISBN
020 \\$a9780977968169
MARCedit had to dig out the 020 from the Directory and match it with the ISBN. It did all this by *counting characters*, not by fielding as it is handled today: <020a>9780977968169</020a>. In ISO2709, everything is buried and must be exhumed.

A move to using MARCXML for record transfer gets rid of these hassles (so long as we do not insist on the round-tripability with ISO2709, as it does now, see point 3 of while maintaining the MARC codings. With XML, we can add all kinds of linked data.
MARC in its non-ISO2709 incarnation can stay forever, that's fine with me. Lots of programmers have issues with MARCXML, and they make some good points; still, I figure we need to move forward ASAP, and their--very legitimate--issues can be dealt with gradually. But those issues shouldn't stop us moving forward.
It is not ISO2709 that has to do that handling, it is the software processing MARC records. And this processing, I'm very sure, nowadays doesn't, internally, use the ISO directory structure at all but just the tags and codes. Internally, records will most often be represented like this: (the MARCEDIT structure shown by my database)
Internally, each database can be different, as each one is today. As I said ISO2709 no longer is used for internal purposes (except for some CDS-ISIS catalogs), and is used only for record transfer.

I think we *may* actually agree ?

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