Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Recipe of Alphabet Soup

The Chefs

NISO: National Information Standards Organization
IFLA: International Federation of Library Associations
DCMI: Dublin Core Metadata Initiative
PCC: Program for Co-operative Cataloging
NSDL: National Science Digital Library

The Ingredients

AACR: Anglo-American Cataloging Rules
MARC: Machine Readable Cataloging
ISBD: International Standard Book Description
RDA: Resource Description and Access
FRBR: Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records
FRAD: Functional Requirements for Authority Records
ONIX: Online Information Exchange.  A framework used by publishers
XML and RDF: Extensible Markup Language and Resource Description Framework.  Two kinds of computer languages, essentially.
SKOS: Simple Knowledge Organization Schema
VIAF: Virtual International Authority File.  A mashup of data from 15 international institutions.  The semantic web in action.

The Kitchen

The Semantic Web: A place where all data is shared.  Freed from application constraints.  Kind of like an international metadata Show and Tell and yes, everyone brought enough candy to share with the class.

The chefs
took the ingredients
in the kitchen
and made...
Well, what did they come up with?  Not FRBR, those were first published in 1998. (!)  Not RDA, that was what the AACR3 turned into, around 2002. 
It seems that the ultimate product was a lovely multiligual cake named (the most unfortunate of all the acronyms) ICP. 
IFLA published the ICP in February of 2009 and no one has challenged it or made any moves to try any funny stuff since then.  I think we can rest a bit, for the cake, she is ready.
I stand corrected.  There is at least one co-operative cataloging group that seeks to provide a "serious alternative to RDA".  They have a wiki up and I've just recently seen several references to it: so it's gaining in popularity, or at least visibility.  I'll have to read more before I make my statement of philosophy but right now I don't understand.

Someone left the cake out in the rain.

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