This gets discussed regularly everywhere, and I keep saying "BirdInfo, BirdInfo". But it's out of action. and I now have to type in 2010 instead of 10 to get the year right, which has spurred me into action. I have said before I'd write a replacement program, which I will make freely available for the whole world to download. I am writing said program right now. Bit scary that I'd rather write several thousand lines of code rather than type in "20" before each year entry, but you get that.
Sorry Steve - it's not command line Perl, but will be purty with a nice interface, written in Python/wxpython with a sqlite backend.
So - I have some questions for you, the birder, who may indeed use the program.
1. Do you count numbers of birds seen? Do you care about recording numbers seen?
2. Do you want a seperate check box or soemthign for birds heard?
3. Are you happy to basically choose a location visited, choose a date, then check birds off a list and hit "submit" or similar to add them to a database, putting in numbers seen afterwards, or do you want to enter each species and numbers seen everytime. Obviously if you don't count numbers, you'd probably be happy to do the first bit.
4. Do you want to tick off thigns other than birds? ie: mammals, reptiles, insects?
5. What taxonomy do you want to be able to choose from? The options are (I'm at work so forgive me if I skip any bleeding obvious ones) Sibley & Monroe, Clements, and Christidis & Boles. There will definitely be C&B, but it's going to be just as easy to add the others.
6. What OS do you people use?
7. I had some other things to ask, but I can't remember them.
There'll be a species browser which will (initially) will have common name, latin name (with any differences over the 3+ checklists), (eventually) a brief history of taxonomic changes, and ideally an option to link to a photo, either one of your own throuhg a local system link, or over the intertubes to flickr - I'll try and limit it to the field guide to the birds of the world group so that it's at least been vetted slightly and will probably be correct.
So yeah, what features would you like to see? I'm aiming to have something at an alpha or possibly beta stage by start of semester 1 (so in 2 months time) so if you'd like to do some testing let me know. If I get it to a stable (albeit, basic) I'll release it to the world, and then polish it when I can. The source will be completely open source, so people will be free to have a lash and fix/improve/finish whatever they want to do with it.
I will not and do not want to make any money from this at all, it's more trying to make a better wheel. i don't care if I'm the only user in the end either, I'm going to make the program (it's halfway there, afterall, and is currently in use by me, so I've already achieved my main aim), but I may as well try and accommodate other peoples wants if I can. It will do most of the things that I find useful in BirdInfo, but not everything (there's a bit of double up with BI that I'm avoiding with my program).
ATM - it's called Sandpiper, but in keeping with the whole "put the name of the coding language in the title" thing, it might become SandPYper or something. but that's a bit naff. I'll worry about the name later. Got some error messages to sort out first.