From a notice posted on OCLC-CAT by Anna Sylvester, OCLC Product Analyst:

Connexion client version 2.63 is now available for download from the Software Downloads area of OCLC’s Product Services web site. Please be aware that:

 

  • You will be required to upgrade to version 2.63 by 28 February 2017
  • An upgrade warning message will begin appearing when you start Connexion client 2.50 or 2.51 beginning in early January 2017
  • We recommend that you review the upgrade instructions before installing Connexion client 2.63
  • To help prevent installation problems with Windows Vista, 7, 8/8.1 and 10, please right-click the file you downloaded and click Run as Administrator

 

Getting ready for Unicode

 This release of Connexion client 2.63 is part of a group of changes that OCLC is making to expand WorldCat support for full Unicode characters and scripts to better represent your international collections. When complete, WorldCat will expand support from 15 scripts to all scripts that are represented in Unicode.

 

This means that by the end of 2016, WorldCat users will have the ability to:

 

  • Catalog using full Unicode (available now in Connexion client 2.63)
  • Upload records with full Unicode
  • Search across full Unicode

 

As you catalog using Connexion client 2.63 please be aware that:

 

  • WorldCat now supports all Unicode characters. OCLC has removed all limitations on MARC-8 and selected non-MARC-8 scripts. If you rely on validation to block unsupported characters, you may need to update impacted workflows.
  • Connexion client 2.63 supports all Unicode characters through version 8.0.0 of Unicode.
  • You can use previously unsupported characters to add new bibliographic records to WorldCat, replace records in WorldCat, import records into the client and export records from the client. All other functions for bibliographic records support these characters as well.
  • You will not be able to use the newly supported characters to search WorldCat until later in 2016. OCLC will announce when searching for the new characters in WorldCat is ready to use.
  • Authority records continue to be limited to the MARC-8 character set.
  • You have a choice to export bibliographic records in MARC-8 (the default) or in UTF-8. If non-MARC-8 scripts are exported in MARC-8 data format, the non-MARC-8 characters are saved in Numeric Character Reference (NCR) format.
  • Valid Unicode characters can appear as empty boxes if they are not supported in your default font.
  • The Arial Unicode MS font that OCLC recommends will not support all scripts. You will have to search for fonts to cover some of the new scripts OCLC supports. Fonts that support these scripts vary in their ability to display characters outside of the script they were designed to support. You may have to experiment to see which font works best for your needs for a particular script. The font selected as the default in the client is applied to the entire record. You may have to move between two fonts to see all of the characters in a record.

 

If you need assistance installing the Connexion client, please contact an OCLC support office.  

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Besides the macros supplied with OCLC Connexion Client (I specify the Client because I haven’t worked extensively with the Web interface–any who have, please add your thoughts), there are many more available for you to add.

We’re lucky in the Chicago area to have two of the most productive macro experts in the North Suburban Library System–Joel Hahn of the Niles Public Library District and Harvey Hahn, of Arlington Heights Memorial Library until his recent retirement. Walter F. Nickeson of the Rochester University Libraries and Merry Morris have also contributed numerous macros.

So, where to find them? OCLC’s Connexion Client macros page includes links to Joel Hahn’s macros, Merry Morris’ simple macros, and Walt Nickeson’s macros; the Connexion Client guide Basics: Use Macros (also listed below); macro lessons for beginners; and materials from Harvey and Joel Hahn’s June 2005 ALA session on using Connexion macros.

Want to go deeper? Basics: Use Macros is a huge resource with which you can spend many happy hours. It includes extensive instructions on the creation and use of macros with OCLC Connexion.

One caution that I’ll mention here: Create your own macro book or books for any new or modified macros you bring into Connexion, whether you create the macros yourself or find them elsewhere. The two OCLC-supplied macro book files, OCLC.mbk and Dewey.mbk, may be overwritten during Connexion software upgrades, and if that happens you’ll lose anything of yours that was stored in those books.

And one more useful resource: Joel Hahn’s Better Living through Macros includes step-by-step instructions for loading macros into Connexion from various sources and “OCLC Macro Language for the Complete Beginner” (OML is a Basic-derived programming language).