Wednesday, February 16, 2011

RE: rdacontent terms - dataset

Posting to RDA-L

Bernhard Eversberg wrote:
<snip>
Am 15.02.2011 15:27, schrieb Weinheimer Jim:
>
> Of course, MARCXML doesn't solve all the problems, but one big one will be out of the way.
Oh get real, Jim!
The plain text format of MarcEdit can do the same, with an absolute minimum of effort when compared to MARCXML. Don't overlook the constraints of our actual ecosystem. Where ISO can't be avoided, for some updating or transfer purposes, MarcEdit can still be converted both ways with existing tools. Where MARCXML is desired, it can be produced from both ISO-MARC and MarcEdit. MARCXML must be looked upon as an add-on, not a requirement or necessity to escape the present, unsplendid ISOlation.
</snip>
I am being real. The plain text format of MarcEdit *absolutely cannot* do the same as MARCXML. I'll prove this right now. Browsers are built to work with XML, so right now, this second, any webmaster can work on the fly with XML using nothing more than a browser. They need no other tools. This is the importance of XML. Here is an example of how it works and you can change it yourself where you can add in variables and values as you want: http://www.w3schools.com/xml/tryxslt.asp?xmlfile=simple&xsltfile=simple
For example, in the XML part (left side) add a value under <food>
<thing>Thing</thing>
In the XSLT (right side) under <xsl:value-of select="description"/> copy and paste this:
<span style="font-weight:bold;font-size:5em;color:red;"><xsl:value-of select="thing"/></span>
Then, click the button and see what happens underneath. This particular example is done using a server, but it can be done in a browser, or both. There are a thousand variations on using XSL Transformations, some very impressive. I always assume that when you have an XML file, you can do *anything* with the information within it. Anything at all. There are also a lot more ways of using XML records than only XSLTs. You cannot do this with a plain text format.

Even though I use MarcEdit every day, nobody in the world uses (or will use) it except for libraries and librarians. MARC in its ISO2709 form is used today *only* for transferring records from one *library catalog* to another *library catalog*. It has no other function. This is why I say that so long as we use ISO2709, we are stuck on "Library Island" because nobody else can transfer our records.

Why? Because you can't do anything at all with them until you have parsed them out and transformed them into a format you can deal with. Therefore, if a webmaster wants to work with our records now, they first have to parse them using a separate tool (like MarcEdit) to transform them into XML (or some kind of format that works with a web browser), and this they will not do because they *cannot* work with the records on the fly, as they can easily with the XML above. If we supply people with XML--even DC simple--they can at least work with it to an extent.

Again, if somebody were to include an ISO2709 parser into every browser, matters may be different (maybe?) but there is no chance of that when it is we who should change and not everyone else.

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