Shafted again by SDL: MultiTerm Extract upgrade
Thread poster: KSL Berlin

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:44
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Dec 29, 2008

For several years now (2 or 3) I've owned a rather expensive license for MultiTerm extract which I bought back in the days of MultiTerm iX. When I upgraded my Trados license to v7.5 and received v7 MultiTerm, I didn't notice the incompatibility, because I continued to work with the old version on my second computer for a long time. I tried to inquire about MT Extract upgrades several times but never got a response. Later, when I actually started working with the new version of Trados / MultiTerm I tried again to get upgrade information for MT Extract, but never found any on the public sites. I think I tried to contact support or some other bunch at SDL again, though I can no longer clearly remember the details of that; in any case, no information could be found.

When all the stupid "amnesty" advertising from SDL got spread around, I tried again to find information on upgrading MT Extract. Nothing was available.

Today I got the usual daily spam from SDL Trados in English and German urging me to act quickly on whatever promotional nonsense is currently being pushed. I noticed this time that there is an online chat option to get upgrade information, so I clicked on the link for it. I was immediately confronted with a badly translated registration dialog (asking for my name and surname!!), after which I was routed to an online chat with "Thomas", who informed me that my only option was to buy a new license for MT Extract at a price of 525 euros. No upgrade option is available.

This is just one more example of the rude policies of SDL Trados. The company is so obsessed with its propaganda machine and with bleeding the users for every unearned cent it can get that anything which falls outside the parameters of the current marketing frenzy is ignored. Spending another 500+ euros on this software is utterly out of the question. I think the original purchase price was the same or perhaps even higher, but in any case there should be an upgrade path for which the information can be found.

For those who have yet to invest in CAT software I would warn you that if you do buy software from SDL Trados you can look forward to being bled more or less annually for substantial sums for upgrades of questionable value. Or in this case you may be encouraged to purchase a license you already own all over again. Every other CAT tool provider I have heard of has better policies, and the ergonomics of many of these other tools is far better. Do look elsewhere for your CAT tools, and you will save a lot of money and irritation in the long run.


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Anett Lindner
Germany
English to German
Finding an alternative Dec 29, 2008

Dear Kevin,

since I have joined Proz, I have read the ongoing debates about Trados, its customer service and manyfold bugs with much interest. The major reason why I am using it is that it is still the best CAT Tool I can currently get. And I have tried several other ones. Nethertheless, I am already a kind of frightened about the time when I ll need an upgrade or may have to deal all alone with a file that will cause Trados to mess up everything (no matter in which direction the causal relationship needs to be established here). And I think there may be no short term solution to this problem as bringing up criticism in public has not helped much so far and may never do so in future as we are just sole proprietors. But: there are ongoing research projects at IT departments of some universities, there are some CAT-Tools available that are promising and may just need some enhancement and fuller coverage of file formats. Why not forming a group of translators, who skip the purchase of one or two new costly updates and donate this or a part of such sum to a promising candidate as a kind of venture capital for some more R&D? Via Proz, group buys can be organized etc. Why couldn't we support the development of a software as well as its provider that better serves our shared interests and professional needs?

BTW.: Here is a link to a free Tool "Textstat" which I like very much for term extraction: http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~mhuening/textstat/
It can be used to build up a corpus with as many files as required in doc or oO and provides word frequency lists for such corpus in XLS or CSV. It it still subject to some improvement as it is not dictionary-based and does not recognize inflected forms. But although it requires quite a bit of post-editing of the word lists, it has proven to be a valuable tool for me. No matter how large the corpus was, I never encountered any trouble with it and the postediting process always provides me with the opportunity to explore the lexical fields contained in the text(s) before moving on to translation.

Regards,

Anett


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Grzegorz Gryc  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:44
French to Polish
+ ...
Forget SDL and contact a local dealer... Dec 29, 2008

Kevin Lossner wrote:

For several years now (2 or 3) I've owned a rather expensive license for MultiTerm extract which I bought back in the days of MultiTerm iX. When I upgraded my Trados license to v7.5 and received v7 MultiTerm, I didn't notice the incompatibility, because I continued to work with the old version on my second computer for a long time.

What licensing schema are you using?
I don't remember exactly but it seems some MT Extract floating licences may be still valid for some higher versions.
I'm sure it worked for in the MT6(iX) - MT7.0 or 7.1 combo.
It was probably your case.
Now, I have a licence reported as 7.x, I think I generated it at the 7.0 or 7.1 stage.
I have no idea about the node locked and activated versions.

BTW.
This kind of security flaws is rather frequent in the SDL software.
E.g., if you have SDLT 2007, you can patch it without problems to SDLT 2007 Suite if you only get the patch file.
In my opinion their security programmers are idiots or the management don't respect the people who purchase their product.
Or both.
In fact, I suppose they admit a controlled piracy level in order to fight against the emerging concurrence.

PS.
For a moment, I have a PSMA contract, so I'm entitled to use the newest versions.

I tried to inquire about MT Extract upgrades several times but never got a response. Later, when I actually started working with the new version of Trados / MultiTerm I tried again to get upgrade information for MT Extract, but never found any on the public sites.

This kind of information is/was available for the "Professional" version of of MTE.
Many, many non intuitive clicks...

BTW.
In fact, the only difference between Professional and Freelance is the licensing model.
And, of course, 5 languages if an interaction with Workbench was needed but it's a Workbench problem.

I think I tried to contact support or some other bunch at SDL again, though I can no longer clearly remember the details of that; in any case, no information could be found.

Contact your local dealer.
In my case, the guys from http://www.lspsoftware.pl are incredibly competent.
Exactly the opposite of the SDL front end.
I never managed to get a serious information from an account like productsales@sdl.com or support@sdl.com

PS.
The SDL local dealers are not entitled to sell their products outside of their zones.
I.e. my dealer can sell only in Poland.

When all the stupid "amnesty" advertising from SDL got spread around
uote]
LOL...

This is just one more example of the rude policies of SDL Trados. The company is so obsessed with its propaganda machine and with bleeding the users for every unearned cent it can get that anything which falls outside the parameters of the current marketing frenzy is ignored. Spending another 500+ euros on this software is utterly out of the question. I think the original purchase price was the same or perhaps even higher, but in any case there should be an upgrade path for which the information can be found.

It's still an upgrade path for some "discontinued" product as SDLX Elite but you must find a competent person to talk to.
It's not easy in SDL.
And I'm sure it's an upgrade way but "Thomas and Co" are not aware of it.
Their call/chat center use only standard, basic information.

For those who have yet to invest in CAT software I would warn you that if you do buy software from SDL Trados you can look forward to being bled more or less annually for substantial sums for upgrades of questionable value.

Agree.
In fact, the SDLT 2007 Suite is only SDLT 2007 SP3.
So why it doesn't need a separate licence.
It's just a pure marketing.

Or in this case you may be encouraged to purchase a license you already own all over again. Every other CAT tool provider I have heard of has better policies, and the ergonomics of many of these other tools is far better. Do look elsewhere for your CAT tools, and you will save a lot of money and irritation in the long run.


Now DVX was more subtle than any beast of the field

Cheers
GG

[Edited at 2008-12-29 15:03 GMT]


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Grzegorz Gryc  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:44
French to Polish
+ ...
Finding an alternative (2) Dec 29, 2008

Anett Lindner wrote:


BTW.: Here is a link to a free Tool "Textstat" which I like very much for term extraction: http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~mhuening/textstat/ [/quote]

Or AntConc
http://www.antlab.sci.waseda.ac.jp/

Cheers
GG


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Colin Ryan  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:44
Italian to English
+ ...
Argh... SDL... I have to provide my own support!! Dec 30, 2008

I can't remember how many times I've thrown my hands up in despair at Trados's latest sabotaging of my work. The fact that you have to pay EXTRA for support is absolutely ridiculous. Only a vendor that already has the biggest market share could get away with a tactic like that (Microsoft does the same).

Many times I've been tempted to sell my Trados licence and go over to a competing product, but my main client is a Trados user and for now at least it is still worth my while continuing to use Trados. But I simply don't know how long I can keep buying into Trados and its never-ending upgrades. I automatically ignore their spam - I learned to see through SDL years ago. (After I bought Trados, unfortunately.)


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Antoní­n Otáhal
Local time: 13:44
Member (2005)
English to Czech
+ ...
Much ado... but worth the emotions? Dec 30, 2008

Isn't it better to keep calm over arrogant companies selling poor software for high prices because their market position makes it easy for them?

On the practical side:

I do own Trados and I do buy upgrades. The main investment was the purchase of the first licence years ago, and that money cannot be recovered anyway; and the upgrades are not exactly cheap but not too expensive either, and I have to own Trados, at least in my environment. Most customers simply want my output in Trados, and what good is explaining all the time that Trados is by far not the best? They (the customers) are on the paying side, after all.

I do not expect anything from SDL, no support, no help, no nothing. I learned the hard way, after purchase of my first licence; they were not willing to help, and when I made them help me, their qualifications and understanding of their own product turned out to be poorer than mine. Loss of time and energy for nothing. So what?

I only use Trados for creating the Word segmented or ttx files, process these files using different software and finally run the result through Trados to update the customer's TM (if it is a part of the contract) and to check if it really works smoothly. That is all. Since I do not actually translate in Trados, I do not have to install Multiterm, which I find even less user friendly than Trados itself.

I believe this is the type of workflow quite a few of us apply. The actual software used for translating may be different (as we are different people with different needs and preferences).

Antonin


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:44
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Practical work and why I wanted this upgrade Dec 30, 2008

Antoní­n Otáhal wrote:
I believe this is the type of workflow quite a few of us apply. The actual software used for translating may be different (as we are different people with different needs and preferences).


Entirely correct. That's the way I work as well when it comes to translation. And I fully intend to make information related to such workflows even more widely available and clearly documented in order to reduce the number of people suffering with bad software or making terrible mistakes with alternative workflows which are not as compatible as advertised.

With regard to the specific tool that inspired this thread - MultiTerm Extract - I have found it very convenient in the past for quick mining of bilingual TM resources to produce glossaries which I can output from MT using various templates I've adapted over the years. It was a fairly straightforward moneymaker or enhancement of other services I offered which did not cost me a lot of time. For monolingual extractions, other tools are just as good for my purposes, including some mentioned here (like AntConc).

I have actually been trying to find out how to upgrade this software for a few years, but the Evil Empire does a very poor job of making information available which does not fit its current narrow propaganda campaigns. I think it would have been a very simple matter to tell me two years ago that an upgrade would cost 50, 100, 200 euros or whatever. But except for its occasional tie-in to BS like the CCM campaign, this product seems to be ignored for the most part.

Too bad, really. Since I have no intention of giving another 525 euros to the bandits at SDL, I'll keep using the old software on my former working computer, and I'll start looking into inexpensive or free alternatives for bilingual term extraction. (I already own at least one of these, but I haven't used it for years, because I object to some of its manual processes. This is a commercial exercise for me, not an academic one, and I need commercial efficiency.) If I find a good combination, then you can expect to see guidelines from me which are intended to drive a stake through the heart of the so-called Trados CCM Methodology.


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Grzegorz Gryc  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:44
French to Polish
+ ...
Trados as a secondary tool... Jan 1, 2009

Antoní­n Otáhal wrote:

Isn't it better to keep calm over arrogant companies selling poor software for high prices because their market position makes it easy for them?

On the practical side:

I do own Trados and I do buy upgrades. The main investment was the purchase of the first licence years ago, and that money cannot be recovered anyway; and the upgrades are not exactly cheap but not too expensive either,

You have Trados FL?
The Pro upgrade upgrade price is really crazy.

and I have to own Trados, at least in my environment. Most customers simply want my output in Trados, and what good is explaining all the time that Trados is by far not the best? They (the customers) are on the paying side, after all.

In fact, I'm happy they use Trados.
As I use a more intelligent CAT, I still have an advantage

I do not expect anything from SDL, no support, no help, no nothing. I learned the hard way, after purchase of my first licence; they were not willing to help, and when I made them help me, their qualifications and understanding of their own product turned out to be poorer than mine. Loss of time and energy for nothing. So what?

It's exactly the impression I have.
Some support guys are really competent but some of them have serious problems to understand a simple e-mail or they don't read 'em at all.
E.g., when I specify I have a 32 bit Windows, a question kinda "do you have 64 bit Windows" offends my intelligence.
Of course, I have to wait a week a response for my obvious "No".

I only use Trados for creating the Word segmented or ttx files, process these files using different software and finally run the result through Trados to update the customer's TM (if it is a part of the contract) and to check if it really works smoothly. That is all.

Welcome in the club.

Since I do not actually translate in Trados, I do not have to install Multiterm, which I find even less user friendly than Trados itself.

Although MT is not user friendly at all, the basic algorithms are very good.

I believe this is the type of workflow quite a few of us apply. The actual software used for translating may be different (as we are different people with different needs and preferences).

Just like Internet Explorer is a tool to download an Internet browser like Firefox or Opera, Trados is just a tool to prepare texts for translation in a friendly CAT tool.
In my case, it's DVX but you're free to select the tool you prefer

Cheers
GG

[Edited at 2009-01-02 03:21 GMT]


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Shafted again? Jan 2, 2009

This reminds me of the Sisters of Mercy...

A man is driving down a deserted stretch of highway, when he notices a sign out of the corner of his eye. It says Sisters of Mercy House of Prostitution 10 Miles. He thinks it was just a figment of his imagination and drives on without a second thought. Soon, he sees another sign which says Sisters of Mercy House of Prostitution 5 Miles and realizes that these signs are for real. When he drives past a third sign saying Sisters of Mercy House of Prostitution Next Right, his curiosity gets the best of him and he pulls into the drive.

On the far side of the parking lot is a sombre stone building with a small sign next to the door reading SISTERS OF MERCY. He climbs the steps and rings the bell. The door is answered by a nun in a long black habit who asks "What may we do for you, my son?" He answers "I saw your signs along the highway, and was interested in possibly doing business."

"Very well, my son. Please follow me." He is led through many winding passages and is soon quite disoriented. The nun stops at a closed door, and tells the man "Please knock on this door." He does as he is told and this door is answered by another nun in a long habit and holding a tin cup. This nun instructs "Please place $50 in the cup, then go through the large wooden door at the end of this hallway." He gets $50 out of his wallet and places it in the second nun's cup.

He trots eagerly down the hall and slips through the door, pulling it shut behind him. As the door locks behind him, he finds himself back in the parking lot, facing another small sign:

Go in Peace, You Have Just Been Screwed by the Sisters of Mercy.


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