Saturday, October 26, 2019

Scythebill 14.7.4 - eBird import is fixed, and better Multiple Observer support

Scythebill 14.7.4 is now available, with some critical fixes to get eBird imports working once more and an improvement to Multiple Observer support.  As always, download here, and let me know if you have any problems, either on Facebook or by email.

eBird import fixes

At some point in the last week or so, eBird changed the name of the column header containing species comments in both their Checklist and MyData export formats.  This broke Scythebill, which relies on those column header names to find the data.

(Scythebill should also have given a better error message than it did, instead of just saying the .csv file might not be valid.)

This has been fixed, so new files (and old files) should import cleanly.

Multiple Observer improvement

Scythebill added support for recording sightings for multiple observers in a single .bsxm file back in 14.0.0.  If you've never seen it - and want to use it - you can check out the section in the Scythebill manual that explains it.  (If you don't need this feature, don't worry about it - it's well-hidden, and none of it appears at all unless you go to the Scythebill Preferences page and turn it on.)

New to 14.7.4, though, is a quick way to toggle between those observers for all the reporting Scythebill gives you.  Now, just to the right of the Taxonomy chooser up top, is an Observer field, where you can pick a single observer:

As soon as you've done so, all the sightings will automatically be filtered to just that one observer - whether you're in Show reports, Browse by location, Browse by species, any of the Special reports, or even the "Remembered" reports whose totals show up on the main menu page.  You can always leave it blank to get a report for all the observers in your file.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Scythebill 14.7.2 - bug fixes and Trip Reports improvements

Scythebill 14.7.2 is now available, with a variety of small bug fixes and a few improvements to Trip Reports.  As always, download here, and let me know if you have any problems, either on Facebook or by email

Update: Scythebill 14.7.3 had one bug fix beyond 14.7.2.  No need to update if you already have 14.7.2 and it's working for you.

One point of caution for MacOS users:  this version is the first MacOS release that is "notarized" by Apple. This should make it much more likely for Scythebill to work properly on MacOS Catalina - though I have not yet tested with that version! - but also makes it possible that it might not work on some older versions.  I expect that any issues would happen as soon as you try to open Scythebill, so if it opens, you're good.  Please let me know if you encounter any issues.

And for Windows users - Scythebill will now warn you when your .bsxm file is in your Scythebill application directory (at least, if you install in the default location).  Doing so works sometimes, and sometimes makes Windows very unhappy, generating errors and generally making user's lives difficult.  It is recommended that you put .bsxm files in your Documents directory, or in cloud-based storage.

Trip Reports improvements

Trip Reports support two new options.

First, Include species from other taxonomies - which will generate an extra species list for all the other taxonomies where you recorded any observations, one per taxonomy.  (The species table is only for the current taxonomy.) 

Second, Include favorite photos (experimental) - which will take any photos that you have starred to mark as favorites and include them in the species list.  This has a few restrictions
  • It won't work for RAW photos
  • It will only work for photos stored as files, not on a website.
  • Also (and this is the most important reason for marking this as "experimental") when pasting into word processors, results are very inconsistent.  Most drop the photos altogether.

Bug fixes

  • If you upgraded to 14.7 or 14.7.1 and then tried to run with an older version of Scythebill, you got a cryptic error message.  Once you upgrade to 14.7.2, running with older versions should give a clear error message.
  • Wildlife Recorder importing is now much, much better.
  • The "Add sighting..." button (in Browse by species) no longer jumps the list of species back to the top in some cases.
  • Family reports might have better results when pasted into spreadsheet software, depending on the software.  (It's better in Numbers, unchanged in LibreOffice, and I haven't tested Excel.
  • Scythebill should no longer generate incorrect warnings that you can't see all of the content of your windows when you have multiple screens.
  • MacOS Numbers in a Chinese locale couldn't view dates in spreadsheets created from Show reports.