So the following was sent out on the MARC Unicode list:
Proposal 2006-04, “Technique for conversion of Unicode to MARC-8,” was
approved at the MARBI meeting on January 21 with the following additions
and changes.1. It was agreed that a proposal for lossless representation of
unmappable characters using numeric character references will be brought
to the next meeting. Both the lossy and lossless methods will have
official status, and systems can choose to implement either or both, as
their needs and the needs of their users dictate.
2. Option 1 of the present proposal, which specifies the vertical bar as
the replacement character, was chosen.
3. It was agreed that an explicit list of characters to be decomposed
prior to conversion was required. RLG and OCLC will assist in the
creation of this list, which will be made available at the MARC 21 web
Gary L. Smith
Product Architecture and Development
So the good news, in my opinion, is that both a lossless conversion will be supported — which I think is great…partly because MarcEdit 5.0 already supports the approved format. In the next couple of days, I’ll also add support for the lossy conversion, where the pipe is utilized as a fill character.