MarcEdit 5.x Update

By reeset / On / In MarcEdit

I’ve been doing a little bit of MarcEdit work, refining a few of the function to try to make the program a little smarter when it comes to doing what users are actually wanting to do, rather than what they are asking to do.  One case in point — if a user has a set of MARC record that they want to work with in UTF8, the preferred workflow is to do the following:
* If the file is in MARC8, then running the file through the MarcBreaker, selecting the UTF8 option.  This translates the data into UTF8.  At this point, users can edit the records in the MarcEditor and then simply compile the data (once translated to UTF8, you never have to tell it to do that again.  MarcEdit actually deals with all data in UTF8, MARC8 is only supported as a legacy format) back to MARC.  This can be done from the MarcEditor, or by selecting the MarcMaker and simply compiling the data file (which out checking either the MARC8 or UTF8 options).

What I’ve run into lately is some questions by folks that have been running into problems with UTF8 encoded data due to the way that they are remaking the records.  A handful of users have been Breaking the records (using the UTF8 switch) and then remaking the records (using the UTF8 switch).  This is problematic in MarcEdit, because the assumption made when you check the UTF8 switch from the MarcMaker is that data is *not* in UTF8 so it treats the data as non-UTF8 data.  This flattens UTF8 data (if it is present).  However, that’s obviously not the user’s intent.  So, I’ve added some code that will essentially checks filestreams to see if what the user has asked the program to do is actually what they want to do.  In this case, if a user has a UTF8 encoded file and then checks UTF8 during the Making process — the program will do a cursory check of the data before making assumptions about the data being processed. 

One additional note on this — as noted above, MarcEdit does not assume MARC8.  So, if your data is in UTF8, there is no need to select the UTF8 switch.  These conversion switches really should only be selected if you have data in one format and you want to convert it to another.  For example, if you have data in MARC8 and you want to convert it to UTF8, then select the UTF8 switch.  If you have data in UTF8, but would like to have it converted to MARC8 — then select the MARC8 switch.  If you have data in another format (like Big 5, etc.) then you want to use the MarcEdit Character Conversion tool to translate the data to UTF8, MARC8 or another character encoding.

Other updates…One biggy was some modifications to the Z39.50 client.  I’d made some changes previously that allowed you to edit records directly using Z39.50’s extended services.  I’ve done a bit more work here so now you realistically could use MarcEdit as a cataloging client for something like Koha, a Zebra Server, etc.  Any server that supports the Extended Services should be able to utilize MarcEdit as a cataloging client for direct record maintenance.

OAI Harvesting  — I’ve added some failback processing to help work with OAI servers that are may break their connections during harvest.

Obviously, other changes have been made (a few related to the installer when dealing with 64 bit versions of Vista). 

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–TR