About Tyrannioware

Tyrannioware is named after Atticus' library organizer, Tyrannio. Marcus Tullius Cicero says in his Letters to Atticus: You will find that Tyrannio has made a wonderful job of arranging my books. 1 , and later: Now that Tyrannio has put my books straight, my house seems to have woken to life. Your Dionysius and Menophilus have worked wonders over that. Those shelves of yours are the last word in elegance, now that the labels have brightened up the volumes.2 The name is especially appropriate because the library supports the work of my two very similar-looking cats, Tully and Cicero. At first I thought the software should have some Borgesian name, but then I realized I'd probably end up cataloging books consisting of nothing but "M C V" repeated endlessly, according to the code of the Bibliographic Institute of Brussels (see The Library of Babel and John Wilkins' Analytical Language). So far, I've used the package to catalog 2222 bibliographic entries (some of which are for multivolume works).

Tyrannioware (written in Python) retrieves MARC data via Z39.50 from a host (I've tested against the Library of Congress, and the National Library of Canada/Bibliothèque Nationale du Canada), parses it, stores it in a PostGreSQL database, and makes it available via the Lucien front end, a set of CGIs (tested with Apache). (MARC is a standard for bibliographic data, with additional information not usually available in online displays. This information varies in utility from indicating leading articles in titles, to enable correct sorting without language-dependent tables, to indicating whether a work is a festschrift. There's the usual metadata tradeoff of richness against speed of description and accuracy.) Tyrannio uses my PyZ3950 toolkit, which you'll need to install first. You can download the latest Tyrannio tarball (currently 0.8) here.

Using Tyrannioware

To use, run tyrannio.py. When you see "Query: ", you can either scan (currently only the :CueCat scanner is supported) the Bookland-format barcode, recognizable by beginning with 978 (usually on the back of the book, but if the barcode on the back is a UPC, sometimes there's a Bookland barcode on the inside front cover), or type a CCL query. (Quickly and oversimplifiedly: CCL queries are of the form <qualifier>=<value>, where supported qualifiers are "AU" for author, "TI" for title, "ISBN" for ISBN, and "LCCN" for Library of Congress Control/Card Number. <value> should be quoted unless the query is unambiguous otherwise. CCL queries can also be combined with AND or OR, e.g. ti="Life of Python" and au="Perry, George" or ti=Life of Python and au=Perry, George and isbn=0316700150.)