Working with shared resources…

001One of the reasons SDL Trados Studio, and Trados before that, has been such a popular choice for translators and small teams is the ability to work with shared resources.  Many Translation Environments require the use of a server solution in order to share work and if you only do this occasionally, or if you work with a couple of colleagues, then whilst the server solutions can offer a lot of additional capabilities they are often over the top for simple sharing needs and may even require you signing up for things you may not be interested in.
Sharing resources at a simple level is pretty straightforward with Studio because they are mostly file based.  So you have a Translation Memory (*.sdltm), and a termbase (*.sdltb) for example, both of which can be accessed by several translators at the same time.  You may well have read that several times just to make sure this is what I actually said!  If this is possible then why do we sell server solutions at all, as we have SDL GroupShare, SDL WorldServer and SDL TMS?  The reason of course is that sharing a filebased resource like this has many limitations and it’s not a solution for serious Projects.  Limitations like these that are detailed in KB Article #5098 in the SDL Knowledgebase:
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Unclean… who thought of that?

001I spent the weekend at my Mothers house the week before last and was digging around looking for photographs of myself when I was the same age as my son.  I found a few… a few I wouldn’t share with anyone else but my son!  What was I thinking with the baggy trousers and platform shoes…!

I also found some old Army pictures including these two taken during my basic training, which did an excellent job of shaking me out of my baggy trousers and platform shoes!  Also provided me with the most tenuous link yet into the translation environment because I wanted to write about clean and unclean files.  I don’t know who came up with this terminology, but if I think about it, the description probably fits quite well.  But the first time I heard it I’m sure something like these photos would have been closer to mind!

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You only need a key!

01Why is the SDL OpenExchange called the OpenExchange?

If you weren’t familiar with SDL and the OpenExchange initiative then perhaps the name suggests it could be a platform of some kind that supports an open exchange of information or tools to help manage the open exchange of data or processes that are not supported out of the box in the core products.  Maybe you might also think that the word Open could refer to some kind of opensource facility?

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X-CAT… the next generation?

01If the title and image I have used for this article reminds you a little of something you might see from Stan Lee in an episode from Marvel Comics, then you have discovered my guilty secret… beneath a “slightly” more serious exterior I have a hidden desire to be able to extend my capabilities and demonstrate super human powers!  Unfortunately I don’t think this is going to happen for me any time soon, so my dream lives on in the mind of my son and probably every imaginative child on the planet!

So I may never become a mutant superhero… but I might be able to redirect some of these latent powers in another direction.  By now, if you know me, you may have guessed it or you may simply be thinking “what is he talking about?”… so with that slightly improbable introduction I’ll elaborate!

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Life without Trados!

RIPThe launch of SDL Trados Studio 2014 this month brings with it the news that SDL Trados 2007 Suite will no longer be supported from the end of this year.  I don’t think this will come as a surprise to anyone as SDL had already ceased to support SDL Trados 2007 since the end of 2012, and with the releases of the 2009, 2011 and now 2014 versions of SDL Trados Studio it’s inevitable that the 2007 Suite version will follow suit.
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The SDLXLIFF to Legacy Converter

#01This application, free on the SDL OpenExchange, has been around for about a year and a half and is one of the most popular applications on there.  It was written by Patrick Hartnett and is incredibly useful in more ways than one.  In fact it’s so useful I have referred to it quite often and used it for working around other issues in many of the articles I have written… so why haven’t I written specifically about it here until now?  The answer is I have no idea… but I should have done!  What prompted me to write now is that Patrick hasn’t released many updates to this tool, mainly because it did what was needed from the start and has been a really reliable and useful application; but he has released an update this week.
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It's all English… right?

7 June 2018 update: note that the application referred to in this article is actually part of the product in Studio 2015 onwards.  So no need to download it!
#1English spoken in Australia, Belize, Canada, Caribbean, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Malaysia, New Zealand, Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States and Zimbabwe.  Also known as en-AU, en-BZ, en-CA, en-029, en-IN, en-IE, en-JM, en-MY, en-NZ, en-PH, en-SG, en-ZA, en-TT, en-GB, en-US and en-ZW.  These are the language codes used by Microsoft in their National Language Support (NLS) API Reference for the different flavours of English supported and this is what Studio bases its language support for English on… then it’s further complicated as it can also vary depending on the operating system of your computer (Win XP, Vista, Win7 etc.)
Of course this is English, or flavours of it.  But there are differences and Studio always insists on knowing which flavour of any language is being used.  So 16 variants… and it’s even more with Spanish for example where we have 20 variants.
So does it really matter that 23/08/2005 in the United Kingdom is written as 8/23/2005 in the United States, or that 1,234,567,890,123.45 in the United States is written in Spain (Spanish (Spain)) as 1.234.567.890.123,45?
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Great news for terminology exchange…

Terminology Exchange... TBX… and this will be particularly good news for users working in SDL Trados Studio with SDL WorldServer.  Today the Glossary Converter was updated on the OpenExchange with a number of very cool enhancements.  These are support for users still working with SDL MultiTerm 2009, support for Microsoft Excel workbooks containing multiple worksheets, Spanish user interface, a number of smaller usability improvements and bugfixes and the one I’m most interested in here… support for TBX.  TBX is a TermBase eXchange format that was developed for sharing terminology between different tools.  The reason I’m so interested is because if you want to use a TBX file in Studio as a resource for your AutoSuggest then you have to use MultiTerm Convert in order to create a MultiTerm TermBase.  This is not too difficult, but it can take a little work if there is a complex structure in the TBX… and of course it can take a little while as it’s at least a two-step process.  So making this easier would be great.
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My favourite OpenExchange apps in 2012…

When I started writing this blog the first article I wrote was about the SDL OpenExchange.  I thought I’d start this year off by sharing my favorite applications … my favourite FREE applications.  We had a fair few of these over the course of the year but I’ll pick out six that I think are well worth a look.  In no particular order (well… alphabetical order) these six are:

  • Glossary Converter
  • Package Reader
  • SDLTmReverseLangs
  • SDLXLIFF Compare
  • SDLXLIFF to Legacy Converter
  • Terminjector

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