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[Koha-devel] New Feature: Improved MARC editor

From: Joshua Ferraro
Subject: [Koha-devel] New Feature: Improved MARC editor
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2006 08:53:57 -0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.4.1i

Hi all,

Chris and I have been working on the MARC editor and have made
considerable progress. I thought I'd just summarize some of the
original bugs and the fixes we found as well as some gotchas to
watch out for along the way.

 Bug #1 was that blank subfields were being saved.

 Bug #2 was that subfield order was hardcoded to always start
 with 'a' for repeatable tags (because it was hardcoded in the
 addfield routine).

 Bug #3 was that it was only possible to specify one set of
 indicators for each set of tags (ie, one for all the 650s).
 (because they were stored in a hash with the tag as the

 Bug #4 was that the underlying routines didn't support subfield
 reordering or subfield repeatability.

So here's what we did: we replaced the use of the MARChtml2marc
routine with a MARChtml2xml that reads in the form data and
converts it to a MARC::File::XML object. It then passes that
to MARC::Record via the new_from_xml() method.

This works perfectly and fixes all of the above bugs. However,
there is one gotcha. The MARC::File::XML new_from_xml() method
converts UTF-8 data into MARC-8 by default for historical reasons.
This means that entry of characters outside the normal ascii range
in UTF-8 will come out as gibberish in MARC-8. Never fear, there
is a solution.

As soon as I noticed the problem, I requested that Mike Rylander
(who has contributed greatly to this module) add the ability to
specify 'no conversion' for that method and he promptly did so 
and committed it to the SourceForge CVS for MARC::File::XML. The
caveat is that it will take a few days for me to update the CPAN
version (which I _finally_ have write access to). I'll ping the 
list as soon as that's done.

The bottom line is that to properly encode records YOU WILL HAVE
TO UPDATE MARC::File::XML to the new version when you upgrade
to 2.2.6.

Now ... I'm off to add subfield repeatability and reordering to
the interface.


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