Happy Christmas! It is my sincere wish that everyone reading this is/has had a wonderful time with family and good friends over the holiday season. This year marks the second year that I’ve been away from my family – my parents, my brothers, my in-laws – all still in Oregon. It’s the hardest time to be away from family; we have always been close and while my wife and kids have our own Christmas traditions, we’ve always found time around the holidays to be together as an extended family. But this second year in Ohio has been very different than the first. Last year, we were still trying to settle into our new community, new friends and absorb the Midwest culture (which is very different than the west coast). Ohio had become home, and yet, it wasn’t.
This year has been different. We’ve made good friends, our kids have found a place to fit in; we’ve bought a house and are putting down roots. Ohio State University continues to be a place with challenges and opportunities to learn and grow – but more importantly, it has become a place not just with colleagues that I respect and continue to learn from, but a place where friendships have been made. When my older son had a bit of a health scare, it was my community at Ohio State and the friends we’ve made in our neighborhood that helped to provide immediate support, and continue to support us. As I look back on 2014 and all the wonderful friends and adventures that we’ve had in our new adopted state, I realize just how fortunate and blessed my family has been to find a community, job, and friends that have just fit.
This last year has also saw the continued growth of both MarcEdit and its user community. On the application side, this year saw the release of MarcEdit 6, the MARCNext tool kit, integration with OCLC’s WorldCat, new language tools, automation tools, etc. The user community…well, I’m consistently amazed by the large and diverse user community that has grown up around something that I really made available with the hope that maybe just one other person might find it useful. This is a great community, and I’m always humbled by the kindness and helpfulness displayed. I’m told often how much people appreciate this work. Well, I appreciate you as well. I have always appreciated the opportunity to work with so many interesting people on projects and problems that potentially can have lasting impacts. It has, and always will be one my great pleasures.
On to the update….in what has become a tradition, I’m releasing the MarcEdit Christmas update. I’d already provided a little bit of information related to what was changing in a previous blog post: http://blog.reeset.net/archives/1632 – but I’m including the full list below:
- Enhancement: MARCCompare: Added options to allow users to define colors for added and deleted content.
- Enhancement: MARCCompare: Added options to support automatic sorting of data prior to comparison. Users can define the field for sorting (default is the 001)
- Enhancement: MARCEngine: Improved support for automated conversion of NRC notation in UTF8 data to ensure proper representation of UTF8 characters.
- Modified Behavior: Automated Update: Previously, MarcEdit would check for an update every time the application was run. If an update had occurred, the program would prompt the user for action. If the user cancelled the action, the program would re-prompt the user each time the program was started. Because many users work in environments where their updates are managed by central IT staff, this constant re-prompting was problematic. Often, it would lead to users simply disabling update notification. To make this more user friendly, the new behavior works as follows: When the program determines an update has been made, the program will prompt the user. If the user takes no action, the program will no longer prompt for action, but instead will provide an icon denoting the presence of an update in the lower right corner, next to the Preferences shortcut.
- Enhancement: Link Identifiers Tool: I’ve added support for MESH headings through the use of their beta SPARQL end-point. Records run through the linking tool with identified MESH headings will automatically be resolved against the NLM database.
- Enhancement: SPARQL Browser: This was described in blog post: http://blog.reeset.net/archives/1632, but this is one a new tool added to the MARCNext toolkit.
- Enhancement: RDF Toolkit: In building the SPARQL Browser, I integrated a new RDF toolkit into MarcEdit. At this point, the SPARQL Browser is the only resource making like use of its functionality – but I anticipate that this new functionality will be utilized for a variety of other functions as the cataloging community continues to explore new metadata models.
- Bug Fix: Diacritic insertion via intellisense: When typing a diacritic, selecting it by double clicking on the value would result in the file scrolling to the top. The program now resets to the cursor position. When the user just clicked enter to select the value, a new line was inserted behind the diacritic mnemonic — both of these have been fixed.
- Bug Fix: Mac Threading issues: One of the things that came to my attention on the last update is that Mono has some issues when generating system dialog boxes within separate threads. It appears that the new garbage collector in Mono may be sweeping object pointers prematurely. The easy solution is to remove the need to generate these system messages or move them when necessary. This has been done. Immediately, this corrects the issue related to MarcEdit crashing when the update message was generated.
- Bug Fix: Mac Fonts: I was having some trouble with Mac systems not failing graciously when the system requested a font not found on the system. In Windows and Linux implementations of Mono, the default process is to fall through the requested font family until an appropriate font was found. Under OSX, Mono’s behavior is different, with fonts not returning any value, defaulting to undefined blocks. I’ve reworked the font selection class to ensure that a fall back font is always selected on all systems – which has corrected this problem on the Mac.
The MarcEdit update is available for download from: http://marcedit.reeset.net/downloads for all systems. You may also download and update the application via the automatic updating utilizing from within MarcEdit itself.
Again, Happy Christmas!