I'm just going to put this out there. I was asked to create a spreadsheet with data extracted from MARC records. I have looked at pymarc and cannot get this to work. To be honest I'd rather do this myself and lean something in the process. I have another similar project that I need to do and I'd prefer not to do it like this again.

The '.mrk' file contains records that looks like this:

=LDR  01123wam  1234349Ia 4500
=001  ocm30134404\
=003  Blah
=005  19950425141028.0
=008  940621s1789\\\\enka\\\jb\\\\\000\1\eng\d
=007  he\amt345baca
=007  hd\bft455008baaa
=040  \\$aSME$cSEP
=037  \\$aCA0012340002$bSome company somewhere
=041  1\$aeng$hfqwerr
=090  \\$aPE44.C35$bR62 1789
=049  \\$aURGA
=100  1\$aSomeauthor, John$d1746-1818.
=245  13$aSome title$hmicrosomething :$bla bla /$ctranslated from some language.
=260  \\$aSomewhere :$bPrinted for Someone, opposite Some House, Somewhere,$cM,DCC,LXXXIX [1789]
=265  \\$aUniversity Something International, 300 Somewhere Road, Somewhere 3428106
=300  \\$aiv, [5]-183, [7] p. :$bill.
=500  \\$aOriginal attributed to Someone else
=500  \\$aIllustrated by Someone.--Cf. NUC pre-1956 imprints.
=500  \\$a"Entered at Someone's Hall."
=500  \\$aIncludes publisher's advertisements: [7] p. at end.
=500  \\$aReproduction of original in the Some Library.
=510  4\$aSomething$cA 221
=533  \\$aMicrofiche.$bSomewhere $cUniversity Something International,$d1991.$e3 microfiche.$f(Some collection).$7s1991    miun b
=650  \0$aSomething$vSomething fiction.
=650  \0$aSurvival (after some accident.)$vSomething fiction.
=700  10$aSomeone, John,$d1660-1725,$eill.
=700  10$aSomeone-else, John,$d1640-1745,$eill.
=830  \0$aSomething collection ;$v002:005.

Records are separated by a blank line.

My script(oh the shame) looks like this:

#!/usr/local/bin/python2.6   
import re, os, sys, os.path
from datetime import datetime
from pymarc import MARCReader
import csv
sys.path.insert(0, "/packages/dsol/lib/python")
from lutbuilder import buildLut

def walk(dir):
    """ walks a directory, and meth on each file! """
    dir = os.path.abspath(dir)
    for file in [file for file in os.listdir(dir) if not file in [".",".."]]:
        nfile = os.path.join(dir,file)
        if os.path.isfile(nfile):
            meth(nfile)
        else:
            print "%s" % (nfile)
            walk(nfile)
 
def meth(nfile):
    
    lutplace_ = buildLut("/dc/pao/pcift0/data/Publishing/lutcountry.txt", delimiter="|")
    lutfreq_ = buildLut("/dc/pao/pcift0/data/Publishing/lutfrequency.txt", delimiter="|")
    lutreg_ = buildLut("/dc/pao/pcift0/data/Publishing/lutregularity.txt", delimiter="|")
    lutform_ = buildLut("/dc/pao/pcift0/data/Publishing/lutformofitem.txt", delimiter=" = ")
    csv_out = csv.writer(open('/dc/pao/pcift0/data/Publishing/marc_records.csv', 'w'), delimiter = ',', quotechar = '"', quoting = csv.QUOTE_MINIMAL)
    counts = 0
    list_ = {}
    list500_ = []
    list510_ = []
    list510a_ = []
    list650_ = []
    list650a_ = []
    list700_ = []
    list700a_ = []
    list700b_ = []
    list700c_ = []
    list700d_ = []
    list700e_ = []
    thelist_ = []    
    fileExt = nfile[-3:]
    if not fileExt in ["MRK", "mrk"]: return
    theFile = '%s\n' % nfile
    with open(nfile, "r") as thefile_:
        
        for line_ in thefile_:


            match_100 = re.compile(r'^=100....(.*?)\n').search(line_)
            match_245 = re.compile(r'^=245....(.*?)\n').search(line_)
            match_260 = re.compile(r'^=260....(.*?)\n').search(line_)
            match_300 = re.compile(r'^=300....(.*?)\n').search(line_)
            match_500 = re.compile(r'^=500....(.*?)\n').search(line_)
            match_510 = re.compile(r'^=510....(.*?)\n').search(line_)
            match_533 = re.compile(r'^=533....(.*?)\n').search(line_)
            match_650 = re.compile(r'^=650....(.*?)\n').search(line_)
            match_700 = re.compile(r'^=700....(.*?)\n').search(line_)
            match_830 = re.compile(r'^=830....(.*?)\n').search(line_)


            if match_100 != None:
            
                authormatch = re.compile(r'\$a(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                authtitlematch = re.compile(r'\$c(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)                
                relatormatch = re.compile(r'\$q(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)                
                affiliationmatch = re.compile(r'\$d(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)                
                
                if authormatch != None:
                    list_['100a'] = authormatch.group(1)

                if authtitlematch != None:
                    list_['100c'] = authtitlematch.group(1)

                if relatormatch != None:
                    list_['100q'] = relatormatch.group(1)

                if affiliationmatch != None:
                    list_['100d'] =  affiliationmatch.group(1)


            if match_245 != None:

                titlematch = re.compile(r'\$a(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                typematch = re.compile(r'\$h(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                bmatch = re.compile(r'\$b(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                c_match = re.compile(r'\$c(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)

                if titlematch != None:
                    list_['245a'] = titlematch.group(1)

                if typematch != None:
                    list_['245h'] = typematch.group(1)

                if bmatch != None:
                    list_['245b'] = bmatch.group(1)

                if c_match != None:
                    list_['245c'] = c_match.group(1)

            if match_260 != None:
                titlematcha = re.compile(r'\$a(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                titlematchb = re.compile(r'\$b(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)                
                titlematchc = re.compile(r'\$c(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)                
                titlematchd = re.compile(r'\$e(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)                
                titlematche = re.compile(r'\$f(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)               

                if titlematcha != None:
                    list_['260a'] = titlematcha.group(1)

                if titlematchb != None:
                    list_['260b'] = titlematchb.group(1)

                if titlematchc != None:
                    list_['260c'] = titlematchc.group(1)

                if titlematchd != None:
                    list_['260d'] = titlematchd.group(1)

                if titlematche != None:
                    list_['260e'] = titlematche.group(1)


            if match_300 != None:
                titlematcha = re.compile(r'\$a(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                titlematchb = re.compile(r'\$b(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                if titlematcha != None:
                    list_['300a'] = titlematcha.group(1)

               
                if titlematchb != None:
                    list_['300b'] = titlematchb.group(1)
                    
            if match_500 != None:
                match500_ = re.compile(r'\$a(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                if match500_ != None:
                    list500_.append(match500_.group(1))


            if match_510 != None:
            
                match510_ = re.compile(r'\$a(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                match510a_ = re.compile(r'\$c(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                
                if match510_ != None:
                    list510_.append(match510_.group(1))
                                    
                if match510a_ != None:
                    list510a_.append(match510a_.group(1))

            if match_533 != None:
            
                match533a_ = re.compile(r'\$a(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                match533b_ = re.compile(r'\$b(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                match533c_ = re.compile(r'\$c(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                match533d_ = re.compile(r'\$d(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                match533e_ = re.compile(r'\$e(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                match533f_ = re.compile(r'\$f(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                match533g_ = re.compile(r'\$7s(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                
                if match533a_ != None:
                    list_['533a'] = match533a_.group(1)
                    
                if match533b_ != None:
                    list_['533b'] = match533b_.group(1)

                if match533c_ != None:
                    list_['533c'] = match533c_.group(1)

                if match533d_ != None:
                    list_['533d'] = match533d_.group(1)

                if match533e_ != None:
                    list_['533e'] = match533e_.group(1)

                if match533f_ != None:
                    list_['533f'] = match533f_.group(1)                    

                if match533g_ != None:
                
                    g533 = match533g_.group(1)
                    g533 = g533[8:-3]
                                        
                    if g533 in lutplace_.keys():
                
                        g533 = lutplace_[g533]
                        list_['533g'] = g533

                    h533 = match533g_.group(1)
                    h533 = h533[11:-2]
                             
                    if h533 in lutfreq_.keys():
                
                        h533 = lutfreq_[h533]
                        list_['533h'] = h533

                    i533 = match533g_.group(1)
                    i533 = i533[12:]
       
                    if i533 in lutreg_.keys():
                
                        i533 = lutreg_[i533]
                        list_['533i'] = i533
                                                
                    j533 = match533g_.group(1)
                    j533 = j533[13:]
                            
                    if j533 in lutform_.keys():
                
                        j533 = lutform_[j533]
                        list_['533j'] = j533
                        

            if match_650 != None:
            
                match650_ = re.compile(r'\$a(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                match650a_ = re.compile(r'\$v(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                
                if match650_ != None:
                    list650_.append(match650_.group(1))
                                    
                if match650a_ != None:
                    list650a_.append(match650a_.group(1))


            if match_700 != None:
            
                match700_ = re.compile(r'\$a(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                match700a_ = re.compile(r'\$c(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                match700b_ = re.compile(r'\$q(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                match700c_ = re.compile(r'\$d(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                match700d_ = re.compile(r'\$t(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)
                match700e_ = re.compile(r'\$l(.*?)[\$\n]').search(line_)    
                
                if match700_ != None:
                    list700_.append(match700_.group(1))
                                    
                if match700a_ != None:
                    list700a_.append(match700a_.group(1))

               
                if match700b_ != None:
                    list700b_.append(match700b_.group(1))
                                    
                if match700c_ != None:
                    list700c_.append(match700c_.group(1))


                if match700d_ != None:
                    list700d_.append(match700d_.group(1))
                                    
                if match700e_ != None:
                    list700e_.append(match700e_.group(1))

            no500 = 0
            no510 = 0
            no510a = 0
            no650 = 0
            no650a = 0       
            no700 = 0
            no700a = 0 
            no700b = 0
            no700c = 0 
            no700d = 0
            no700e = 0 
            
            if match_830 != None:

                for line500_ in list500_:
                    no500 += 1
                    the500name_ = "500%s" % no500
                    list_[the500name_] = line500_

                for line510_ in list510_:
                    no510 += 1
                    the510name_ = "510%s" % no510
                    list_[the510name_] = line510_

                for line510a_ in list510a_:
                    no510a += 1
                    the510aname_ = "510a%s" % no510a
                    list_[the510aname_] = line510a_

                for line650_ in list650_:
                    no650 += 1
                    the650name_ = "650%s" % no650
                    list_[the650name_] = line650_

                for line650a_ in list650a_:
                    no650a += 1
                    the650aname_ = "650a%s" % no650a
                    list_[the650aname_] = line650a_                     

                for line700_ in list700_:
                    no700 += 1
                    the700name_ = "700%s" % no700
                    list_[the700name_] = line700_

                for line700a_ in list700a_:
                    no700a += 1
                    the700aname_ = "700a%s" % no700a
                    list_[the700aname_] = line700a_                        

                for line700b_ in list700b_:
                    no700b += 1
                    the700bname_ = "700b%s" % no700b
                    list_[the700bname_] = line700b_

                for line700c_ in list700c_:
                    no700c += 1
                    the700cname_ = "700c%s" % no700c
                    list_[the700cname_] = line700c_   

                for line700d_ in list700d_:
                    no700d += 1
                    the700dname_ = "700d%s" % no700d
                    list_[the700dname_] = line700d_

                for line700e_ in list700e_:
                    no700e += 1
                    the700ename_ = "700e%s" % no700e
                    list_[the700ename_] = line700e_ 

                thelist_.append(list_)
                list_ = {}
                list500_ = []
                list510_ = []
                list510a_ = []
                list650_ = []
                list650a_ = []
                list700_ = []
		list700a_ = []
		list700b_ = []
                list700c_ = []
		list700d_ = []
                list700e_ = []
                
                
                
        csv_out.writerow(["Author", "Authortitle", "Authordate", "Title", "Place of publication", "Name of publisher", "Date of publication", "Place of manufacture", "Manufacturer", "Physical Description", "Physical Description other", "Type of reproduction", "Place of reproduction", "Agency responsible for reproduction", "Date of reproduction", "Physical description of reproduction", "Series statement of reproduction", "Co author 1", "Co author 2", "Co author 3", "Co author 4", "General notes 1", "General notes 2", "General notes 3", "General notes 4", "Citation/References Notes 1", "Citation/References Notes 1 - Location within source", "Citation/References Notes 2", "Citation/References Notes 2 - Location within source", "Citation/References Notes 3", "Citation/References Notes 3 - Location within source", "Citation/References Notes 4", "Citation/References Notes 4 - Location within source", "650 field notes 1", "650 field notes 1a", "650 field notes 2", "650 field notes 2a", "650 field notes 3", "650 field notes 3a", "650 field notes 4", "650 field notes 4a"])  

                
    for line in thelist_:
        if line.has_key('100a'):
            Author = line['100a'] 
        else:
            Author = ""

        if line.has_key('100c'):
            Authortitle = line['100c'] 
        else:
            Authortitle = ""            

        if line.has_key('100d'):
            Authordate = line['100d'] 
        else:
            Authordate = ""

        if line.has_key('245a'):
            Title = line['245a'] 
        else:
            Title = ""
            
        if line.has_key('260a'):
            a260 = line['260a'] 
        else:
            a260 = ""

        if line.has_key('260b'):
            b260 = line['260b'] 
        else:
            b260 = ""

        if line.has_key('260c'):
            c260 = line['260c'] 
        else:
            c260 = ""

        if line.has_key('260d'):
            d260 = line['260d'] 
        else:
            d260 = ""
            
        if line.has_key('260e'):
            e260 = line['260e'] 
        else:
            e260 = ""            

        if line.has_key('300a'):
            a300 = line['300a'] 
        else:
            a300 = ""

        if line.has_key('300b'):
            b300 = line['300b'] 
        else:
            b300 = ""
            
        if line.has_key('5001'):
            the5001 = line['5001'] 
        else:
            the5001 = ""

        if line.has_key('5002'):
            the5002 = line['5002'] 
        else:
            the5002 = ""

        if line.has_key('5003'):
            the5003 = line['5003'] 
        else:
            the5003 = ""

        if line.has_key('5004'):
            the5004 = line['5004'] 
        else:
            the5004 = ""

        if line.has_key('5101'):
            the5101 = line['5101'] 
        else:
            the5101 = ""

        if line.has_key('5102'):
            the5102 = line['5102'] 
        else:
            the5102 = ""

        if line.has_key('5103'):
            the5103 = line['5103'] 
        else:
            the5103 = ""

        if line.has_key('5104'):
            the5104 = line['5104'] 
        else:
            the5104 = ""

        if line.has_key('510a1'):
            the510a1 = line['510a1'] 
        else:
            the510a1 = ""

        if line.has_key('510a2'):
            the510a2 = line['510a2'] 
        else:
            the510a2 = ""

        if line.has_key('510a3'):
            the510a3 = line['510a3'] 
        else:
            the510a3 = ""

        if line.has_key('510a4'):
            the510a4 = line['510a4'] 
        else:
            the510a4 = ""

        if line.has_key('533a'):
            a533 = line['533a'] 
        else:
            a533 = ""

        if line.has_key('533b'):
            b533 = line['533b'] 
        else:
            b533 = ""

        if line.has_key('533c'):
            c533 = line['533c'] 
        else:
            c533 = ""

        if line.has_key('533d'):
            d533 = line['533d'] 
        else:
            d533 = ""

        if line.has_key('533e'):
            e533 = line['533e'] 
        else:
            e533 = ""

        if line.has_key('533f'):
            f533 = line['533f'] 
        else:
            f533 = ""

        if line.has_key('533g'):
            g533 = line['533g'] 
        else:
            g533 = ""
            
        if line.has_key('533h'):
            h533 = line['533h'] 
        else:
            h533 = ""            

        if line.has_key('533i'):
            i533 = line['533i'] 
        else:
            i533 = ""

        if line.has_key('533j'):
            j533 = line['533j'] 
        else:
            j533 = ""

        if line.has_key('6501'):
            the6501 = line['6501'] 
        else:
            the6501 = ""

        if line.has_key('6502'):
            the6502 = line['6502'] 
        else:
            the6502 = ""

        if line.has_key('6503'):
            the6503 = line['6503'] 
        else:
            the6503 = ""

        if line.has_key('6504'):
            the6504 = line['6504'] 
        else:
            the6504 = ""

        if line.has_key('650a1'):
            the650a1 = line['650a1'] 
        else:
            the650a1 = ""

        if line.has_key('650a2'):
            the650a2 = line['650a2'] 
        else:
            the650a2 = ""

        if line.has_key('650a3'):
            the650a3 = line['650a3'] 
        else:
            the650a3 = ""

        if line.has_key('650a4'):
            the650a4 = line['650a4'] 
        else:
            the650a4 = ""
        
        if line.has_key('7001'):
            the7001 = line['7001'] 
        else:
            the7001 = ""

        if line.has_key('7002'):
            the7002 = line['7002'] 
        else:
            the7002 = ""

        if line.has_key('7003'):
            the7003 = line['7003'] 
        else:
            the7003 = ""

        if line.has_key('7004'):
            the7004 = line['7004'] 
        else:
            the7004 = ""        
        
        if line.has_key('700a1'):
            the700a1 = line['700a1'] 
        else:
            the700a1 = ""

        if line.has_key('700a2'):
            the700a2 = line['700a2'] 
        else:
            the700a2 = ""

        if line.has_key('700a3'):
            the700a3 = line['700a3'] 
        else:
            the700a3 = ""

        if line.has_key('700a4'):
            the700a4 = line['700a4'] 
        else:
            the700a4 = ""         

        if line.has_key('700b1'):
            the700b1 = line['700b1'] 
        else:
            the700b1 = ""

        if line.has_key('700b2'):
            the700b2 = line['700b2'] 
        else:
            the700b2 = ""

        if line.has_key('700b3'):
            the700b3 = line['700b3'] 
        else:
            the700b3 = ""

        if line.has_key('700b4'):
            the700b4 = line['700b4'] 
        else:
            the700b4 = "" 

        if line.has_key('700c1'):
            the700c1 = line['700c1'] 
        else:
            the700c1 = ""

        if line.has_key('700c2'):
            the700c2 = line['700c2'] 
        else:
            the700c2 = ""

        if line.has_key('700c3'):
            the700c3 = line['700c3'] 
        else:
            the700c3 = ""

        if line.has_key('700c4'):
            the700c4 = line['700c4'] 
        else:
            the700c4 = "" 

        if line.has_key('700d1'):
            the700d1 = line['700d1'] 
        else:
            the700d1 = ""

        if line.has_key('700d2'):
            the700d2 = line['700d2'] 
        else:
            the700d2 = ""

        if line.has_key('700d3'):
            the700d3 = line['700d3'] 
        else:
            the700d3 = ""

        if line.has_key('700d4'):
            the700d4 = line['700d4'] 
        else:
            the700d4 = "" 

        if line.has_key('700e1'):
            the700e1 = line['700e1'] 
        else:
            the700e1 = ""

        if line.has_key('700e2'):
            the700e2 = line['700e2'] 
        else:
            the700e2 = ""

        if line.has_key('700e3'):
            the700e3 = line['700e3'] 
        else:
            the700e3 = ""

        if line.has_key('700e4'):
            the700e4 = line['700e4'] 
        else:
            the700e4 = "" 
            
        csv_out.writerow([Author, Authortitle, Authordate, Title, a260, b260, c260, d260, e260, a300, b300, a533, b533, c533, d533, e533, f533, the7001, the7002, the7003, the7004, the5001, the5002, the5003, the5004, the5101, the510a1, the5102, the510a2, the5103, the510a3, the5104, the510a4, the6501, the650a1, the6502, the650a2, the6503, the650a3, the6504, the650a4])  
        print counts
if __name__ == "__main__":

    path_ = "/dc/pao/pcift0/data/Publishing/in"
    startTime = datetime.now()
    walk(path_)
    print(datetime.now()-startTime)

This script worked fine. It reads everything into one big list. Some of the fields(650, 700) that can appear more than once gets read into more lists and then at the end the list gets sorted(manually) and then gets written into a csv file.

I will be re-thinking this in the next few days(starting now) but I feel a bit out of my depth. If anyone has any suggestions on how to make this a bit more presentable please, please let me know.

There isn't enough data to be exact on the extraction process, but you can use a dictionary to test for "100", "245", etc. and call a function based on the key. I have used a common function to extract the data. If this is possible on all data types then the dictionary can be used to call the common function and send the proper sub-dictionary, otherwise the unique code can be included in each function. Note that the variable "list_" is changed to "dict_" since it is a dictionary. If this is not what you want provide more test data.

def common(dict_in, rec, update_dict):
    for key in dict_in:
        if key in rec:
            rec_as_list=rec.split(key)
            ## the string we want is now in rec_as_list[1]            
            extract_string=rec_as_list[1].split("$")
            new_key=dict_in[key]
            update_dict[new_key] = extract_string[0]
    return update_dict

def func_100(rec, dict_):
    ## =100  1\$aSomeauthor, John$d1746-1818.
    dict_100={"\\$a":'100a', "\\$c":'100c',"\\$q":'100q',"\\$d":'100d'}
    print rec
    dict_ = common(dict_100, rec, dict_)

    return dict_

def func_245(rec, dict_):
    ## =245  13$aSome title$hmicrosomething :$bla bla /$ctranslated from some language.
    dict_245={"$a":'245a', "$h":'245h',"/$b":'245b',"/$c":'245c'}
    print rec
    dict_ = common(dict_245, rec, dict_)
    return dict_


dict_={}
match_dict={"100":func_100, "245":func_245}
records=test_data.split("\n")
for rec in records:
    for key in match_dict:
        if rec.startswith("="+key):
            print "-"*50
            dict_=match_dict[key](rec, dict_)  ## call the function associated with this key
            print "dict_", dict_

And intead of all of the if() statements you can use a loop and write each row if the number in the current record (=001, =100 etc.) is less than the previous record's number=new group, and then write the final row of course.

for line in thelist_:
        if line.has_key('100a'):
            Author = line['100a'] 
        else:
            Author = ""
 
        if line.has_key('100c'):
            Authortitle = line['100c'] 
        else:
            Authortitle = ""     
        # ad nauseum   
        csv_out.writerow([Author, Authortitle, Authordate, Title, a260, b260, c260, d260, e260, a300, b300, a533, b533, c533, d533, e533, f533, the7001, the7002, the7003, the7004, the5001, the5002, the5003, the5004, the5101, the510a1, the5102, the510a2, the5103, the510a3, the5104, the510a4, the6501, the650a1, the6502, the650a2, the6503, the650a3, the6504, the650a4])  
#
# replace with
output_list = []
for key in ['100a', '100c'. '100d', '260a', '260b', '260c']:  ## etc
    if key in dict_:
        output_list.append(dict_[key])
    else:
        output_list.append("")
csv_out.writerow(output_list)

Edited 4 Years Ago by woooee: n/a

Let us know how this is going whether you are successful or not.

Edited 4 Years Ago by woooee: n/a

I didn't manage to get a whole lot done today but I did get rid of all those horrible if statements:

headers = ["100a", "100c", "100d", "100q", "245a"]

    for line in thelist_:
        for header in headers:
                if line.has_key(header):
                    print line[header]
                    fileout_.write('|%s' % line[header])
                else:
                    fileout_.write('|')
        fileout_.write('\n')

I'll see what I can do about the rest tomorrow. Thanks for your suggestions woooee.

Edited 4 Years Ago by roe1and: can't spell

Ok... I think I understand. Took me long enough. I had to tinker a lot to get my brain wrapped around all this. Still not sure how all the information gets to where it need to be and then comes back but I sort of maybe understand it. I now have this:

#!/usr/local/bin/python2.6
def common(dict_in, rec, update_dict):
    for key in dict_in:
        if key in rec:
            rec_as_list = rec.split(key)
            ## the string we want is now in rec_as_list[1]
            print "rec_as_list[0]: ", rec_as_list[0]
            print "rec_as_list[1]: ", rec_as_list[1]
            extract_string = rec_as_list[1].split("$")
            new_key = dict_in[key]
            update_dict[new_key] = extract_string[0]
    return update_dict
    
def func_100(rec, dict_):

    dict_100={"$a":'100a', "$c":'100c',"$e":'100e',"$u":'100u'}
    #print rec
    dict_ = common(dict_100, rec, dict_)
    
    return dict_
 
def func_245(rec, dict_):

    dict_245={"$a":'245a'}
    #print rec
    dict_ = common(dict_245, rec, dict_)
    return dict_

def func_700(rec, dict_):

    dict_700={"$a":'700a', "$c":'700c'}
    #print rec
    dict_ = common(dict_700, rec, dict_)
    return dict_ 
 
dict_={}
match_dict={"100":func_100, "245":func_245, "700":func_700,}
records = ['100 1 $aIORGA, N.$cSomething', '245 14$aLe "nouvel hellenisme" et liconoclasme', '700 1 $aSomeone, J', '700 1 $aSomeone, A']
for rec in records:
    for key in match_dict:
        #if rec[:3] == key:
        if rec.startswith(key):
            #print "-"*50
            dict_ = match_dict[key](rec, dict_)  ## call the function associated with this key
            print "dict_: ", dict_

This works and I am well pleased that I have figured it out. But now I have an issue with some of the lines that appear more than once. If you look at the "rec" you will see that 700 appears twice. Last time round I resorted to reading all the 700s into another list. And then more lists, lists within dicts within lists... Is there perhaps a more elegant way of dealing with these?

The dictionary would have to contain lists as you can not duplicate keys in a dictionary, and you would then append to the list each time. So it would be

def common(dict_in, rec, update_dict):
    ...
            new_key = dict_in[key]
            ## add "700" or whatever the first time it is found
            if new_key not in update_dict:
                update_dict[new_key]=[]     ## key points to an empty list
            update_dict[new_key].append(extract_string[0])
    return update_dict
#
# then to write

    headers = ["100a", "100c", "100d", "100q", "245a"]
 
    for line in thelist_:
        for header in headers:
#                if line.has_key(header):
                 if header in line:     ## preferred over has_key
                    print line[header]

                    list_of_recs=line[header]   ## from the dictionary of lists

                    ## added to write each one individually
                    for item in list_of_recs:
                        fileout_.write('|%s' % (item))
                else:
                    fileout_.write('|')
        fileout_.write('\n')

I'm not too sure what you want to do so it this is not quite correct, adjust it a little and post back if there are other questions. And after all of this, it occurs to me to ask if an SQL database would work better. Doh!

Edited 4 Years Ago by woooee: n/a

Haha, that's hysterical! I just realized that these files gets created using a Foxpro database!!! I've been dicking about with this for weeks while I could just convert that into a MySQL database and then extract the information from there. (If I can get Python to play nice with the MySQL DB I have access too here at work. Past attempts have not been successful)
Still.. I have to learn Python so it's not all wasted. I have learnt a lot from this. Thanks for your help. I'll see how far I get with this before lunch tome but then I have to move on. Thanks again woooee, you've been a great help.

That looks great thanks. I have worked Foxpro before but that was a looong time ago. I think the last time I looked at it I exported it and then imported it into a MySQL database. I'l definitely look at this though!

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