Jan 192011
 

This weekend, I started working on a writing project – kind of a MarcEdit instructional, and in pulling together some information about the evolution of MarcEdit, I found something interesting – I still have functioning versions of MarcEdit from version 1-present.  Knowing what the program looks like now, I found it interesting (and slightly embarrassing) to look at MarcEdit’s various forms.  Also interesting – the very first version of MarcEdit’s source and resource files were only a paltry 10 MB of data – and most of that was from the images used in developing the help.  Today, the program’s source tree is nearly 500 MB of data, so there had better be some new functionality included.

Anyway, early on, the program wasn’t particularly popular (as far as I know) – so I doubt many people have had the opportunity to see the program in its early “glory? so I thought I’d snap a few screenshots of MarcEdit through the years. 

Main Application Window
MarcEdit 1-2.0 [1.0 was the alpha release, 2.0 represented the first public release]

startup1

You can see in the very early days, the only two functions that were present in MarcEdit was the MarcBreaker and the MarcMaker.  In addition, there was a rudimentary editor – but it wasn’t yet it’s own stand alone function.  And other tools like dealing with XML, Z39.50, etc. – forget about it.  Smile 

Main Application Window
MarcEdit 3.0

startup1

This version of MarcEdit included the first MarcEditor.  It also included its own help file and a plugin and diacritics wizard.  The diacritics wizard was my first attempt to really deal with charactersets in MarcEdit.   Prior to this version, MarcEdit could work with data from multiple charactersets (since it read data at a binary level) – but couldn’t display them.  While it still couldn’t display them, the diacritics wizard allowed you to define codepoints and map them to mnemonics.   The plugin wizard was my first attempt at providing users with methods of automating MarcEdit.

 

Main Application Window
MarcEdit 5.2
image


MarcBreaker
MarcEdit 1-2.0

startup2

 

You can see that you could break the file.  And if you look carefully in the lower left, you can see the method for accessing the precursor to the MarcEditor.  The other checkbox on the right, Quick Break.  Good lord, I don’t even remember what that does – but checking the help file, it says:  By default, the MarcBreaker is set the quick break, which means that the marc engine uses a single checking algorithm to break a marc record.  This particular algorithm works independent of the Marc Record’s Leader, allowing the marc engine to treat a marc file as a delimitated text file. Thank goodness it doesn’t work this way anymore.

MarcTools
MarcEdit 5.2

image

You can see in the present version of MarcEdit, you have access to XML functions, Character conversions, as well as the previous Making and Breaking functions.

MarcMaker
MarcEdit 1-2

startup3

Basically, it looks like the old MarcBreaker – which I guess makes sense.


MarcEditor
MarcEdit 1-2

editor

 

So when you clicked on the Edit Records or edit window – this is the box you got.  Basically, the “MarcEditor? in MarcEdit 1-2 was a textbox with a handful of functions like Find and Replace.  A mighty tool indeed.  Smile  It wasn’t until MarcEdit 3.0 when the MarcEditor made its first appearance.

MarcEditor
MarcEdit 3.0

meStartup

At this point, the program had functions to globally add and delete fields, as well as do some basic subfield editing.  It was getting better – starting to form.  Though, it really wasn’t much better than a specialized Notepad program.

MarcEditor
MarcEdit 5.2

image

Today’s MarcEditor is a full-blown editing suite – which includes functions for global editing resources, deduping records, merging records, validating records, etc., etc. 


And that was it.  MarcEdit really wasn’t a very exciting program when it first came out, but at the time, there wasn’t much out there either.   If memory serves me, there were the LC tools created by Randall Barry (who I was thrilled to meet while visiting the Library of Congress a number of years back), the fine MARC.pm PERL module and MARCMagician.  OCLC and ILS vendors had their own cataloging tools, but I don’t count them since they were really niche and designed for their communities.  Today, a number of tools exist – great tools – something I continue to aspire to do with MarcEdit. 

Anyway – looking at the very first website FAQ, I found the following question:  Will there be an update?  The answer: Probably.  This is only the first version of the MarcEdit program, and though I have no schedule for updates, I would like to release a new build sometime after January, 2001.  This update will mainly deal with the Marc Engine, as there are a handful of features that I am currently in the process of debugging for later inclusion, at which point, I think the program will probably be finished.

Given that its now 10 years later and I’m still hacking away on this beast, I’d say that I really missed the mark on that one. Smile with tongue out

 

–TR

 Posted by at 12:40 pm
Jan 132011
 

I’ll be bringing back one function to MarcEdit – the ability to assign extensions to specific functions in MarcEdit.  This was something that was available in MarcEdit 4.x – but I removed in the 5.x series.  After a few requests, I’ve brought it back.  However, it’s slightly different and I hope a little bit better.

In the previous incarnation, users had to be logged in as administrators in order to make any file association changes.  However, in the current model, MarcEdit sets 3 global associations on install – associating .mrc files with the MarcBreaker, .mrk and .mrk8 files with the MarcEditor.  In order to remove these associations, you will need to be logged in as an administrator.  However, to add custom file associations – these can be done by anyone.  The reason, I’ll be making these file associations at the Current User level – so users who share their machines with other users can set file associations that will just affect their login.  Here’s how it works:

  • Globally, Microsoft stores file associations in the system registry, under the HKEY_ROOT_CLASSES node.  This is where MarcEdit stores it’s global file associations.  You must be in the administrators group to edit these values.
  • Current user information is stored in the HKEY_CURRENT_USERS node, and within that node, there is a classes tree that sets up user defined file mappings.  This is found at: HKEY_CURRENT_USERS\Software\Classes.  Any user can edit this node – so MarcEdit’s custom file associations will be stored within this branch of the registry.   This means that anyone can create file associations in MarcEdit – which also comes with some potential risk since anyone can create file associations – but hopefully bringing this function back will help the handful of folks that have been requesting it.

Screenshot (logged in as a non-Admin):

image

 

–TR

 Posted by at 12:07 pm

MarcEdit fun fact

 MarcEdit  Comments Off
Jan 132011
 

Since March 10, 2010 when MarcEdit included an automatic updater – the automated updating service has been pinged approximately 670,000 times.  Curious to see if service hits gets close to 700-725 K by the end of a 12 month period.

–TR

 Posted by at 1:28 am