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Changing the spelling of Gray to Grey in English Names
Last Post 05/11/2015 4:15 PM by Jeff Jones. 12 Replies.
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Author Messages
Mark Yunker
Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon
Posts:56


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04/22/2015 7:15 PM

    Hi Jeff,

    I last brought up this topic 4 years ago (April 23, 2011) as part of a discussion titled "Compare Taxonomic Lists".

    Most of the discussion in that topic was about getting some Australia bird sightings to appear correctly with the new Clements taxonomy (2009 to 2010 at the time).  I also talked about getting the names in Clements to match the official names for Australia (using the Language Region Editor), and how the newest list fixed most problems, by saying:

    "Now that Clements has adjusted names to conform to the RAOU most of the incorrect spellings in my Australia (and other International) lists relate to the word Gray rather than Grey.  I can fix this globally by changing to "European" common names, but this also alters some AOU names to the British version (which I definitely do not want).  I would find it very useful if there were a separate choice in the Language/Region list that changes all spellings of Gray to Grey but otherwise does not change the common names.  I expect that many users outside the USA would welcome this feature as well."  

    In your reply you said: "Will put the Gray-to-Grey idea on the wishlist".  I had hope to see the change in ver 4.0 (if it is there please tell me where). 

    The spelling "Grey" is used in most (if not all) former Commonwealth English countries, and in most of those countries the US spelling "Gray" is considered incorrect.  I want to find an easier way to fix this than just correcting names one at a time.  

    Looking at the help topic for the Language Region Editor window, it seems that I can create my own Language/Region list, call it something like "Commonwealth common names" and then apply these names to individual taxonomic lists.  Currently I have AOU and Clements, but I want to be able to apply the name changes to each new list as it comes out. 

    I have taken the Excel file for the latest Clements list, sorted the species from the subspecies, so I could delete the subspecies, and then written a formula to find English names containing the word "Gray".  This gives me 267 names where I want to change Gray to Grey.  I am hoping that there is some way that I can put the old and new names into columns in a CSV file and import/copy this into my list of "Commonwealth common names".  

     My Language/Region Editor also contains a lot of entries like to from when I used to have to correct a lot of names.  These all apply to old taxonomic lists.  Is there a way that I can clean out these old entries?

    Thanks,

    Mark

    Mark Yunker
    Peregrine Falcon
    Peregrine Falcon
    Posts:56


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    04/22/2015 7:23 PM
    Hi Jeff,

    I was just double checking my message and the last sentence does not match what I sent. My message contained text in angle brackets (like in the Language/Region Editor) and this must have been removed. The sentence should say:

    My Language/Region Editor also contains a lot of entries like "Birds - Clements - World - 2005" to "Australia Names" from when I used to have to correct a lot of names. These all apply to old taxonomic lists. Is there a way that I can clean out these old entries?

    Thanks,

    Mark
    Jeff Jones
    Great Gray Owl
    Great Gray Owl
    Posts:8416


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    04/22/2015 7:50 PM

    Hi Mark,

    Last things first. In the Lang/Reg Editor, you can select each of those "xxx" to "yyy" and then click the Delete button to remove them. Is that what you are referring to?

    As for changing "Gray to Grey"; I can make that happen, but it's never that easy. Is that the only change you would like to have control over? Are there other global changes you would like to make to common names in any given taxonomic list? What about changes other than just common names. I want to make sure we think through this before I start coding.

    For example, if I added a feature that allowed you to select a taxonomic list, choose a search string in common names (e.g. "gray") and then specify the replacement string for that search string (e.g. "grey"), would that cover all of your needs.

    Sorry, there is no feature that allows you to import your CSV file of "gray" names.

    Let me know about the extent of your needs above and we can get something worked up.

    Jeff

    Birder's Diary Technical Support
    Mark Yunker
    Peregrine Falcon
    Peregrine Falcon
    Posts:56


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    04/23/2015 2:49 PM
    Hi Jeff,

    The Delete button does remove the entries. I tried it first with a change to a really old Clements (from 2005). I should ask first though, if I delete the entry does it remove the name adjustments from the Taxonomy, and should I only do this for Taxonomies that I will never look at again?

    Most of the words that differ in spelling between versions of English are simple ones such as grey or colour. These also are the words that people notice most easily when the spelling differs from what is accepted in their region (likely because this is what they were taught in school). Fewer people will notice differences for technical terms (e.g. the North American spelling of aluminum differs from the International, and technically more correct, spelling aluminium) and if there are differences in the spelling of any technical terms in the English names of birds, they probably are not worth bothering with.

    So if we are changing grey we likely should do colour while we are at it (there are only 59 instances of colour).

    As to your broader question, I can not think of any other changes to common names at the moment, but it would make sense to allow flexibility. As to other names, Scientific names usually are fixed in a taxonomy, but the situation may arise where a name has been updated in the literature but the new taxonomy (or Birders Diary update) is not out yet and someone wants to make a correction before printing a bird list.

    I think that a feature that allowed one to select a taxonomic list, choose a search string in common names (e.g. "gray" or "color") and then specify the replacement string for that search string (e.g. "grey" or 'colour"), would cover all of my needs. But I suggest that you ask some of the experts with the design and use of the program before you decide which route to take.

    Thanks,

    Mark
    Jeff Jones
    Great Gray Owl
    Great Gray Owl
    Posts:8416


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    04/23/2015 3:04 PM

    Hi Mark,

    if I delete the entry does it remove the name adjustments from the Taxonomy, and should I only do this for Taxonomies that I will never look at again?

    No. But by keeping it, you can run any given list against a new taxonomic list to affect name changes in that new tax list as specified by the lang/reg list. Or you can edit it to adapt it to the new list and names. So old names lists are valuable and can be used over and over again to change names in new tax lists, and can be edited going forward.

    As to other names, Scientific names usually are fixed in a taxonomy, but the situation may arise where a name has been updated in the literature but the new taxonomy (or Birders Diary update) is not out yet and someone wants to make a correction before printing a bird list.  

    The Taxonomy Editor allows you to do that on a per-Thing basis.

    Let's leave this topic here for a bit and see if others chime in and ask for this feature as well.

    If a month goes by and nothing, please post a reminder and I should be able to add this as specified for you. Ok?

    Thanks,

    Jeff

    Birder's Diary Technical Support
    Mark Yunker
    Peregrine Falcon
    Peregrine Falcon
    Posts:56


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    04/24/2015 5:19 PM
    Hi Jeff,

    I am OK with waiting until others have an opportunity to add their suggestions.

    Quite a few of the entries in the Language/Region Editor have no names associated with them, and I do not seem to be able to delete them. (I think that the 2005 entry that I referred to above actually was not deleted.)

    These entries all have the Description "Created by program on user change". As one example the Comments for one of these are: "Taxonomy ['Birds - Clements-Cornell - World 2010 6.5'] names replaced by Lang/Reg List ['Australia Names'] on 27/04/2011 3:01:05 PM. (I have replaced angle brackets by square brackets in this Quote since the text in angle brackets disappeared in one of my posts above.) The list "Australia Names" was one that I created a decade ago to correct the Clements names for many Australian birds to the Australian names in common use. The updates to Clements around 2010 fixed most of these errors and most of the names in the list now show the same Thing and Preferred Name.

    Can I do anything to clear out these entries?

    Thanks,

    Mark
    Jeff Jones
    Great Gray Owl
    Great Gray Owl
    Posts:8416


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    04/25/2015 8:55 AM

    Hi Mark,

    You should be able to delete anything in the "Language/Region List" dropdown by selecting it from the dropdown and clicking on the Delete button. Have you tried that? What happens?

    Jeff

    Birder's Diary Technical Support
    Mark Yunker
    Peregrine Falcon
    Peregrine Falcon
    Posts:56


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    04/25/2015 3:25 PM
    Hi Jeff,

    Nothing happens. I have tried a variety of different entries.

    I do not know to attach a screenshot to this message. I will send you an example of what the entries look like by e-mail and you can attach it for others to see.

    Mark
    Jeff Jones
    Great Gray Owl
    Great Gray Owl
    Posts:8416


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    05/07/2015 7:37 PM

    Hmmm. Let's setup some time for me to get onto your computer and take a look at this.

    Thanks,

    Jeff

    Birder's Diary Technical Support
    Jeff Jones
    Great Gray Owl
    Great Gray Owl
    Posts:8416


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    05/08/2015 11:03 AM

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for uploading your database. I was able to reproduce the issue of not being able to Delete a Lang/Reg list from the dropdown.

    I will figure out what the issue is and fix it in a new release. I will update here when available.

    Jeff

    Birder's Diary Technical Support
    Jeff Jones
    Great Gray Owl
    Great Gray Owl
    Posts:8416


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    05/11/2015 10:15 AM

    Hi Mark,

    Found the bug and fixed it. It will be in release build 87 or later. Probably not released until later this week or next. You will get notified.

    Jeff

    Birder's Diary Technical Support
    Jeff Jones
    Great Gray Owl
    Great Gray Owl
    Posts:8416


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    05/11/2015 2:35 PM

    Hi,

    This is complete in Build 87 of 4.0 or later.

    Jeff

    Birder's Diary Technical Support
    Jeff Jones
    Great Gray Owl
    Great Gray Owl
    Posts:8416


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    05/11/2015 4:15 PM

    I released v4.0.87 just now. It contains this new feature and bug fix.

    fyi

    Jeff

    Birder's Diary Technical Support
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