Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Scythebill 13.3 - new "special" reports!

UPDATE: Scythebill 13.3.1 and now 13.3.2 have each made improvements to the new Total Ticks code.

ORIGINAL POST: Scythebill 13.3 is here! As always, download here, and let me know if you have any problems, either on Google+Facebook, or by email.   This release adds two new "special reports", easy copy-and-paste from Scythebill species and sighting lists, and more.

Special reports

Scythebill's reporting is powerful, but there's some things it can't do.  Scythebill 13.3 adds the first "special" reports - pages that can give you fast answers to things some birders just need to know!  This release offers two new such reports:
  • Big days and years
  • Total ticks
(I've also moved the "Lifer map" out of the File menu and into the Special reports page.)

Big days and years report

The first of the new special reports is "Big days and years".  It'll let you quickly find your best birding days or years.  Just click the new Special reports button on the main page, then click "Big" days and years.  You'll immediately see your best big days anywhere.  You can quickly choose big years with the "Big day" vs. "Big year" menu in the upper left of the page, and you can add the usual report options to limit the possibilities;  below you can see what I get for my best "ABA region" big years (and no, I've never been much of a big year person myself):

(If you're wondering why some say "North America" and some say "California", etc., that's because in some of those years, all of my ABA birding was within California.)

And, of course, if you want to know what day you saw the most butterflies or mammals, etc. - this all works with extended taxonomies.

Total ticks report

Some birders have started working on (and competing on) "total ticks" listing.  A total ticks list adds up all of the totals from subregions into one big total.  So, for example, a "state" total ticks list for the ABA Region requires you to:
  1. Compute the list for every state (or province) in the US and Canada (plus Saint Pierre et Miquelon).
  2. Add all of those lists together - so if you had 150 in one state, 200 in another, that's 350 total, and so forth.
Pretty tedious, huh?  So now Scythebill can answer that question for you in a flash.  Click the new Special reports button on the main page, then click Total ticks.  You'll immediately see your world "country" total ticks list - the sum of each of your individual country lists.  And you can quickly switch to "state" or "county" total ticks, and limit to a location - so if you want your ABA state total ticks, that's easy, and if you want your California county total ticks, that's easy too!

But there's more!  You can Remember... your total ticks, which will let you have a total tick report immediately calculated and always up-to-date on the main Scythebill page.  And you can Save as spreadsheet..., which will save an .xslx file with one row per species, and one column per location, and formulas pre-added with totals:

Other changes

You can now use "Copy" - or drag - from Scythebill lists (like in Show reports or Browse by species or even the new Big day list) to get the text content into a document or your email.

The Print... option in Show reports now includes a more helpful page title describing your report.

Checklist improvements this time around include the standard batch of first country- or state-records, plus:

  • The Indonesian provinces of Maluku and Nusa Tenggara have been substantially augmented with a number of missing species.
  • The Hawaiian "northwestern islands" (Laysan, Midway, and the like) have been moved to a new "Midway" checklist which is part of the "United States Minor Outlying Islands" (these are not, in fact, administered by the state of Hawaii).  However, many Hawaiian listers do include these islands - so there's now a new "Hawaii (with Northwestern Islands)" location available when generating reports.

Bug fixes include:
  • The "world lifer" map was broken if you'd entered any extended taxonomy sightings.
  • The Cut and Copy menu items did not work correctly for taking text out of a Notes field.  (The keyboard shortcuts worked fine, but not the menu items).
  • Reports based on "IUCN Redlist" would - amusingly - treat "Rock Pigeon (Feral)" (and other feral and domestic forms) as beyond critically endangered!