OmegaT overview
Thread poster: Susan Welsh

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
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Apr 28, 2008

I am trying to learn OmegaT (my first CAT attempt). The article cited below, by author "sylver," was undoubtedly useful when issued (2004), but is now quite a bit outdated. Many (perhaps all, I don't know yet) of the problems he identifies have been solved, and various things work differently. If he or some other knowledgeable person would like to update it, I think it would be useful.

There is a manual on the OmegaT website, which you download along with the (free) software, but it is hard going for those who are new to the CAT world. For example, it will tell you to "import your TM." Where am I to import one from? This is the first time I have ever used a CAT tool! If I DID have one, HOW would I import it? I now know answers to these questions, but it took me a long time to figure them out. The yahoo OmegaT forum seems to be mostly oriented to people with more experience than a beginner. People who ask "stupid" questions are advised to RTFM. (I did read it, but 'twas mostly Greek to me. I'm getting better, but it's very slow.)

If nobody has time to update the archive article, perhaps disclaimers could be written into articles like this, indicating that they are out-of-date and giving the reader a source of more current information.

Susan

http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/151/1/OmegaT-review


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
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"Where am I to import one from?" Apr 29, 2008

That's definitely a question beyond the manual, because you're the only who knows where your TMs are.

You say:

People who ask "stupid" questions are advised to RTFM.


That's not true. So are advised people who ask questions that just beg for RTFM in response, and even in such a case not always. There are quite many people in the Yahoo group that like mothering newbies.

If you've got questions, well, ask them. But to have a productive discussion:
a) RTFM
b) STFW
c) try to ask questions the smart way (see http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html).

As for the manual, we all know that it's not perfect. The problem is that OmegaT development is very rapid, and the documentation lags behind. That's why a good question may reveal something that doc writers miss.


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
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OmegaT overview Apr 29, 2008

Susan,

Susan Welsh wrote:

The article cited below, by author "sylver," was undoubtedly useful when issued (2004), but is now quite a bit outdated.


Sylver's review was just that - a review. It wasn't intended as a manual or user documentation.

There is a manual on the OmegaT website, which you download along with the (free) software, but it is hard going for those who are new to the CAT world. For example, it will tell you to "import your TM." Where am I to import one from? This is the first time I have ever used a CAT tool! If I DID have one, HOW would I import it? I now know answers to these questions, but it took me a long time to figure them out.


Don't forget that OmegaT and the documentation that comes with it has all been produced by volunteers. If you think that there is room for improvement, why don't you contact the documentation manager with your suggestions? You are no doubt right in drawing attention to a problem, but the project needs people to be part of the solution.

If you want to use a translation memory (TM) from a previous job, or sent to you by a customer, all you really need to know is:

1. It must be in the industry-standard TMX format.
2. After creating your project, you put the TM file(s) in the /tm folder of your project, then reload the project.

That's it. But you probably know that by now.

The yahoo OmegaT forum seems to be mostly oriented to people with more experience than a beginner. People who ask "stupid" questions are advised to RTFM.


This is not correct. *Everyone* is advised to read the Fine Manual. There are no "stupid" questions, but the answer to a question is often that the solution can be found in the manual.

As I'm sure you know, there is also an OmegaT FAQ. Now that you know the answer to your question, why don't you add the question and the answer to the FAQ? That's the way the OmegaT project works: by everyone contributing.

Marc


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
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TOPIC STARTER
Do we speak the same language? Apr 29, 2008

Thanks, esperantisto and Marc, and all your colleagues, for your work on OmegaT. I realize it is a volunteer effort, and it is appreciated.

But I feel somewhat the same way I do when my 18-year-old computer programmer son rolls his eyes to the heavens, if I say something like "I clicked on a little yellow button and then the computer ate my document."

I think we are speaking two different languages. I will limit this post to the question of Sylver's 2004 review on ProZ, and later, move the rest of the discussion to the Yahoo forum.

Probably to you, an article titled "OmegaT review" means that it is a review of a certain version of OmegaT that was available at a certain time. It would therefore have little or no bearing on the version that is available four years later. That is a reasonable interpretation on your part, as programmers (if that is your interpretation).

I, on the other hand, understood it to be a "review" of OmegaT as a tool, IN GENERAL. (I perfectly understand that it was not intended as a user's manual.) I searched on ProZ for help because I was finding it difficult to understand the user's manual, and I thought the article might be helpful.

The simple point I was trying to make about the review, is that it confused me even more, because several of its points were not applicable to the way the software works now. Therefore, in my post here, I was making the proposal that such articles either be updated from time to time, or that a disclaimer be added, to the effect that "this review pertains to OmegaT X.X.X; the most up-to-date version now is OmegaT 1.7.3. Please see www.omegat.org for more information on the new version." Maybe that is obvious to you, but I may not be the only translator who doesn't find much that's "obvious" about computers, and is struggling to learn.

(When I get it all figured out, maybe you'll collaborate with me and we'll write a best-selling book called "OmegaT for Dummies.")

Yours,
Susan


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
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Marc, do you read that? Apr 30, 2008

Susan Welsh wrote:

(When I get it all figured out, maybe you'll collaborate with me and we'll write a best-selling book called "OmegaT for Dummies.")



Isn't it the right time to dust off your ASAD manual?


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
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BTW, Susan, did you read the intant start guide? Apr 30, 2008

It appears in the program window right after start and is supposed to be kinda first-aid kit for new users. It's important to know, if it's helpful.

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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
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OmegaT for Dummies Apr 30, 2008

esperantisto wrote:

Isn't it the right time to dust off your ASAD manual?


The training course would be a better starting-point.

http://www.omegat.org/training/documentation/translation_memory_training_course.zip

Marc


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Vito Smolej
Germany
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I need your help, Susan Apr 30, 2008

When I get it all figured out, maybe you'll collaborate with me and we'll write a best-selling book called "OmegaT for Dummies."

I coordinate the documentation efforts for OmegaT and I would appreciate your help in getting the first steps less hard to do. Like, what kind of a kick-start would be needed etc I will get in contact with you if I may.

regards

Vito

PS: alternative title: "OmegaT for conscious incompetents": i.e. those knowing they dont know, but who are ready to learn.


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