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At 04:31 PM 10/30/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>There has been a bit of discussion on this list and we will consider the
>changes suggested. These are: parsing names into family name and given
>name, etc.; allowing for alternate graphics (although it is not clear that
>this is necessary);

I've continued thinking about this "unicode vs. transliteration" issue. I
was recently in Eastern Europe where libraries are just starting to use
MARC-based systems. For them, the use of unicode in their records is a
natural and it would seem silly for them to begin transliterating at this
point. They want to eliminate the 880 fields from MARC and place character
sets like Cyrillic in the base MARC fields.

This has implications, however, for functions like sorting and retrieval,
ones that I don't think we've resolved in terms of our user services. My
feeling, therefore, is that for the U.S. users of a bibliographic system,
whether MARC-based or not, there could be some advantages to retaining the
transliterated fields (as well as the vernacular, of course) for those
functions. Allowing researchers to use Pinyin at the keyboard rather than
forcing them through an alternate keyboard is still considered a "service"
by some. And interfiling of books or articles in non-latin character sets
in a retrieved set with their translations could be useful. I like the idea
of having both options, at least until our computing technology itself
becomes more unicode-friendly.
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Karen Coyle           [log in to unmask]

            http://www.kcoyle.net
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