Few updates worth noting from last night/this morning.
1) Added a new option in the Add/Delete Field Utility to allow users to insert a field into the last position in a record
2) Corrected a problem that allows new fields to be added/deleted after a non-numeric field has been added to a record
3) Corrected the Field count functionality so that it works correctly if a non-numeric field has been added to a record
4) Corrected a bug in the UTF-8 to MARC 8 conversion.
I’d like to expand on exactly what the problem was in the case of #4. Within MarcEdit, there is a set of compatibility characters that have been added to MarcEdit’s translation that are not found in the LC codepoints. This compatibility set includes superscript codes 1,2 and 3, which map to 0xB9, 0xB2 and 0xB3 when typed from a windows keyboard or when inserted from the Charactermap. This is problematic since LC uses the upper code points to represent these characters — which is fine if a record has come from MARC8 to UTF8 and then is going back — since the upper code points are likely to have been used during the translation — but as I said, is problematic if typed from a keyboard. To account for this, MarcEdit includes a compatability set with includes ~15 characters that when typed from a windows keyboard will fall within the 127-255 range and are valid UTF8 characters. Someone processing the data that included a superscript 2 and 3 found that the compatibility set included an incorrect character when an escape code was expected. This has been corrected and updated.
As always, the update can be found at: http://oregonstate.edu/~reeset/marcedit/software/development/MarcEdit50_Setup.exe
I seen that Red Hat has recently found themselves ensnared in a patent lawsuit stemming from their purchase of JBoss. The lawsuit is centered around the Hibernate 3 technologies — or technologies that deal with object-oriented access to a relational database. The story can be found here: http://www.infoq.com/news/RedHat-Sued-Due-to-Hibernate-3-O
My assumption, looking over this lawsuit, is that there will likely be much prior art to pull from to hopefully invalidate this particular claim. However, in a worse case scenero (i.e., the patent is upheld), frameworks made popular by languages like Ruby and Python would be instant targets and likely need to be quickly changed. In fact, much of the open source software that interacts with databases is build around this modelled approach — and would have to be changed.
Given my current interest in Ruby and Rails, I’ll likely be keeping an eye on this particular lawsuit. Unfortunately, I think that its likely a sign of things to come within the Open Source community. I see a time coming very soon where large litigation factories are going to start suing developers or distributors as a way marginalizing Open Source software (which pays no IP fees) and proping up proprietary software shops (that likely do pay the IP fees).
MarcEditor — Add/Delete Field: Modified the field to include a new option to allow fields to be inserted last. This will allow fields to be inserted out of order. I also modified the tool so that non-numeric data can be batch added. These fields will always be added last.
MarcEditor — Edit Subfield Data: Added a wildcard character for subfields (*) — this way you can modify all 1xx fields by simply using 1**.
MarcEditor — Edit Subfield Data: Allowed users to modify non-numeric data using this field.
Batch Break Process: When processing an XML file to a MARC file — I found that a file was being dropped during the batch process. This has been corrected.
I realize that this isn’t library related — but I think its very cool. A few weeks ago, Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, makes the announcement that he will step down and continue to spend his vast fortune through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (which does help libraries). Well today, Warren Buffet announced that he will be giving away 37 of his 40 billion dollar fortune (37 billion dollars — 37 billion dollars!) and this could be worth more when you consider that this is 37 billion dollars of his fortunes current value (which is tied up in stock). He will be splitting this gift five ways, with the Gates foundation getting ~30 billion dollars — giving the foundation some 60-70 billion dollars to tackle social issues.
I think this is very cool. I hope many other wealthy folks will follow the example of these two and look to use their vast fortunes to help move society forward.
Have you ever known that you were being taken? Well, I did (as did my wife) and was. Whooho! We were walking down Decanter (is that how you spell it) street and was approached by someone playing a steet game. I was game — and of course — it didn’t work out. Cost me $20 but will give me a good story for later I guess. So, that’s $20 additional dollars back into the New Orleans local economy. 🙂 But I love the old French buildings and the river. I’m hoping to find time for a river boat ride. And the music. I love that you can hear jazz music just about everwhere. Today, walking down the river walk, they were playing pipe music off the stream ship’s pipes. Very cool.
Anyway, on another note — I’ve never been to New Orleans. I’ve only read about it and to be honest — had a bit of a different idea of what it would be like. Its very different from any city that I’ve ever visited. Maybe I’m a little too conservative — but its a bit racy for my tastes. I’d assumed this would be the case on Burboun Street (and was right) — but the content of Burboun Street does creep quite a bit up and down Canal Street and a little beyond.
But the food — you have to love the food. I love the food. I’m a big seafood (Shrimp, Oysters, fish, etc) fan — so I’ve been loving the food and am looking forward to sampling a bit more over the next couple of days. So far, I’ve had shrimp, turtle soup (which was surprisingly good) and some fried green tomatoes (my wife ate the tomotoes) in a shrimp/veg. sauce. It was great.
So my wife and I are off to New Orleans. Should arrive around 6pm New Orleans time, so obviously we’ll be spending quite a bit of time in the air soon. I’m hoping that the conference is a good one for both the attendees and the city. As usual — I won’t have much time to do things outside of conference activities — but my wife is looking to take full advantage of the opportunity to get to know the city.
I’m not sure how many folks will be interested, but I had someone ask me how difficult it would be to generate MARC records from the Project Gutenburg RDF catalog records. Since I couldn’t remember if anyone has already generated a process for creating MARC records from these sets — I quickly generated an XSLT stylesheet to do this transformation. I need to add a couple of custom templates I use in other stylesheets to add subfields to the author main entries, LCSH subjects and calculate skip digits on the title fields, but so far so good. I’m in transit to ALA today, but when I get settled, I’ll post a link to the generated records and XSLT crosswalk for those interested.