My favourite conference by far is the ATA… and not just because the location changes every year and it’s always somewhere fantastic! This year was in Miami and the location was no exception… a great choice and huge numbers of translators interested in translation technology and how they can get more from it. My own involvement at these conferences is always very satisfying because I get to spend the full conference speaking to people, from the moment the doors open until they close, about technology. This year kept me particularly busy with two pre-conference sessions, mostly on Studio and MultiTerm; the “Toolbar” which is open all conference and is an area manned by technical representatives from all the tools vendors present; and a conference presentation I’ve wanted to deliver for a long time. This article is about that presentation, “XML, XPath, XSLT… the ‘X’ Files?”
I was a little worried I’d be talking to myself given it was the last session on Saturday afternoon but I was very pleasantly surprised to have a good showing of willing victims, and I hope I got my message across which is that these technologies can be helpful if you learn a little and are using translation tools that can take advantage of them. I had a brief chat with Jost Zetzsche afterwards who thinks these are difficult things to learn and the way forward is for tool vendors to simplify the way files are handled to take away the need for these technologies. I half agree with him… I do think that improvements in the translation tools should allow translatable text to be extracted in a simple way. But the other half of me, perhaps even more than half of me thinks that it’s not that simple and I’ve seen many files from customers where the complexity around what text needs to be extracted for translation means we’re a long way off providing an interface to deal with all eventualities in a simple way. So a good solution until we have this utopian capability is to make use of technologies that are used on a regular basis by the same people creating these X-Files for us to work with. A few simple lessons can take us a long way and I hope I succeeded in getting this part through!
So rather than repeat the contents of the presentation in this article I’ll refer you first to an article I’ve written in the past on XPath, and link to the slide deck and a recording of the presentation where it’s probably a little easier to see the smaller texts as I went through the examples. I’ve also put the sample files on a server where you can download them and have a play.
Thanks for everyone who attended… hope to have the chance to see you again next year!
If you just want to see the presentation then here it is:
(151030) The X files from Paul Filkin
But if you would like to watch the full presentation then I’ve recorded it and placed it here:
Length: 58 mins 36 seconds