Merry Christmas! MarcEdit 5.9 Update

By reeset / On / In MarcEdit

Merry Christmas!  I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday, full of happiness, family, and rest.  I’ve been spending the past couple of days wrapping up my last Christmas present – this one to the MarcEdit community…a shiny new update.  In what has become a bit of a holiday tradition, I try and use the Christmas update to handle a few nagging issues as well as introduce something unexpected and new.  Some years that’s harder than others.

This year, I decided to tackle an issue that is becoming more problematic with each new computer refresh cycle – that being challenges arising from the proliferation of 64-bit Windows systems.  The challenge isn’t with MarcEdit itself, the challenge is when MarcEdit works with 3rd party programs or components that I don’t control.

When I designed MarcEdit, I designed it to be processor independent.  If a user is on a 32-bit system, MarcEdit would run in 32-bit mode.  If a user was on a 64-bit system, the program would run in 64-bit mode.  For the application, this works great.  The problem arises when MarcEdit has to utilize 3rd party tools and services.  This directly impacts one popular MarcEdit plugin – the OCLC Connexion plugin.  This plugin allows users to import data from their Connexion local save file, process the data in MarcEdit, and then save the data back to the Connexion save file.  And for users of 64-bit systems, this plugin has been unavailable for use.  The reason is that OCLC utilizes Microsoft Access’s database format to store the local Connexion data.  The component to read the MS Access file format, an operating system component distributed with Windows (or installed when a user installs Office), is a 32-bit component.  Microsoft has gone on record saying that they won’t be updating this component, and has advised developers to just build programs targeting 32-bit systems if they need to access database components.  This is what Connexion does, but in MarcEdit, there are some good reasons from a speed and optimization perspective, to utilizing the native data types when on 32 and 64 bit systems.  So, for a long-time, this restriction essentially prevented users on 64-bit systems from using this plugin.

Well, I’ve been researching a potential solution for some time, and I’ve come up with one.  As of today, I’ve introduced a 32-bit mode in MarcEdit.  Users have the option to select this mode, and MarcEdit will create a pocket, virtualized environment allowing the application to run as a 32-bit application and thus, utilize the plugin.  At this point, I’m not giving users the option to always run MarcEdit in 32-bit mode…I’m not sure I ever will.  But this option will give users the ability to work with the Connexion plugin, regardless of they system type.  I’ve recorded a youtube video demonstrating how this new function works.

 

I’m hoping that this enhancement will also lead to the ability to utilize this approach to provide improved debugging, but I will have to continue to do a little more research. 

As you can imagine, this update also includes updates to the OCLC Connexion Plugin.  If you want to use it, you will need to either download it from the plugin manager…or, if you already have it – delete the existing plugin and download the new one using the plugin manager. 

MarcEdit update notes:

  • Bug Fix: Copy Field: When data is present in the Find Text box to define conditional Copy Field operations, the Find data is ignored. This has been corrected.
  • Bug Fix: Extract/Delete Records: When calculating the display field, MarcEdit utilizes the non-filing character indicators when extracting title data for display. However, if the non-filing data is incorrect, then an error can occur. This has been corrected.
  • Enhancement: Validate URLs: Users now have the ability to select a non-variable field to be the display field in the status reports.
  • Enhancement: OCLC Connexion Plugin: Corrected the 008 data processing so that the data is valid when moving between the Connexion data file and MarcEdit. Previously, MarcEdit didn’t process this data which caused the data to be invalid when imported into MarcEdit since OCLC stores two extra bytes in the field. The data is now cleaned and fixed when moving data between the Connexion data file and MarcEdit.
  • Enhancement: OCLC Connexion Plugin: Updated the user interface.
  • Enhancement: OCLC Connexion Plugin: Improved the Error Handling and the messages that users receive on error.
  • Enhancement: OCLC Connexion Plugin: Improved the status thread handling so error and status messages are not covered up.
  • New Feature: MarcEdit 32-bit Mode: When users migrated to a 64-bit environment, the Connexion Plugin ceased to function because it relied on a 32-bit operating system component, a component Microsoft has said will not be supported in 64-bit mode. To allow users to continue to use tools like the OCLC Connexion plugin, MarcEdit now has a 32-bit mode, a service that essentially creates a virtual 32-bit environment around the MarcEdit application, allowing the program the ability to utilize 32-bit components while running on a 64-bit system.
  • Merry Christmas!!!

If you have automated updates enabled, the program will prompt you to update the next time you use the program.  Otherwise, you can download the updates from:

Merry Christmas,

–tr