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Studio 2019 has arrived and it brings with it some nice features on the surface, and some important improvements under the hood… but it also brings with it a lot more upgrades than just Studio, and I don’t just mean MultiTerm!  The SDL AppStore is one of the unique benefits you get when you work on the SDL technology stack and there are hundreds of apps available that can provide additional resources, custom filetypes, file converters, productivity enhancements, manuals, etc.  When you upgrade your version of Studio you are also going to have to upgrade your apps.  Many of the apps are maintained by the SDL Community team and these have all been upgraded ready for use in Studio 2019, but the majority have been created and maintained by others.  I’ve written this article to explain what you need to look out for as a user of SDL Trados Studio or MultiTerm, and also as a reference guide for the developers who might have missed the important information that was sent out to help them with the process.

You can’t install an older app into Studio 2019

First of all, if you’ve got your sdlplugin files all stored somewhere safe for Studio 2017 or earlier you need to know that you can’t use these in Studio 2019.  Now, if you try to install these old ones you squirrelled away you’ll probably see something like this which makes you think it should as Studio 2019 is not greyed out:

The reason for this is that the sdlplugin itself contains a manifest file that sets the minimum version to be used and the maximum version to be used.  The maximum version was broken and nobody noticed until now!  Those of you who subscribe to the RSS feed and get notified of updates probably noticed that all the SDL Community apps for 2017 were updated a little while ago so that they cannot be installed in 2019.  If you try the latest 2017 versions you’ll see that “SDL Studio 2019” is greyed out so you can’t even try.  The technical reason for them not working in 2019 is explained below in the developer section if you’re interested… but I just wanted to say that this wasn’t done to deliberately make life harder or to force upgrades!  Unfortunately if you didn’t see the updated plugins you might experience the problem of being allowed to install an older 2017 app into 2019 and then it will only cause an error when Studio starts.  So if you have Studio 2019 make sure that you check in the appstore that there is a version of your favourite apps and only use that.

Developers who have upgraded their apps will have a note at the top in the app overview when they post the upgrade and you’ll be able to see the supported products listed on the right.  You do have to have a valid Studio licence in your account for the appropriate version to be able to download them but as long as you have this you should be good to go!  If your favourite app hasn’t been upgraded yet then scroll down a little in the app record in the appstore and you’ll find the developer contact information there.  In this case you’re referred to the appstore forums in the SDL Community because this is the contact details for the SDL Community team.  But most other developers provide their contact email, sometimes even a telephone mumber, so you can get in touch and ask whether they will be updating their apps or not:

How to update the apps… for developers!

Existing Studio 2017 or 2015 plugins

If you have created plugins for these versions of Studio we are recommending that you update them to ensure they include a maxversion attribute in the plugin manifest.  If you don’t do this then any user who installs Studio 2019 will be incorrectly offerred the opportunity to install your current plugins as shown in the image on the left below and described above:

Adding this attribute will ensure that Studio 2019 is greyed out as shown above on the right.  There are a few steps required to achieve this as we have updated the Sdl.Core.PluginFramework.Build to use this attribute correctly.  You can find detailed instructions in a wiki article in the Language Developers wiki in the SDL Community.

Upgrading your plugins to Studio 2019

First of all you will need a copy of SDL Trados Studio 2019 and SDL can help with a development version if you need it.  Just ask in the developer forums if you don’t know how to get this.  Once you’re ready the process is straightforward and you can upgrade your plugins to support Studio 2019 using an extension available for Microsoft Visual Studio 2017.  This is available through the Visual Studio extensions menu or by downloading from the Microsoft Marketplace:

The SDL Community team have also created a set of instructions, and a video, available in a wiki article in the Language Developers wiki in the SDL Community.

Why is all of this necessary?

The Studio APIs are versioned based on the changes we’ve introduced.  Some of the APIs have changes in Studio 2019 and some don’t but all of them, except FileTypeSupport, were updated to .Net 4.7.1.  This introduces a breaking change and any developer who tries to compile a .Net 4.5.2 plugin will receive an error.  This is because the .Net framework is backward compatible but not forward compatible.

Having at least one breaking change in the APIs meant we had to highlight this with a version change, hence the Studio API assembly version was changed.  This in turn means rebuilding and publishing a new plugin so we built a Visual Studio extension that automatically upgrades a Studio 2017 plugin codebase to a Studio 2019 plugin codebase as explained above.

I hope this is clear, and helpful, but if you have any questions on this please post your questions in the Language Developers forum in the SDL Community where we’ll be happy to help.

http://developers.xl8.one

Is English (Europe) the new language on the other side of the Channel that we’ll all have to learn if Brexit actually happens… will Microsoft ever create a spellchecker for it now they added it to Windows 10?  Why are there 94 different variants of English in Studio coming from the Microsoft operating system and only two Microsoft Word English spellcheckers?  Why don’t we have English (Scouse), English (Geordie) or English (Brummie)… probably more distinct than the differences between English (United States) and English (United Kingdom) which are the two variants Microsoft can spellcheck.  These questions, and similar ones for other language variants are all questions I can’t answer and this article isn’t going to address!  But I am going to address a few of the problems that having so many variants can create for users of SDL Trados Studio.

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There’s always been the occasional question appearing on the forums about data protection, particularly in relation to the use of machine translation, but as of the 25th May 2018 this topic has a more serious implication for anyone dealing with data in Europe.  I’ve no intention of making this post about the GDPR regulations which come into force in May 2016 and now apply, you’ll have plenty of informed resources for this and probably plenty of opinion in less informed places too, but just in case you don’t know where to find reliable information on this here’s a few places to get you started:

With the exception of working under specific requirements from your client, Europe has (as far as I’m aware) set out the only legal requirements for dealing with personal data.  They are comprehensive however and deciphering what this means for you as a translator, project manager or client in the translation supply chain is going to lead to many discussions around what you do, and don’t have to do, in order to ensure compliance.  I do have faith in an excellent publication from SDL on this subject since I’m aware of the work that gone into it, so you can do worse than to look at this for a good understanding of what the new regulations mean for you.

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Using segmentation rules on your Translation Memory is something most users struggle with from time to time; but not just the creation of the rules which are often just a question of a few regular expressions and well covered in posts like this from Nora Diaz and others.  Rather how to ensure they apply when you want them, particularly when using the alignment module or retrofit in SDL Trados Studio where custom segmentation rules are being used.  Now I’m not going to take the credit for this article as I would not have even considered writing it if Evzen Polenka had not pointed out how Studio could be used to handle the segmentation of the target language text… something I wasn’t aware was even possible until yesterday.  So all credit to Evzen here for seeing the practical use of this feature and sharing his knowledge.  This is exactly what I love about the community, everyone can learn something and in practical terms many of SDLs customers certainly know how to use the software better than some of us in SDL do!

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The handling of numbers and units in Studio is always something that raises questions and over the years I’ve tackled it in various articles.  But one thing I don’t believe I have specifically addressed, and I do see this rear its head from time to time, is how to handle the spaces between a number and its unit.  So it thought it might be useful to tackle it in a simple article so I have a reference point when asked this question, and perhaps it’ll be useful for you at the same time.

I have a background in Civil Engineering so when I think about this topic I naturally fall back to “The International System of Units (SI)” which has a clear definition on this topic:

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001Not Marvel Comics, but rather the number four which does have some pretty interesting properties.  It’s the only cardinal number in the English language to have the same number of letters as its value; in Buddhism there are four noble truths; in Harry Potter there are four Houses of Hogwarts; humans have four canines and four wisdom teeth; in chemistry there are four basic states of matter… but more importantly, for translators using Studio 2017 there are four ways, out of the box, to get started!

Now with that very tenuous link let’s get to the point.  Four ways to start translating, all of them pretty easy but they all have their pros and cons.  So getting to grips with this from the start is going to help you decide which is best for you.  First of all what are they?

  1. Translate single document
  2. Create a project
  3. Drag and drop your files
  4. Right-click and “Translate in SDL Trados Studio”

And now we know what they are should you use one process for all, or can you mix and match?  I mix and match all the time, mainly between 1. and 2. but let’s look at the differences first and you can make your own mind up.

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001Years ago, when I was still in the Army, there was a saying that we used to live by for routine inspections.  “If it looks right, it is right”… or perhaps more fittingly “bullshit baffles brains”.  These were really all about making sure that you knew what had to be addressed in order to satisfy an often trivial inspection, and to a large extent this approach worked as long as nobody dug a little deeper to get at the truth.  This approach is not limited to the Army however, and today it’s easy to create a polished website, make statements with plenty of smiling users, offer something for free and then share it all over social media.  But what is different today is that there is potential to reach tens of thousands of people and not all of them will dig a little deeper… so the potential for reward is high, and the potential for disappointment is similarly high.

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