Broken Catalogs

Posting to Autocat

On 02/03/2013 09:08, Hal Cain wrote:

Jim Weinheimer states again that the catalog(ue) is broken. Well, many catalogues are: system suppliers too often dumb down the functioning that even MARC can support. From the established form of name in one context (e.g. name as subject) one should be able to navigate to any other use of that name (e.g. as author) but many systems, including the one I’ve worked with most) do not support such connection; I tried in the past to implement it, and for my pains had my work trashed by the next upgrade, and didn’t try again. Not that MARC makes it easy: name alone is not connected with name + title or name + subdivision. Changing to some form of stable ID would enable us to gather all forms of name equally and connect all occurrences (also to connect different bibliographic identities by linking the IDs — so it wouldn’t matter whether one sought a work written by Joseph Ratzinger under that name or Benedict XVI.

Have you, or anybody on this list, worked with–or even seen–an online catalog that is not broken? That is, the catalog functions as it is supposed to, incorporating the authority structures into keyword results in a way that the public can understand. I have never seen anything like that, but I certainly have not seen everything.

Facets are a tremendous step forward but only a single step and not far enough.