Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Scythebill 13.1: IOC 6.3, extended taxonomy improvements, and more!

Scythebill 13.1 is here! As always, download here, and let me know if you have any problems, either on Google+Facebook, or by email.   

Highlights of this release include:

  • The brand-new IOC 6.3 taxonomy
  • Improvements for extended taxonomies
  • Several smaller improvements

IOC 6.3 taxonomy

The IOC 6.3 - just finalized in the last day or two - is now available in Scythebill!  You can see all of the species-level changes on the IOC website.  Some of the highlights include:
  • Two-way splits of Green Violetear, Vilcabamba Thistletail, Great-winged Petrel, Black-rumped Flameback , and Grey-breasted Wood Wren
  • Three-way splits of Plain-backed Thrush, Plain Wren, and Leach's Storm-Petrel
  • And a 10-way split of Red-bellied Pitta.
  • Plus the long-needed disappearance of Caribbean Coot as a color morph of American Coot
As always, all built-in checklists have been updated to follow the new taxonomy.

IOC 6.3 also includes support for several new languages, and they're supported in Scythebill 13.1 for species names:

  • Afrikaans
  • Catalan
  • Slovenian
  • Thai

Extended taxonomy improvements

Extended taxonomies were just released in 13.0;  this release includes some much-needed improvements.

Most importantly, it's now possible to update an extended taxonomy in-place without the overcomplicated workaround needed before.  Just re-add the updated taxonomy, and Scythebill will automatically upgrade all your sightings to the new version.  (If there's some sightings that it can't upgrade - because the taxonomy has changed too much - you may get prompted to save some sightings off to a Scythebill CSV format, so they can be manually re-imported after the upgrade.)

Other improvements include:
  • Extended taxonomies were not honoring the "Common, then scientific" (etc.) preference.
  • Importing an extended taxonomy from a CSV file broke if any of the lines were missing entries.
  • Opening .btxm files directly (instead of via the "Manage taxonomies..." menu) produced some confusing errors.

Other improvements

  • When exporting a report to a spreadsheet, you can now get "Heard only", "Immature", "Adult", "Male", and "Female" columns (select "Show sighting notes, count, etc.?")
  • The IOC and eBird/Clements taxonomies both now have English names for the bird orders.
  • Scythebill now includes a United Kingdom checklist (generated by merging the England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales checklists).
  • There's a new "not by me" sighting status which the masochists among you can use to record times you've been gripped off.  (Scythebill will not consider these sightings countable for your life list.)
  • The "most-likely subspecies" feature broke in 13.0;  it should be working again.
  • A small set of checklist improvements were included;  in particular, Scythebill has aligned its India checklist with the recently released official checklist.

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