Sunday, June 23, 2019

Scythebill 14.6.0 - IOC 9.2, trip and family reports, and more

Scythebill 14.6.0 is now available, with the brand-new IOC 9.2 taxonomy, new trip and family reports, favorite photos, and more.  As always, download here, and let me know if you have any problems, either on Facebook or by email

IOC 9.2

The IOC 9.2 taxonomy - just released - is now supported.  There's some higher-level taxonomic changes, like a few new families, and the usual suite of splits and lumps.  As always, Scythebill will handle the process of upgrading automatically.  And you can visit the "Splits and lumps" special report after upgrading to see how you did! (I gained five new species.)

Family reports

If you pay attention to recording species families, you'll be pretty interested in this. The "Show reports" screen has a new option in the "Export..." menu at the bottom left - "as a family report".  It's pretty simple - you'll get a few options, then a screen with a list of families, how many are possible, and how many you've recorded:

You can display these in three ways:
  • Taxonomic order: starting from ostriches, continuing through the passerines at the end
  • Most recorded: ordered based on how many you've recorded (most at the top), secondarily by number of possibilities (starting with fewest possibilities at the top).  That screenshot above uses this order.
  • Greatest fraction: ordered based on what percentage of possibilities you've recorded, secondarily by number of possibilities (starting with the most possibilities at the top).  This makes it easy to see all the monotypic families (in two blocks - one with all the recorded monotypic families, another will all the not-yet recorded ones).
The window that opens automatically puts all the text in the clipboard, so you can take all the text and paste - with formatting intact -  it into Word, Pages, OpenOffice, or even GMail.

Trip reports

Yet another new option in the "Export..." menu is "as a trip report".  This lets you get a quick start on writing a report for an entire trip - pick a report like "Location" is in "Brazil" and "Date" is in "2010", then create the trip report.  This feature is early, and I'm extremely interested to hear about whether it's useful for you, and if you have ideas for how to improve it!  The report is made to be copied and pasted into an editor so you can format or clean it up.

Trip reports have up to three sections;  each is optional:
  • An itinerary
  • A species table
  • A species list
The itinerary shows, day-by-day, where you visited:

(If you enter "start times" for visits, the itinerary is ordered correctly within each day.)
After each first appearance of a location name, there's an abbreviation for that location (which gets used in the species list).  If you had comments attached to a visit, they'll be included in this itinerary.

The species table shows a table with one row for every species, and one column for every day.  A number shows how many individuals were seen, "X" means seen without any specific number, and "(H)" means heard-only.

Finally, a species list shows all species seen, using the location name abbreviations (if the species was recorded at more than three locations, locations are omitted).

If there's just one sighting, and there's sighting notes, the sighting notes are included.
Lifers will be bolded if you add a "First records (lifers)" ... should be "highlighted" to your report parameters.

The window that opens with the trip report automatically puts all the text in the clipboard, so you can take all the text and paste it - with formatting intact - into Word, Pages, OpenOffice, or even GMail.

"Favorite" photos

Photos now have a star icon next to them - click it to mark the photo as a "favorite".

The "Photographed" reporting option now has two new options:
  • "has a favorite": includes sightings that have at least one photo marked as a favorite
  • "has no favorites": includes sightings that don't have any photo marked as a favorite.
Huge thanks to user drewbenn for implementing this feature.

Smaller features and bug fixes

  • The "AOU" reporting region has been renamed to the "AOS Area North" region (in keeping with the ABA Listing Areas).  And Scythebill's added the "AOS Area South" region.
  • The import code for "my eBird Data" (eBird exports of all of your sighting) had some bugs introduced in 14.5.1 that would result in imports failing.  These are fixed.
  • The combination of photos for a sighting and sighting notes meant that extra blank lines and spaces would get added to the sighting notes every time you saved!  Thanks to user drewbenn for drawing attention to this.