File_MARC 0.6.0 - now offering two tasty flavours of MARC-as-JSON output

Posted on Sat 14 August 2010 in Libraries

I've just released the PHP PEAR library File_MARC 0.6.0. This release brings two JSON serialization output methods for MARC to the table:

  • toJSONHash() returns JSON that adheres to Bill Dueber's proposal for the array-oriented MARC-HASH JSON format at New interest in MARC-HASH JSON
  • toJSON() returns JSON that adheres to Ross Singer's proposal for an object-oriented JSON format (I could only find a sample at this paste - not sure if there's a broader description anywhere, but really -- who needs it?)

The JSON formats should be useful for developers who don't want to have to deal with the overhead and sluggishness of a MARC parsing library (yes, File_MARC, I'm looking at you) just to deal with MARC data. Both formats are round-trippable and compact, which is why I chose to support them.

The use of the json_encode() function bumps the minimum PHP version requirement for File_MARC up to 5.2.x from 5.1.x, which kind of sucks, but given that PHP 5.2.0 was released in 2006, I think it's worth it.

You can install File_MARC using the 'pear' command on most environments as follows:

pear install File_MARC-beta