Bill, you hit a nail pretty squarely on the head.  I believe this decades long 
fetish with MARC has to go.  It was designed to efficiently store data on 
magtapes and doesn't make any sense in today's world.  It's a huge millstone 
around the neck of Libraryland and it keeps them stuck in that tiny little 
ghetto.  Anything can be a mind-prison, even PHP, Python or Django.  They are 
all arbitrary anyway.  

And you are correct in pointing out that the natural response of librarians to 
a problem is to seek consensus in a self-absorbed way.  Form committees and all 
that nonsense which never goes anywhere.  They are happy enough going around in 
circles, like the Nowhere Man making all his nowhere plans for nobody.

My hope is that some among us would just undertake these problems ourselves.  
Outside of the realm of the libraries and the limiting mindsets many of us work 
in.  We've all got ideas.  Fire up vi and get busy and make something happen, 
like a library domain-specific language.  Start fresh.  There is nothing wrong 
with that.  What's wrong is how the library community goes about such things.

Let's go somewhere.

Peter Schlumpf

-----Original Message-----
>From: Bill Dueber <>
>Sent: Oct 29, 2010 8:18 PM
>Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] PHP vs. Python [was: Re: Django]
>On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 6:28 PM, Peter Schlumpf <>wrote:
>> What's wrong with the library world developing its own domain language?
>We're already in a world of pain because we have our own data formats and
>ways of dealing with them, all of which have basically stood idle while 30
>years of advances computer science and information architecture have whizzed
>by us with a giant WHOOSHing sound.
>Having a bunch of non-experts design and implement a language that's
>destined from the outset to be stuck in a tiny little ghetto of the
>programming world is a guaranteed way to live with half- or un-supported
>code, no decent libraries, and yet another legacy of pain we'd have to
> I'm not picking on programming in particular. It's a dumb-ass move  EVERY
>time a library is presented with a problem for which there are experts and
>decades of research literature, and it choses to ignore all of that and
>decide to throw a committee of librarians (or whomever else happens to be in
>the building at the time) at it based on the vague idea that librarians are
>just that much smarter (or cheaper) than everyone else (I'm looking at you,
> -Bill-
>Bill Dueber
>Library Systems Programmer
>University of Michigan Library

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