When Life Hands You MARC, make pymarc
It's a bad pun, but what can you expect from someone who neglects his blogs as much as I do?
I've been busy, somewhat, and one of my latest forays has been getting a grip on Python, an absolutely wonderful programming language. I actually enjoy writing code again, which is more than a bit scary. I was sick of the mangled scripts and workflows I came up with at MPOW to handle converting MARC data to HTML and other such nonsense. Writing Perl made me feel unclean.
After playing around with Ed Summers' pymarc module, I began hacking about and putting my own hooks into the code here and there. I longed for MARC8 to Unicode conversion, which is a necessary evil. Digging around, I came across Aaron Lav's PyZ3950 module, which had its own little MARC code. After bugging Ed via #code4lib, and hassling Aaron in the process, Ed began incorporating the code and I started some testing. Just a short while later, the conversion code worked. I bugged Ed some more telling him about some changes I made, and he gave me the chance to contribute code directly.
I'm no expert, but I'm glad that I could help bring pymarc up to version 1.0 and that I've had a chance to begin enjoy programming again. I'm also glad to see that Catalogablog has spread the word. Download a copy and start hacking; maybe you'll be rewarded with rediscovering the joy of code like I was.