Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Scythebill 12.8 - IOC 6.1, and even better imports

Note:  I released Scythebill 12.8.1 for a couple of changes that just missed the first release.  First, there's now a Delete all... button inside Show reports -> Bulk edit... which lets you delete a slew of entries all at once.  Second, there's a couple of bug fixes for the "First records (Lifers)" report option.

Original note: Scythebill 12.8 is here! As always, download here, and let me know if you have any problems, either on Google+Facebook, or by email

This release features the just-released IOC 6.1 checklist, and makes import (of all sorts!) even more effortless.

IOC 6.1 checklist

The IOC 6.1 checklist was released just yesterday, and Scythebill's already upgraded.  For the world listers out there, highlights include splits to Sedge Wren, Striolated Puffbird, and Snowy-browed Flycatcher.  All the details are on the IOC website.

Imports are even easier

Scythebill has, historically, taken the English and scientific names of birds in your imports very literally.  This meant that splits and lumps could leave you with old sightings still attached to old species boundaries.  Scythebill now does a much better job, by using a wealth of alternate names (many pre-existing, and many newly added) and combining those with the Scythebill checklists to give you much better results.

For example, if you had asked Scythebill to import:

Common, Country, DateBlack-shouldered Kite,South Africa,Black-shouldered Kite,Australia,Purple Swamphen,New Zealand,Purple Swamphen,Philippines,Purple Swamphen,United States,Purple Swamphen,Spain,Purple Swamphen,Kenya,Purple Swamphen,Thailand,
... then earlier versions would have given you two sightings of the Australian "Black-shouldered Kite", and 6 sightings of "Western Swamphen".

Scythebill will now correctly assign the South African kite sighting to Black-winged Kite, the New Zealand swamphen to Australasian Swamphen, the Kenyan swamphen to African Swamphen, and so forth.  

It'll even assign the Thailand swamphen to a "spuh" - Grey-headed/Black-backed Swamphen - and take you to a window after import to pick which one was seen (if you want).

This should make getting started with Scythebill even easier, and applies to all imports - Avisys, BirdBase, Scythebill, BirdLasser, etc.  Let me know if you have any problems - there's still certainly many more alternate names to add, so if you find imports failing to choose a reasonable species, I'd like to hear about it.

Other fixes

BirdLasser imports were always importing sightings as January!  Thankfully, this is now fixed prior to February's arrival.

I've fixed how I package the MacOS download;  opening the .dmg file should automatically pop open a window, instead of forcing you to hunt for the mounted disk.  (Or, in other words, installing on MacOS is now easier.)

"Verify against checklists" used to produce corrections that bounced around the world at random;  it now outputs in a fairly predictable, sane order.

As always, some small improvements were made to checklists:
  • The Western Sahara checklist is substantially improved.
  • Smaller changes were made for Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia.
  • A number of recent "firsts" for countries in the Western Palearctic and US states are added.

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