Monday, January 23, 2017

Scythebill 13.5 is available - IOC 7.1 with automatic updates

Scythebill 13.5.0 is now available!  As always, download here, and let me know if you have any problems, either on Google+Facebook, or by email.   This release includes the IOC 7.1 list, and (at long last), IOC users get the same easy resolution on upgrade that eBird/Clements users have come to expect.

IOC 7.1 list is now available

IOC includes a number of splits, mostly from South America, listed in full here.

Previously, upgrading to a new IOC list forced you to manually visit Show reports to track down any splits, and resolve them one-by-one (if you remembered!).

Now - if you have any affected sightings - you'll see a screen like this one:

If you click Not now (perhaps you don't really use IOC), you'll be done.  Otherwise, click Resolve now, and you'll get another screen:

Scythebill's used its checklists to automatically fix most of your sightings, and reduce the number of choices for most of what's left.  (In this case, for example, Scythebill doesn't have single island checklists for the Galapagos, so those splits can't be automated.)  If you don't trust the checklists, you can click No and do all the work yourself - or you can click Yes, and let Scythebill do most of the work for you;  if there's still some splits left, you'll get one last screen to manually resolve whatever Scythebill couldn't handle.

Hopefully, this will make things far simpler for IOC users to keep up with all the splits headed our way.

IOC 7.1 and "Eastern" Barn Owls

One change that is not automatically handled for IOC users this time around is a subtle change in the IOC's split between Eastern and Western Barn Owl.  In IOC 6.4, the boundary between the two forms was in the Lesser Sundas, in Eastern Indonesia.  In IOC 7.1, this has changed - everything west through Pakistan (subspecies stertens and javanica) is now part of Eastern Barn Owl.  So if you've got sightings in Western Barn Owl from South or Southeastern Asia, and did not assign those sightings to one of those subspecies, you'll have to move the sightings yourself to Eastern Barn Owl.

As part of this, I've introduced an artificial group to the eBird/Clements taxonomy - "Barn Owl (South Asian)".  This is not an actual eBird/Clements group - but don't worry, as any sightings you record for that group will automatically be reported to eBird as "Barn Owl (Eurasian)".  Hopefully, the 2017 eBird/Clements taxonomic update will clean this up.

Other changes and fixes

The Mozambique state of Maputo is now properly included in the "Southern Africa" report.

Scythebill has its usual suite of checklist improvements. In this release, I've finished comparing the Scythebill checklists against all the eBird checklists, handling all the countries from T(anzania) to Z(imbabwe).  A number of recent first country records have also been added.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Scythebill 13.4.1 is available

Scythebill 13.4.1 is now available!  As always, download here, and let me know if you have any problems, either on Google+Facebook, or by email.   This release is largely a bug fix and cleanup release, with a number of small features and fixes recently requested by users.

Report improvements

There's a new "Family" report option, which lets you select sightings from a single family.  This is, perhaps, most useful in conjunction with "Special reports" - you can figure out in which country you've seen the most hummingbirds, or your best big day for waterfowl, and so forth.

The "IUCN Red List" report option was broken if you'd added any sightings in extended (non-bird) taxonomies.

The AOU region now properly includes Hawaii (as well as Midway, Clipperton Island, and Johnston Atoll).  The ABA region intentionally does not include Hawaii, yet - the rules committee has not yet codified this change, but will in 2017.

Remembered "total ticks" reports did not get saved properly;  they will now.

Import improvements

Scythebill has long detected duplicate entries when importing.  Previously, you only had the option of cancelling the entire import, or dropping the duplicates.  Scythebill now offers another option - overwriting existing sightings with the duplicates.  This is handy if you've improved the data in the original source.  However, note that Scythebill only considers a sighting a duplicate if it's on the same date and is exactly the same taxon!  So if you've updated a subspecies, for example, you'll end up with two sightings, since it won't look like a duplicate.

Ornitho imports should now properly handle Bean Goose imports.  Absent a subspecies, they will be imported as a Tundra/Taiga Bean-Goose "spuh";  with a subspecies, they will be assigned correctly.

Observado imports will automatically set the "Photographed" bit and attach the URL of the Observado sighting if any photographs are included with that sighting.

eBird imports of the "life list" and "checklist" formats should now be more successful when you are importing from some non-English languages.

Other changes

13.4.0 added a new keyboard shortcut in Enter sightings lets you navigate between the detail rows of a table when entering sightings - but it chose a keystroke on Windows (Control-Alt-Up/Down) that was already taken.  It now uses Shift-Alt-Up/Down.

As always, this version of Scythebill includes further checklist improvements.  In particular, I've been working through all the eBird data, looking for species omitted from Scythebill checklists.  As of this release, I've checked against every country (alphabetically) from Afghanistan to Syria.