Working under a cloud!

Image of a cloud of a thunderstorm with rain.In the heart of LingoVille, translator Trina was renowned for her linguistic prowess but was a bit behind in the tech world.  When her old typewriter finally gave out, she received a sleek new laptop, which came with OneDrive pre-enabled.  Initially hesitant about this “cloud magic,” she soon marvelled at the convenience of securely storing her translations online, accessible from anywhere, safeguarding her precious work from life’s unpredictabilities. This modern twist turned Trina from a tech-sceptic into a cloud enthusiast overnight.

And then she woke up!!

Is OneDrive really the right answer?

For many things it is, and if you have never spent time setting up your own back-up systems to make sure you never lose any work then OneDrive brings the promise of finally being able to achieve the elusive “look-away” backup solution.

However, just because files you use seem to be on your local drive it doesn’t mean they can always be accessed immediately.  For example, if you do use OneDrive the mere fact you believe you saved them locally on your local drive doesn’t mean they’ll stay there.

Why not you may ask… well here’s an explanation of why, but starting with a short explanation of some important OneDrive concepts.

Synch pending iconWhen you save a file locally to your OneDrive folder and if OneDrive Files On-Demand is enabled, it will immediately start to sync to the cloud.  During this process, the file will have a status of “sync pending” represented by circular arrows.

Screenshot showing the icon for files available online and locallyOnce the file is fully uploaded, if you haven’t set the file to be “cloud-only” yet, it will be both on your local device and in the cloud.  Its status will be represented by a green checkmark in a white circle, indicating that it’s available both locally and online.

Clloud only iconHowever, if you manually set the file to be “cloud-only” by right-clicking on the file and choosing “Free up space”, then OneDrive will remove the local copy of the file, and the file status will change to a blue cloud icon, indicating the file is now “cloud-only”. When you do this, the local file is removed immediately.

When using OneDrive’s Files On-Demand feature, if you open a cloud-only (blue cloud icon) file, it will be downloaded and become locally available. Then, as long as you’re using the file, it will remain on your device.  The file will continue to stay on your local device even after you’ve closed it, and its status icon will change to a green check mark in a white circle, indicating that it’s available both locally and online.

However, if you’ve enabled the “Storage Sense” feature on Windows 10 or later (which your friendly neighbourhood technician, or laptop supplier, may have thoughtfully done for you), it can automatically free up space by making older, unused files cloud-only.  But how long a file stays locally available before it becomes cloud-only again will depend on the settings you have configured in Storage Sense.

To check or modify these settings, you can go to “Settings” -> “System” -> “Storage” -> “Configure Storage Sense or run it now.”  Here you can specify how often Storage Sense runs and when files become cloud-only, based on when they were last opened.

So this all sounds great… but actually this isn’t always great at all!  Some of the resources you use in Studio can be quite large such as translation memories, termbases and even some projects.  So if you put these into the OneDrive cloud using an inappropriate setting then when you come to use them in Studio they may not actually be available for you to use… and then at worse Studio complains and you might start to see null reference or object reference errors (because you’ve taken something away outside of Studio that used to be there).  At best you won’t see errors, but you may no longer be able to select resources from your project settings that you know you put there but now Studio won’t let you enable them.

If you go and check in your File Manager there’s a good chance you’ll see the “sync pending” icon trying to download the files for use, or even the “cloud-only” icon telling you they won’t be available locally to you at all unless you download them first.

So, if you’re determined to work with OneDrive I recommend you thoroughly understand how it works and make sure you configure your settings appropriately, or….

Cloud Capabilities in Trados Studio

… consider using the cloud capabilities in Trados Studio for your large resources and even your projects.  When you purchased a Trados Studio licence you may not have even realised what features are also available to at no additional cost at all!

I’m not going to cover the cloud capabilities of Trados Studio in this article, so if you want to learn more maybe start with the Trados website, and if you have any questions take a trip over to the RWS Community where there is a forum specifically for questions around working in the cloud.

And in the meantime here’s a couple of quick videos from the Trados team on saving your projects and translation memories to the cloud where you will definitely not have a OneDrive experience with your files:

And a short intro to the online editor which is incredibly rich for a browser editor and offers that elusive horizontal editor capability at a click of a button so you don’t only have the vertical layout (not shown in the video… and considering the fuss about this over the years it seems an opportunity missed!):

I haven’t really covered cloud working in my blog but I may start to do so in the coming months.


Going, going…. gone!

@paulfilkin twitter profile imageIt may be a little small to read but my social highlights for twitter  were:

      • joined in July 2010
      • tweeted 24.3K times
      • follow 16 users
      • followed by 1878 users

With the exception of youtube twitter was the only social media account I had retained.  youtube is more of a place to host and share videos and less of a platform I have to visit for anything else, so my exposure to the material in there is limited.  Twitter on the other hand… I can’t bring myself to call it X which is one of the most stupid marketing decisions I have seen in years… was a tool I liked to use because through tweetdeck I could easily filter out the nonsense and only be exposed, pretty much, to what I wanted to see.

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Linguistic Alchemy to unlock AutoHotkey

A photorealistic image of a wizard performing linguistic alchemy, digital art.In the echoing halls of the Tower of Babel, myriad languages tangled, creating a confusion of tongues and leaving humans estranged.  Fast forward to the present day, professional translators stand as the modern-day heroes, bridging linguistic divides and fostering global connections.  Yet, these linguists often grapple with the technical juggernaut of AutoHotkey scripting.

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Helping the Help!

Image created with DALL·E, an AI system by OpenAI - “Helping the Help in the style of Richard Estes.”I really like this image created by DALL·E of a man… maybe a businessman… on a wall, putting down his newspaper and reaching down to offer help to the worker with a ladder.  Created with only this prompt – “Helping the Help in the style of Richard Estes.”  When we read about how ChatGPT is “only” an advanced autosuggest we really need to think about how it must have some understanding of what was previously said to be able to predict the suggestion.  DALL·E really demonstrates this well because it had to have enough of an understanding of the concept of help in terms of not only helping, but also the use of the word help as someone who could be employed to help (in this case maybe a caretaker or janitor)… and then think about how this could be represented as an image, and in the style of a photorealist painter I mentioned by name.  Then do all that in a matter of seconds.  Quite astonishing really. Continue reading “Helping the Help!”

Unlocking Linguistic Success: Navigating the Path to Translation and Localization Mastery for Academia’s Rising Stars

Created by DALL·E: “Create an ink sketch of the Vitruvian Man wearing a students mortar board in the style of Leonardo da Vinci.”The Studious Translator, a pen-and-ink illustration inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s style, depicts a student immersed in the world of translation and localization at a University participating in the RWS Campus academic programme.  Just as the Vitruvian Man embodies the ideal human proportions outlined by the Roman architect Vitruvius, this diligent student exemplifies the harmonious balance of linguistic mastery, cultural understanding, and technical acumen required for success in the field.  The drawing showcases the student in two (hidden) overlapping positions—one representing the precision of translation within a square, and another showcasing the adaptability of localization within a circle. This intriguing illustration not only highlights the student’s dedication to comprehending essential concepts but also their aspiration to innovate and refine them.  Although not the first to capture the essence of translation and localization, the Studious Translator gains iconic status as a symbol of the modern Renaissance in language and technology.  It serves as a testament to the interdisciplinary nature of these fields, weaving together mathematics, linguistics, and art.  The original drawing is carefully preserved in a climate-controlled archive at RWS Campus, exemplifying the programme’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of translation and localization professionals.

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The elephant in my room…

“In the style of Dali: the elephant in the room, sitting at the boardroom table discussing artificial intelligence.” DALL·EThe reaction I rarely see when discussing artificial intelligence with anyone is indifference.  The reactions I usually see are split between overflowing enthusiasm and overflowing concern.  I rarely have a conversation about them both.  But after writing a few articles on how useful it is, and obviously I spend most of my time in the overflowing with enthusiasm camp, I wanted to address the elephant in the room.

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The elusive regex with GPT-4

A DALL E generated image of running digitsWhilst the solving of regular expressions with ChatGPT seems like a great way to give yourself superpowers I have stayed away from writing about this usecase till now.  Yes, ChatGPT is great for those simple things that anyone with some basic knowledge could probably write themselves in the time it took to explain what was wanted.  But I like regular expressions… I’m definitely not a real expert, but I do like to play around with them and would consider myself above an average user.  So when I decided to test ChatGPT with a regular expression I asked it to solve something I have never been able to achieve on my own.  In fact I have never seen anyone else do this either… although I’m certain there are many people out there who would be very capable of doing it.  But when I’ve asked I have never had a satisfactory solution without using code, or without using multiple search & replace operations.

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When error messages attack: using ChatGPT to make peace with your users!

Cartoon: When error messages attack: using ChatGPT to make peace with your users!I’m sure everyone reading this is no stranger to the often completely unintelligible error messages that can be generated when software goes wrong!  You can even find in the most voted for ideas in the RWS Community ideas platform that is related to just that, “Get those cryptic error messages more human“.  As computers have become more and more complicated and software is  relying heavily on inbuilt technologies provided with the operating system, 3rd party libraries, and add-ons that use the APIs, it’s really no surprise that things can go wrong.  But do the messages really have to be so complicated and meaningless for the average user?  Why don’t developers make them easier to understand?

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ChatGPT + Powershell = Localization Superpowers!

DALL·E - Digital art: AI generating Powershell scriptsLocalization engineers are the miracle workers behind the scenes of localization workflows, and without them many of the projects we see couldn’t happen.  The skillsets they possess go far beyond the sort of things that most translators know how to do, and often require the ability to code.  I’ve already written a little about these sorts of things in the last three or four articles I published this month, mainly because the use of AI (tools like ChatGPT for example) is opening up the possibility for the rest of us mere mortals to benefit from the sort of things they do.  Today I’m extending on another such skill that I have introduced only once before back in 2013, a decade ago!  It is a very technical, and yet powerful thing to be able to tap into, so now with the help of ChatGPT I’m going to do it again!

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Never get lost with ChatGPT…

As I’m getting lost in my own thoughts around just what to talk about next with regard to AI technologies and in particular ChatGPT… and as I’m pondering about the effect this is going to have on our industry I recalled a couple of questions around the use of XPath in the community.  One of these questions was yesterday and it related to how to use XPath to extract one of the languages in a TMX file using the XML filetype in Trados Studio.  Not a particularly tricky thing to do, and I imagined the user was just editing the content or maybe changing the language pair by translating one of the languages into something else, or something like that.  But what struck me was the XPath expression he used.

Continue reading “Never get lost with ChatGPT…”