I’ve posted an update — its a small update (blame the holidays), but includes a couple of things that will help new installations.
1) I’ve added code to the Setup Program that will check for the .NET Framework 1.1 and the MDAC 2.7 components. Each of which are required for MarcEdit to run correctly. If for some reason you are seeing error messages or not able to install the program an you have the .NET 1.1+ or MDAC 2.7 components, let me know. I did a bit of testing on systems lacking both and everything seemed to go smoothly, but you can never know once you put something out in broader distribution.
2) I’ve put a function back into the Z39.50 client. When you ran the Z39.50 client in batch mode, the program use to provide list of non-successful items that could then be reused in subsequent searches. In 5.0, I’d modified the output so that it was very different and really unusable for this purpose without some editing. Well, I brought it back. In the results panel that you get after running a back update, the program will also include the location to a file that contains items that were not located.
Alrighty, I’ve posted a new build tonight (or this morning, depending of your time-zone). So what’s new…the biggest new option is the inclusion of a lite-weight RSS reader that will read information from the MarcEdit blog. Getting information to new and existing users has been an ongoing problem — but I think that this might help solve this problem. I’m really excited.
Other changes…I fixed the Check URL’s function. The function had a small error in it that has been corrected. I’ve also updated the stylesheet used to generate the HTML when using the Check URLs. Also, I’ve modified the marceditor’s edit subfield function, the move subfield function. This function is a special function that allows you to move subfield data from one field to another. I needed to add a little code to deal with spacing. Finally, the last change that I made was a small update to the MarcEdit.exe program to add the stub code to interact with the RssReader, as well as adding an option entry so that you can turn the Rss Functionality off if you like.
I’ll be posting an update message shortly, but I thought I’d mention a new feature that I just added to MarcEdit 5.0. One of the things that I’ve been trying to do is figure out how to get more information to the MarcEdit users — particularly information regarding updates, tutorials, etc. Well, since I’ve started this blog, I’ve been putting this type of information online, but I’ve still got the same problem — users need to come to the blog to get information. Well, I figured, why not just build an RssReader into MarcEdit, so that’s what I’ve done. In the next build of MarcEdit 5.0, the default option will be for the application to query my blog and search for new information relating to MarcEdit. The new feature will look like the following:
If you look in the lower right-hand corner, you will see the Firefox icon noting RSS feeds. When this icon is present, it means that new information is available from my blog relating to MarcEdit. When this icon isn’t present, it means that no new information is present on my blog. The program will track two different types of elements in determining if the icon should be shown:
1) It tracks the pubDate of the item and compares it to the pubDate of the last session.
2) The program will show the icon until it has been pressed.
The RssReader is threaded and has (at least as far as I can tell) no adverse affect on the program running. I’m hoping that this feature will allow users to stay a bit more in the MarcEdit development loop — but only time will tell I guess.
One of the new features in MarcEdit 5.0 is the ability to verify URLs for data within specific fields, or every field within a group of MARC records. Its actually a pretty cool little feature. Essentially, one access the function by selecting Add-ins/Verify URLs from the Main Window. When selected, you will see the following window:
You put the file tha tyou wish to check in the Input file, a destination location for the report, specify the report type (HTML or XML) and what the title field is for these records (remember, MarcEdit is MARC neutral). Finally, there are two additional options — an XSLT file and the Fields. The XSLT file is the file used to translate the XML results file into HTML. I provide a basic that produces the following results file: urls.html, but you can edit it so that the output makes sense to you. Lastly, there is the fields textbox. By default, the word “all” is in this box. This tells MarcEdit to search all MARC fields for URLs. If you want to search just specific fields, enter those field numbers in the box with a new line separating each field. So for example, if I wanted to validate urls in the 500 and 856 fields, it would look like this:
Its a pretty simple little tool. Obviously, I need to take it to that next step where the results file automatically accesses the MarcEditor, but I haven’t gotten to that point yet.
At Midwinter this year, MARBI will be discussing MARC Proposal #2006-04. This proposal deals with the mapping of Unicode characters back to the MARC-8 characterset. The proposal lays out a number of options, settling on the recommendation that systems doing character remapping should utilize a placeholder character for Unicode characters not in the MARC8 characterset. Its a lossy conversion (i.e., you will not be able to retranslate the data back to Unicode) but its the cheapest and easiest method to implement. Personally, I wish MARBI would have recommended the use of Numeric Character References since they are currently utilized in the XML world and would have made moving data from XML to MARC8 easier. Now data will need to be processed twice for this conversion to take place.
So what does this mean for MarcEdit? Well, at this point, the UTF-MARC8 conversion tool does utilize NCRs and will continue to allow individuals to do so. However, once this proposal is finalized and a fill character has been agreed upon, I will setup a place in the options to allow users to specify how the UTF8 translation should work. By default, the translation will utilize the fill character (since that will be the blessed proposal) — but it will also still allow you to utilize the NCR references if desired. Internally, MarcEdit will still utilize the NRCs, particularly when dealing with moving information from XML to MARC8, since the MarcEdit compiler has been created to read NRC characters.
When I get back from MidWinter, I’ll post some more information on the decision (if one was made) and will turn on the changes (MarcEdit currently will accomidate all these proposals, but I’m waiting for a final word before turning them on).
Alright — another new build. 🙂 This build includes a small tweak to the MarcEditor add/delete functions. Essentially, some new lines were being inserted into the results file. Its not a problem since the program will ignore the blank lines — but I wanted to clean this up. Also, this build includes a help reader (container) as well as the first set of documentation for developers wanting to work with the MarcEdit .NET API (the MARCEngine specifically, but other components are documented as well). There are close to 140 pages of documentation for .NET API development. I’m thinking that the COM development notes will be posted very soon.
Well, I finally registered for the Code4Lib hackfest that will be going on in Corvallis, OR this February. It sounds like much fun. If it sounds like something that might interest you, you should check it out.
Now that I’m getting closer to removing the beta “tag” from the program, there will likely be a few more frequent refreshes over the next few weeks. I’ll try to note what’s changed so folks can decide if they want to keep up to date. Shortly, I’m going to be updating the setup program itself so that it will do the following:
1) Check for the .NET framework and provide a download link if not present.
2) Check for the MDAC 2.8 components and provide a download link if not present.
I’m also working on an updater — something that can be set to run on Windows Startup. The updater will essentially check to make sure that you are running the most current version of MarcEdit. Finally, each update will include new documentation files. I’m starting to filter in new docs. I’ve outlined what needs to be documented and I’m looking at some 600 pages of documentation — so please bear with me as I work through them.
Ok — this update. What’s changed. Basically, very little. This update is primarily cosmetic. I’ve updated shortcuts in the application so that they are identical to most of those found in MarcEdit 4.6. Also, I’ve updated the options window to include the ability to set fonts in the MarcEditor and have setup the program so that you can close most utility windows by clicking on the escape button.
Ok — I’ve finished adding the preview mode into MarcEdit 5.0. This is a very cool feature that I’ve already been enjoying to handle a pair of 300 MB files. Generally, I would write a script for this type of editing because of the slow file loading when dealing with such large files. However, with my new preview mode — I’ve set my personal buffer to 500 K (default is 1MB) — so every file takes less than .07 seconds to load. I’m working on the help files for this feature (and others) now that everything that I want to finish is basically done — so there’s no help documents at this point except for what is currently found on my blog at: MarcEdit 5.0 beta Preview Mode and MarcEdit 5.0 Preview Mode (first look)
Here are some images of what you can expect:
MarcEditor — Preview Mode locked. You will see a padlock in the left corner of the preview bar. This lock tells you that the editor cannot be edited in the edit window — but can be edited using any global function (this is the default).
MarcEditor — Preview Mode unlocked. You can unlock the preview mode window so you can edit the editor window. Generally, this isn’t useful in the preview mode since its justs a snippet of the file — but I wanted to make it available for users.
New options…see the two options at the bottom of the window. This sets the number of bytes to read for the preview (default is 1MB) and if the preview mode should be used at all.
I’ve been testing this myself (as well as a few users) for the past 4 days and everything looks ok. However, if you run across any issues, please give me a hollar and I get it fixed right away.
Our church, the Monmouth-Independence Calvary Chapel, had its annual children’s Christmas play. This is the second year that Kenny has been a part of it. The kids are always really cute and Nathan even had a good time. He loves Christmas music and was jamming along in my lap. Kenny is the shepard in the middle of these two pictures.