Some time ago the SDL AppStore team created an opensource site where they make the source code available for virtually all the apps they create for the SDL AppStore. You can find the site here, https://sdl.github.io/Sdl-Community/, along with links to the apps themselves and also the sourcecode which can be pulled by any developer so they can make their own enhancements and improvements based on a good headstart. I love this concept, but have to say I’m a little disappointed by the lack of active participation from other developers in pushing their own work back into the apps to share the improvements. At least I’m disappointed in general, but there are exceptions even if they have been carried out by the AppStore team themselves! The best exception and example of what can be achieved is around the Advanced Display Filter that can be found in Studio 2017.
There are well over 200 applications in the SDL AppStore and the vast majority are free. I think many users only look at the free apps, and I couldn’t blame them for that as I sometimes do the same thing when it comes to mobile apps. But every now and again I find something that I would have to pay for but it just looks too useful to ignore. The same logic applies to the SDL AppStore and there are some developers creating some marvellous solutions that are not free. So this is the first of a number of articles I’m planning to write about the paid applications, some of them costing only a few euros and others a little more. Are they worth the money? I think the developers deserve to be paid for the effort they’ve gone to but I’ll let you be the judge of that and I’ll begin by explaining why this article is called double vision!!
From time to time I see translators asking how they can get target documents (the translated version) that are fully formatted but contain the source and the target text… so doubling up on the text that’s required. I’ve seen all kinds of workarounds ranging from copy and paste to using an auto hotkey script that grabs the text from the source segment and pastes it into the target every time you confirm a translation. It’s a bit of an odd requirement but since we do see it, it’s good to know there is a way to handle it. But perhaps a better way to handle it now would be to use the “RyS Enhanced Target Document Generator” app from the SDL AppStore? Read More
Every now and then I see an application and I think… this one is going to be a game changer for Studio users. There have been a few, but the top two for me have been the “SDLXLIFF to Legacy Converter” which really helped users working with mixed workflows between the old Trados tools and the new Studio 2009, and the “Glossary Converter” which has totally changed the way translators view working with terminology and in my opinion has also been responsible for some of the improvements we see in the Studio/MultiTerm products today. There are many more, and AnyTM is a contender, but if I were to only pick my top three where I instantly thought WOW!, then the first two would feature. So what about the third? You could say I have the benefit of hindsight with the first two although I’m not joking about my reaction when I first saw them, but the third is brand new and I’m already predicting success!
In 2013 I wrote an article called “Solving the Post-Edit Puzzle” which was all about finding a way to measure, and pay for post-editing translations in a consistent way. Then in 2015 I wrote another called “Qualitivity… measuring quality and productivity” that was all about everything Post-Edit Compare could do but then added many layers of detail and complexity through Qualitivity to support Quality Measurement including a TAUS DQF integration, and incredible metrics that are still not matched by any tool today that I am aware of, and are so good that they are often used to support academic research into translating and post-editing behaviour.
This is all great stuff and I have always been a huge fan of the work that Patrick Hartnett has done on all of the applications he developed over the years. You don’t often find experienced developers with indepth domain knowledge like this and his apps have always been really relevant to solving problems in the localisation workplace. So I wanted to bring up and discuss the app that was actually the predecessor to these great apps I just mentioned. It was also an app that was no longer supported once it’s first successor, Post-Edit Compare, was released. The app was released around 2011 I think and was called SDLXLIFF Compare.
“More power to the elbow”… this is all about getting more from the resources you have already got, and in this case I’m talking about your Translation Memories. In particular I’m talking about enabling them for upLIFT. upLIFT, in case you have not heard about this yet despite all the marketing activity and forum discussions since August this year, is a technology that is being used in SDL Trados Studio 2017 to enable some pretty neat things. I’m not going to devote this article to what upLIFT is all about as Emma Goldsmith has written a really useful article today that does a far better job than I could have done. You can find Emma’s article here, called “SDL Trados studio 2017 : fragment recall and repair“. But a quick summary to get us started is that upLIFT enables things like this:
- fragment matching
- whole Translation Units
- partial Translation Units
- fuzzy match repair
- from fragment matching
- from your termbase
- from Machine Translation
It’s all about the termbase definition when you want to merge termbases, or import data into MultiTerm termbases. The XDT… otherwise known as the MultiTerm Termbase Definition file is the key to being able to ensure you are not trying to knock square pegs into round holes! I’ve written in the past about the flexibility of MultiTerm and it’s this flexibility that can make it tricky for new users when they try to merge their collections of termbases together, or add to their data by importing a file from a colleague.
So what do we mean by definition? Let’s think about keys as I think this is quite a good analogy… the four keys in the image on the right will all open a lock, but they won’t all open the same lock. If you want one of these keys to open another lock then you need to change its shape, or it’s “definition”, to be able to open the lock. A termbase definition works in a similar way because MultiTerm is flexible enough to support you creating your own lock. That lock might be the same as someone else’s, but theirs could also have a different number of pins and tumblers which means your key won’t fit.
… and hundreds or thousands of heads are better than two!!
I wrote an article a little while back called “Vote now… or have no say!” which was a follow up to the SDL AppStore competition SDL ran for a few months. I wanted to remind everyone to go and vote if they wanted to have an opportunity to see an app developed that would be useful for them. Well the competition is over now and we have a winner, so now we can move onto the task of creating it.
The winning idea from Marta, a Spanish freelance translator, was the “Quick Wordcount” idea and we have encouraged all users to contribute to this so it’s as useful as as we can make it for as many users as possible whilst ensuring we deliver the intent of the original idea.