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MARC to XML and Back through FRBR October 4, 2006

Posted by Mia in FRBR.

More adventures in MARC. I firmly believe there is too much legacy data to consider retooling the entire ediface, but perhaps some chinks in the armour could be made. We need to stop working against nature, and work with it. Discovery is organic.

I see a continuum where the descriptive portions, the semantics, the words describing the elements, are the loose end, and the notation (e.g. MARC or MARCXML) is the firmest. Humans function at the loose end of this continuum; the parsers/concatenators at the hard end. If the notation itself can be easily read understood and interpreted (like a piece of music) then it is a success in my view. Notation that fails to be readily teachable or even learnable, will likely fail.

Unfortunately things don’t describe themselves; humans do the describing in the first place. And there is no point to the parsers/concatenators without human intelligibility as the objective. So we go full circle, inotherwords, starting with the human, and ending with the human.