Re: Recorder 6 support and maintenance
Earlier this year, JNCC said on the forum that they wanted to identify a private sector partner to provide the central support and maintenance for Recorder 6 – http://forums.nbn.org.uk/viewtopic.php?pid=8286#p8286. I am pleased to announce that arrangements are nearing completion for that to be taken on by a consortium whose members are Mike Weideli, John van Breda and myself. Mike and I have been Recorder resellers, or JNCC Recorder Approved Experts, since the year 2000. John worked on the development of Recorder 2000/2 and Recorder 6 when he worked for Dorset Software.
The contract will be funded by JNCC with contributions from the country agencies. Once it is finalised we will be starting work on the next release of Recorder 6. In the meantime, we would like to encourage users to make good use of the forum. When problems reported on the forum are confirmed as bugs, they are logged as such in our tracking system ‘Mantis’ and we will be selecting various issues from that for correction in the next release. Mantis already contains many of the known bugs in Recorder 6. Given the current constraints on public sector funding we will be unable to fix a large number of bugs but we will do all we can to improve the system.
The contract includes an allowance for forum support which will enable Mike, John and myself to continue to respond to many, but not all, posts on the forum. Users are recommended to seek help via the forum for the first line of support, not least because this is free to them. It has the advantage of making the information supplied available to other users who may be experiencing similar problems. It also helps ensure a response from the person best equipped to provide it. Users are welcome to contact Recorder resellers for support but charges may apply – see http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-4611 for more information.
We consider the most serious problems in Recorder 6 to be those caused by the taxon dictionary, in particular the reporting problems that can occur when reports include observations for taxa that aren’t set up as required by Recorder. Work on resolving these problems is underway but changes need to be done to the dictionary by the Natural History Museum. They plan to complete these early this Autumn after which we will make the required changes in Recorder 6. In the meantime, we are planning an interim release for the last quarter of 2011 to address installation issues on recent Windows versions and minor bugs.
The funding provided by JNCC and the country agencies will be fixed annually. However, if we can identify alternative sources of funding we may be able to do additional bug fixes and enhancements. If anyone can help with finding additional funds we would like to hear from them. If there are any particular bug fixes and enhancements you would like us to consider please let us know although changes will need to be approved by the Recorder steering group to help avoid adverse or incompatible changes. Could users please post communications of this nature on the forum or direct them to me.
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