Tout En Bonne Heure

Specify Update -- "All in Good Time"

The Specify Software Project released Specify 6.1.05, on Friday, 29 January 2010. The update contains numerous enhancements and fixes. Release notes are below, update installation packages are available on the Download page.

Next Release

Next Release - Specify 6.1.05

We are rescheduling the Specify 6.1.05 release to the week of January 18, 2010. We found a few additional issues that have been corrected, but which require addtional testing. Monday is a holiday, expect Specify 6.1.05 later in the week. Conversions to Specify 6 continue, nuances in individual databases have slowed us down a bit, but we are actively working on several conversions and plan to complete those and begin the process for additional databases this week.

Year End Notes

Specify's Automated Error Feedback Facility

Within Specify 6, we added a user option to enable feedback reporting to us in the background over the Internet, whenever Specify encounters a problem. This technical feedback has proven useful as we have been able to correct problems in subsequent releases after identifying them from information in the logs. We've noticed two issues arising in the incident logs that are worth mentioning: the Specify Updater and Checking for Updates.

Specify Updater and the "IT" User

New Specify Tutorial Videos and YouTube

We are pleased to offer several new Specify tutorial videos which cover Specify configuration and use topics. The videos are located on the Specify web site Documentation page. They are also accessible from YouTube. Please offer any feedback you might have on the utility of these videos, and suggestions for future video documentation topics.

Current video topics include:

  • Specify 6 Interface Overview
  • Editing System Pick Lists in Specify 6
  • Moving and Synonymizing nodes in a Tree in Specify 6.
  • Creating a Mapping in the WorkBench

Update Release: 6.1.04 Available

We issued Specify 6.1.04 last night to fix a few recent issues, including the MAC OS database update problem. Registered users will automatically discover the update on Specify startup, other installations should use the Specify "Check for Updates" menu to download and run the updater. Many thanks to our clients who helped identify and diagnose these bugs.

Specify 6.1.04 Resolved Issues:

  1. Fixed the upgrading problem from 6.1.00 to 6.1.03 on Mac OS X.
  2. Tab delimited file exports are now being stripped of new-line and return-line characters.

Specify 6.1.03: Fast Fix for an Erroneous Error

Specify 6.1.02 released last week had a defect which affected an embedded Specify database schema upgrade. Users would see a message like this when trying to update to 6.1.02: "This version of Specify '6.1.00' doesn't match the application version in the database '6.1.02'. You should upgrade the database to a newer version." The upgrade would then stop. Specify programmers are contrite for the exception which resulted from overzealous checking of version numbers.

Specify Labs and Specify for Mobile Phones

The Specify Software Project has created 'Specify Labs', an area on the web site dedicated to illustrating new technologies and capabilities we are exploring. The "Specify Labs" is linked off a menu item on lower left of this page.

Specify Droid

We recently prototyped a version of Specify for mobile phones. Specify Droid would run on any Android (Google) operating system phone and enable custom phone display layout, data form customization, database lookups, and uploading to data repositories.

New Releases: Specify Mobile Workbench, Specify EZDB, Specify 6.1.02

The Specify Team is ebullient to announce a new Specify WorkBench, the new Specify EZDB and a Specify Update Release.

Specify Mobile WorkBench

News and Update

Specify EZDB and Specify Mobile WorkBench

Since the release of Specify 6.1 on October 30, our software engineers have been working diligently to finalize two new applications: Specify EZDB and Specify Mobile WorkBench. We had hoped to ship those last week but we noticed a few issues so we have been cycling through successive internal releases and testing. There are introductory guides for the two products on the Documentation page which illustrate some usage scenarios, explain benefits and capabilities.

Helpdesk Support Update

Specify 6.1 C'est Arrive! GBIF IPT, NASA World Wind Integration

The Specify Software Project is delighted to announce Specify 6.1, a major update. Specify 6.1 supports the Global Biodiversity Information Facility's Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT). The IPT creates an HTML web site and XML/TAPIR publishing of your collection's data. It is an open-source, Java web application designed to publish biodiversity data on the Internet. See for additional information on IPT.

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