Saturday, March 22, 2014

Scythebill 10.3.0 - Lifer reports and eBird improvements

Scythebill 10.3.0 is now available!  Download it here, and please follow Scythebill on Google+ or Facebook for updates.

Lifer reports

This latest version adds an oft-requested feature - better reporting for lifers.  Now, Scythebill can quickly answer questions like:
  • How many lifers have you ever gotten in Peru?
  • What new birds did you get for your ABA list in 2010?
  • What new subspecies have you recorded this year?
Lifers show up not only in the report screen, but also when you print or export to a spreadsheet!

To try this out, visit Show reports, then:
  1. Choose your report (in that first example, "Location is in Peru")
  2. Click the + button to add one more field, and select First records (lifers).  You'll see all your lifers highlighted - 
    • If you're looking for new records for a subregion (new birds for your ABA list, for example), choose a location after My first records in
    • If instead of highlighting, you only want to see those first records, change should be... highlighted to included.

Here's two examples of how this looks:

319 lifers in Peru

3 new ABA species in 2010 (guess which made me happiest?)

This feature works with the "Remembered reports" feature from the last Scythebill release, so if you want to be welcomed every day with how many species you've added to your Western Palearctic list this year, you can.

eBird improvements

Scythebilll 9.3.0 includes a number of small but important improvements when importing data from eBird.

Most importantly, eBird data downloads appear to have started using a variety of date formatting, varying from one user to another.  (Seriously, eBird, cut it out...)  I've added support for all the date formats I've had reported to me, but I doubt I've got them all.  If you have any issues importing data from eBird, please let me know!

  • It now accepts data downloaded from the "Your lists" section on eBird (for example).  It should successfully import whether your preferences request common names, scientific names, or both (but only English common names).
  • eBird is inconsistent across all its export formats with how it encodes non-English characters - like é, or ç or ñ, and so forth.  Scythebill should now use the right encoding for each import, so location names with those characters should be imported correctly.
  • Scythebill is no longer tripped up by the "Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)" name in eBird.
If you export data to eBird from Scythebill, one change will affect you.  Instead of a dedicated button for exporting to eBird  you'll have to first click Export... at the bottom-left corner of the reports screen.

Checklist improvements

In the Browse by location screen, when saving a checklist with Save as spreadsheet..., Scythebill now correctly pays attention to the "Show everything", "Potential lifers", etc. option;  so you can now save a checklist with just potential lifers, just endemics, and so forth.

There's also a new option, "Species you haven't seen here".  This would let you see, for example, all the birds in California that you haven't seen in California, even if you have seen them somewhere else.  This lets you easily generate hit lists for sites you haven't visited yet.

The Chinese checklist has been reconciled with the official checklist, as have the state checklists of Massachussetts, Connecticut, and Oregon.

The world range of Eurasian Siskin should now be accurate (it was incorrectly omitted from many countries), and Wild Turkey is no longer marked as "introduced" in North America where it is clearly "reintroduced".

In addition, there've been small corrections to the checklists of New Zealand, India, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Russia, Nepal, Namibia, Mexico, Ecuador, French Guyana, and Rhode Island.

Thanks again for all the corrections, and again, please keep the "Verify against checklists..." results coming!

Scythebill exports - not all-or-nothing anymore

Prior versions of Scythebill supported a "full" export format, with all Scythebill's data, with an Export... option in the File menu.  However, it was all-or-nothing;  you couldn't just export a subset of your data.

Now, the Export... menu item just takes you to the Show reports screen, where you'll find Scythebill exports in a new Export... menu item at the bottom left:

This is particularly useful if you need to share your sightings between two users. 

As always, please let me know if you have any problems, either on Google+, Facebook, or by email.