Sunday, June 30, 2013

Editing everywhere, IOC 3.4, new installers, and more: Scythebill 9.2.1 is available

Well, phew.  It's been a couple of months since the last release.  They've been busy months, and there's lots of improvements.

Get it here (it's a new download page, with better instructions).

New installers

If you're a Windows or Linux users, the first thing you'll notice is a new installer, courtesy of Bitrock Installbuilder (thanks for their free support of open source software).  If you're a Windows user, you get:

  • No need to install Java.
  • .bsxm files (where sightings are stored) now have an icon, and you can double-click them to start up Scythebill

This product is new to me, so the old standalone .exe is still available for download if the installer doesn't work, but I recommend using the installer if possible.

The Linux installer doesn't do as much, but should still make it easier to get started.  (Linux users will still need a separate installation of Java.)

For MacOS users, there's no installer (they're just not that necessary on MacOS), but the application is finally signed  - so Mountain Lion users shouldn't see "Scythebill is damaged and can't be opened" ever again.  There's a nice explanation of Mountain Lion and it's Gatekeeper feature here.

A picture of a Scythebill!

Once installed, you might notice is that Scythebill now has a new icon and splash screen!  It's of an actual Red-billed Scythebill, and is far higher quality than that old Yellow Cardinal shot of mine.  The MacOS and Windows icons now also scale much better.  Thanks and credit go to Alan Smith for the donation.

IOC 3.4 - just released, already supported

The IOC 3.4 list update was released yesterday morning, and is already supported in Scythebill.

A lot more ways to edit

I've gotten consistent feedback from users that it's hard to edit existing sightings in Scythebill.  It got quite a bit better in 9.2.0, and is even better in 9.2.1.

Most notably, you can now edit right from "Show reports".  Issue any report you want, select a sighting, and you can edit that sighting.  Or, even better:  you can generate a report, and click the new "Bulk edit..." button, which will let you edit all matched sightings at once!  If you accidentally entered 500 sightings in Peru for 2003 when it should have been 2004, just:
  1. Go to Show reports.
  2. Search for <Location> <is in> Peru (and if you need to limit it to just one trip, add <Date> <is During> 2003)
  3. Click Bulk Edit... at the bottom
  4. Change 2003 to 2004.
  5. Click "OK".
(Thanks to user dfoxmi for the inspiration.)

You can also edit dates (one-by-one, or in bulk) everywhere.

New data fields and report generation options

Two data fields have been added.

First, you can set an "Adult" checkbox for sightings that aren't specifically male or female, but are definitely not immatures.

More interestingly - and hopefully in time for a few sightings this summer - is the addition of Breeding Bird Codes.  Scythebill supports the full set of eBird breeding bird codes, and you can issue reports against breeding bird categories (e.g. "Confirmed" breeding).

Also, you can now issue reports against the Description field - if you're trying to find that raptor sighting where a Red-shouldered Blackbird was dive-bombing it, it's now much easier to track it down quickly.

Smaller features

There's also a new View menu to change font sizes, so if you've got a huge monitor you can expand the font size to be easier on the eyes.  And if you've got a small monitor, you can shrink the font size down.  (Large fonts and small monitors may not work well together.) Thanks to user "chkmypc" for the idea.

There's some smaller things too:

  • You can now enter Italian Sparrow on the IOC list (should've been able to even in IOC 3.3).  Thanks to Peter W. for the report.
  • eBird import now supports importing single-day checklists.  Thanks to user "righttoreason" for the report.
  • Drag-and-drop of locations in "Browse by locations" (for re-arranging) now works better.  When you hover over a collapsed location, it'll automatically expand.  And you properly get feedback on MacOS as you drag over other items.
  • Total sighting counts in HTML reports and printouts were missing "sp." sightings.
  • Scythebill fonts won't be fuzzy on MacOS displays that are "Retina" capable.


As always, if you have any issues with Scythebill, please let me know, either by email or on the issue tracker.  Cheers!

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