Sunday, December 29, 2013

Scythebill 10.1.0 - Custom checklists and more

Scythebill 10.1.0 is now available!  Download it here, and please follow Scythebill on Google+ or Facebook for updates.

Custom checklists

Scythebill now lets you build your own checklists, and share them with your fellow Scythebill users.  I'll tell you more about it in another post (I'm rushing a bit to get this out before the new year), but here's a quick teaser.  All you need to do to build a checklist for a location is:
  • Click "Create checklist..."
  • Choose "Use copy-and-paste auto-magic?"
  • Find a webpage or PDF anywhere on the web - think checklists or trip reports - and paste its text in
  • Click "Start"
That's it!  Scythebill will find all the species named in the text (common or scientific).

Once you've created checklists, you can save them as a .csv file and share them with other users.

If you'd like to play around with an example, you can download a checklist for San Francisco city and open it using "Import checklists..." in the File menu.

An important bugfix

In some unusual circumstances, Scythebill could "forget' some of its entered locations.  This resulted in a scary warning about corrupted files.  If you haven't seen this error message, you are not affected, don't worry.

The underlying issue has been fixed, and Scythebill gracefully handles loading such corrupted files.  (You'd lose some location names, but none of the underlying sightings, and Scythebill will tell you if this happens.)

More checklist corrections

Scythebill has another 375 corrections (42 removals, and 333 additions).  Please keep the corrections coming ("Verify against checklists...") in the File menu, they're invaluable.

Easier importing (MacOS only)

One for the Mac users:  if you've got an eBird .csv file or one of the new shared checklists, you can just drop that file on the Scythebill application (in the Finder or the dock), and it'll be automatically imported.

I try to keep all the features cross-platform, but this one was just easier to implement on Macs (sorry).  

Other fixes

  • The "New location..." button was broken. (Reported by Richard A.)
  • "Verify against checklists..." properly ignores sightings that are marked as "Uncertain identification" or "Not accepted".
  • The "Import" and "Export" menu items have shortcut keys now.  (Thanks to Tim B. for the suggestion)
  • Imports from eBird containing things like "Crow sp." would fail, fixed.  (Thanks also to Tim. B for that one)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Scythebill 10.0.1 - important bug fixes

Scythebill 10.0.1 is now available!   Download it here, and please follow Scythebill on Google+ or Facebook for updates.

This release fixes a few significant bugs introduced in Scythebill 10.0, in particular a bug that could cause problems when entering complex location hierarchies.

Scythebill 10.0.1 also fixes the import of eBird "Checklist" export files (exports from a single sighting), greatly improves the behavior when importing Birder's Diary-generated eBird imports, and does a much better job of automatically preserving groups and subspecies in eBird imports.

This release also includes lots of checklist improvements, especially in Bolivia and New Mexico, as well as fixing the ranges of Long-tailed vs. Exclamatory Paradise Whydah, Whiskered vs. Sulphur-rumped Myiobius, as well as Mongolian Finch and Sunda Scops Owl.

Please continue to send in your results from the "Verify against checklists..." menu!