gregoa's blog
random musings about computers, life, and everything

2006-01-04 02:41:24 +0100
my latest project called 'isbn2bibtex' seems to take off finally. the name is the aim: create a complete bibtex file from just a file with isbns. since today I have working beta version. ingredients:
  • isbn2bibtex: a shell script that ties everything together, calls the various helper scripts, & manages the temp files etc.
  • 4 new perl modules: MARC / libmarc-perl, MARC::Record / libmarc-record-perl, Net::Amazon / libnet-amazon-perl, Net::Z39.50 / libnet-z3950-perl (debian packages available now from the toastfreeware debian respository)
  • 3 perl scripts, written by me (i.e. copied from the man pages of the above mentioned modules & adapted): isbn2usmarc, marcclean, isbn2amazon2ris
  • 2 binaries (ris2xml & xml2bib) taken from bibutils
  • marc2ris, a perl script adapted from refdb
the procedure is rather obvious: isbn2usmarc searches for the isbns on several z39.50 servers, marcclean removes duplicates, marc2ris converts the entries from usmarc (a.k.a. marc21) format to ris format, ris2xml & xml2bib finally produce bibtex output. unfortunatley the z39.50 servers are not only hard to find & slow & everything, those I use don't find all books I was looking for (fiction doesn't seem to be the strong side of public & scientific libraries). that's where isbn2amazon2ris comes in, it tries to retrieve informations about the missing books from amazon.{de,,com}. - unfortunately amazon doesn't return any (publishing) address information, though. but now I have an amazon web services account. oh well. well, and after all the fuzz I have bibtex files which I can open in any (text or) bibtex editor, e.g. jabref (debian package) (and recreate the keys in order to avoid duplicates). now that the stuff seems to work more or less I have to decide if I really want to
  1. type the isbns of all my books
  2. store the data in bibtex format
:-) update 1:
adapted isbn2usmarc to search for only 10 isbns at one time because some z39.50 servers whined & errored out on higher numbers. argl. update 2:
started to type in some isbn numbers. it's not really that much work especially if many books are from the same publisher (i.e. the first 2 parts of the isbn are the same) & if the isbn is printed on the back (usual for "newer" books). update 3:
with the help of bibtex2html I publish a list of books in my library in a daily cronjob.
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