Friday, April 24, 2015

Scythebill 12.1 - attach photos, IOC 5.2, better checklists, and more

Scythebill 12.1 is here!  As always, download here, and please let me know if you have any problems, let me know either on Google+Facebook, or by email.  The big features this time  include:
  • Attach photos - either from files or the web - to your sightings!
  • IOC 5.2 is available the very same day it's released!
  • Many, many improved checklists (including an entire continent!)
  • Some important "geocoding" and eBird bugs are fixed
Also, if you missed the announcement, Scythebill now has a real website!  Please visit and take a look.  Relatedly, the open-source repository has moved too, and is now available on Bitbucket, so if you'd like to follow Scythebill's development, that's where to go.

Photo attachments

Scythebill now lets you attach photos - both files and webpages - to your sightings.  This has been requested for a long time, and it's finally available.  The implementation here is a starting point, not a final destination, and I'm very curious what features you'd like to see added on top of this - please let me know!

When you're entering species, there's a new Photos column:

You can click on that camera icon - which will bring up a file chooser - or you can drag a file or a webpage onto that icon.  (Note: webpages don't seem to work in Linux.  I'll see if I can get this working in the near future.)  When you do either, that camera icon will change to a number;  and if you expand the sighting, you'll see the list of photos on the right side:

You can click on the photo name to open it - it'll open (outside of Scythebill) in whatever application typically displays photos or webpages on your computer.  You can also drag onto or click the "Drag a photo or click..." part of the page here to add more photos, or click the red X to remove a photo.

The same controls for adding and removing photos here are also everywhere you can edit sightings in Scythebill.

IOC 5.2 taxonomy

The IOC 5.2 taxonomy was just released today, and Scythebill's already up-to-date!  You can find the list of species-level changes here.  As always, the checklists have already been updated (though I admit I'm guessing a bit at the wintering range of Chinese vs. European Blackbird in southeast Asia).

I've also upgraded the IUCN Redlist status for all species (in both IOC and eBird/Clements) from 2012 to 2014.  (It will surprise no one that most changes are not for the better, though there's the occasional bright spot.)

Updated checklists - all of Africa!

IOC 5.2 came out a little bit later than I imagined, and I took advantage of this time by cleaning up all of the African checklists, including Atlantic and Indian Ocean islands near Africa.  They're definitely vastly better - with some embarrassing mistakes cleaned up (Broad-tailed Grassbird in Africa?!?) - but it's possible some errors have been introduced.  If you've travelled in Africa, please use Verify against checklists... in the File menu and let me know what you find.  (This might find mistakes in the checklists, or it might find mistakes in your data;  either way, I'm happy to hear.)

There's also brand-new checklists for:
  • Norfolk Island (with its endemics removed from the Australia checklist)
  • Mayotte (with its endemics removed from the Comoros checklist)
  • East Timor (also known as Timor-Leste), Nauru, and Clipperton Island
Finally, there've been some smaller fixes to checklists in East Asia and Great Britain.

Bugs fixed

Linux users should have a somewhat easier time of things with fonts.  Also, both Linux installs now come fully prepackaged, with no need for an extra Java install.

A few bugs were fixed with the "geocoding" support added in Scythebill 12.0 - automatically grabbing lat/long and county names from Google and eBird.  Most of the combinations are obscure - but particular thanks to Sara M. for finding and reporting the most conspicuous of them.

Three bugs were fixed when importing from eBird:
  • Some eBird exports are produced with 2 year dates - "1/1/15" instead of "1/1/2015". Scythebill parsed those as the year 15 - yes, just 15 - which is probably not what you wanted. That's fixed, and Scythebill will automatically clean up your sightings as soon as they're loaded if you've encountered this bug.
  • If eBird exported time in AM/PM format, Scythebill completely failed to parse any time starting with "12:".
  • Scythebill failed altogether to load eBird imports with some stranger "sp." combinations (in particular Merganser sp. - Mergus/Mergellus/Lophodytes sp.).