<snip>So, how does the following search not fulfill these criteria? http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=au%3Ahomer+ti%3Ailiad
RDA Chapter 17, which covers the primary relationships between work, expression, manifestation, and item, is quite problematic in MARC. This is because MARC is a carrier for a collocated flat file construct.
Library of Congress in its policy statements has abandoned use of Chapter 17: "Do not apply chapter 17 in the current implementation scenario."
What does Chapter 17 allow:
"The data recorded to reflect primary relationships should enable the user to:
a) find all resources that embody a particular work or a particular expression
b) find all items that exemplify a particular manifestation."
Regardless of whether or not a user "wants" all the resources embodying a work, the system should at least allow the user to find them.
Similarly, a user may not want every single copy exemplifying a manifestation. They will want the copy that has these attributes: "checked in", "at this location", "non-reference". They are identifying and selecting copies when they do this. It's not a big deal, but the system should be designed to support that user task. As for the broader FRBR entities --- NO!! --- many current implementations __DO NOT__ do FRBR well, even though the objectives are plainly obviously in their usefulness.
If catalogers have done their work correctly and added the proper uniform title somewhere in the record, this search will retrieve the entire "work" of Homer's Iliad, and it will do even more since it will pull out, as some call it, the "superwork." It will include all related works, such as the movie Troy with Brad Pitt. You can also limit by any expressions. If I want Pope's translation, I just do a simple click. True, getting actual manifestations, except by date, can't be done in this interface but I have no doubt that could be done pretty easily by adding "publisher", if it was desired.
It can be improved, perhaps to add into it somehow, "Selections" for refinements in the uniform title. This search even picks up "Homerus" so perhaps some level of fuzzy matching is included now.
I think these capabilities are absolutely great--it is hard to imagine anything much simpler and easier, it needs practically no training and everything works with the records as they are now. These are the sorts of capabilities that demonstrate the way systems development should work. Certainly it can all be improved, but there is nothing wrong with that.
It seems that anything that FRBR envisions would only copy these capabilities in some way. FRBR/RDA may eventually create something as good and as simple... as what we see today. Of course, the kind of indexing we see in Worldcat will continue to develop as well.