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Exactly. MARC tags are designed as a community code in which librarians can
talk to their IT department. In this language code, librarians can use
concise keys to describe "structured information" without knowing anything
about how to design databases. And software developers can implement
databases without knowing anything about cataloging rules.

As a matter of fact, MARC tags are organized as a classification scheme
similar to DDC. MARC tag 245 is an abbreviated form of 2.4.5 (also
extendable by indicators and subfield identifier). Librarians love DDC and
love to write extensive documentation about the semantics of MARC tags,
which is not integrated in MARC itself, but externalized (printed on paper,
or online), and customizable according to different requirements of each
MARC community, including conflicts when interpreting MARC tags in
different contexts.

With Bibframe, the memorization of tags will become past. Instead,
Bibframe-style user interfaces will present drop-down lists of matching
element names as users type ahead, for example, by auto-completion
techniques. Because the semantics of the elements are also embedded in RDF,
there is no more need of DDC-style tag design and externalized
documentation. Bibframe's RDF-based semantics is more precise, so there
will be less misunderstandings about the meaning of a bibliographic element
between librarians and programmers :)

Jörg

On Sun, Apr 5, 2015 at 10:28 PM, Steven Folsom <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>  I bring this up because MARC tags have become their own language spoken
> with varying levels of fluency within the library domain and nowhere else.