RLG Forum: technical services client (Sunday a.m.)

Karen Smith-Yoshimura described the Windows-based technical services client which will replace RLIN for Windows. Other changes in the structure of RLIN will affect catalogers as well as other users. All formats will be in one file rather than divided into books, serials, visual materials, etc. Limits by format will be available. This will mean that the CLS classification index will be available for books. RLIN will still be a union catalog, that is, you will be able to see various records for a single title. The criteria for determining the primary cluster member will be tweaked with added weight for PCC records and 050 fields and more information about the secondary cluster records. The underlying character set will be Unicode and UTF-8. Data will be stored in XML and output will be available in MARC and perhaps also in XML.

Karen stated that they were getting rid of the earlier versions (-v command) in authorities. A loud protest was heard and we hope Karen will be able to convince her colleagues that this feature is critical. We funnel coordinators spoke especially fervently about this.

The search interface will be something like the current Eureka interface, with browse indexes, result sorting, scrolling through results, search history, scripts and diacritics, URL links, limits up to 10K records, export to MARC 21 rather than RLIN MARC including holdings and all local bib fields (e.g. 59X, 69X, ARC segment fields), and copying a record will be complete including 0XX and local fields. Templates will be possible though it has not been determined if they will be just on a client or networkable or based on user profile. It will be as Windows-compatible as possible, without a Mac version (alas). Scripts can be mixed on one record (e.g. Arabic AND Chinese). RLG will be describing the new client at such meetings as CEAL and AJL. It will not be possible to upload authority records in the first round but the development of such a capacity is possible.

The schedule is for the client to be available in the latter half of 2003, communicating to the current database. RLG will then go to parallel old and new communication and then just the new structure. They assure us there will be 60-day notice for each of these developments. For the moment, batch loads will be the same with RLG doing the conversion from old to new loading programs.

Diacritics in Unicode follow the character rather than preceding it. Unicode also supports composed characters, e.g. an accented e, umlauted u.

It is still too early to say how the changes will affect costs for RLIN. The board determines prices and they will be meeting in March. I think Karen said that RLG wants this to be revenue-neutral, that is, the costs will be distributed as they now are. Nonetheless, everything will be different.

The page on the client is http://www.rlg.org/newtsclient.html


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