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SDL Studio 2009 - Simultaneous work on the same file by two or more people?
Thread poster: Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
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Oct 25, 2009

I was wondering whether SDL Studio 2009 allows you to have two people working on the same file at the same time. I mean, if you have a single file with 50,000 words, can you have someone proofreading the translations while a translator continues to translate?

Also, if a proofreader is working on the file, will the translator see on screen how repeated/autopropagated segments are approved as the proofreader processes them?

What I mean is whether all this is possible without having to chop the file in pieces, send a piece out to someone, do cleanups or updates with the proofread chunks, etc.

Also, if this is possible inside a LAN, is it possible to do it via Internet, i.e. a proofreader who works from home while the translator keeps working on the file in the office?

Is this technically possible without supplementary software, server software, etc.?


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Grzegorz Gryc  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:41
French to Polish
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A perverse workaround... a DVX off topic :) Oct 25, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

I was wondering whether SDL Studio 2009 allows you to have two people working on the same file at the same time.

Yes but the way it can be done is simply perverse and dangerous.

I mean, if you have a single file with 50,000 words, can you have someone proofreading the translations while a translator continues to translate?

Not exactly.
Although you can open a T2009 project/document twice (the project/document files are not locked), it's no version control at all, so when one user saves the file, the changes made by the second user are missing and vice versa.
Only the TM entries are preserved.

Also, if a proofreader is working on the file, will the translator see on screen how repeated/autopropagated segments are approved as the proofreader processes them?

No.
The documents are not reread, so no changes made by the second user are displayed in the documents.
Only the TM hits will be displayed but you must have T2009 Professional in order to share TMs.
Of course, the TMs ad the project must be stored over the LAN, the paths must be the same for both machines.

What I mean is whether all this is possible without having to chop the file in pieces, send a piece out to someone, do cleanups or updates with the proofread chunks, etc.

If you are VERY, VERY careful...

Also, if this is possible inside a LAN, is it possible to do it via Internet, i.e. a proofreader who works from home while the translator keeps working on the file in the office?

This scenario above is possible only inside a LAN.
Theorically, you can use VPN but the performance will be hardly degraded.

Is this technically possible without supplementary software, server software, etc.?

No.

BTW.
This function is available in DVX, it's one of the major reasons why it's very unlikely I'll switch back to Trados.

Cheers
GG


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:41
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Living dangerously... Oct 25, 2009

Grzegorz Gryc wrote:
Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
I was wondering whether SDL Studio 2009 allows you to have two people working on the same file at the same time.

Yes but the way it can be done is simply perverse and dangerous.

Grzegorz, thank you so much for all the explanations. I reckon we have been using the perverse and dangerous process for too long as we have had to work with this scenario very often using SDL Trados 2006/2007 (Professional), basically by chopping files, putting them back together, updating the memory while someone else is still translating, doing many clean-up steps... the works! The end result is a correct file with everything carefully reviewed, but at the cost of losing a lot of time.

I see that the situation hasn't improved much with SDL Studio 2009, which makes me think that Studio still has a long way to go before it reaches the abilities of other products readily available and tested today...


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Grzegorz Gryc  Identity Verified
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3D approach Oct 25, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Grzegorz Gryc wrote:
Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
I was wondering whether SDL Studio 2009 allows you to have two people working on the same file at the same time.

Yes but the way it can be done is simply perverse and dangerous.

Grzegorz, thank you so much for all the explanations. I reckon we have been using the perverse and dangerous process for too long as we have had to work with this scenario very often using SDL Trados 2006/2007 (Professional), basically by chopping files, putting them back together, updating the memory while someone else is still translating, doing many clean-up steps... the works!

The workflow you explain is not perverse
It's just fastidious.

BTW.
I've never used TagEditor as a core tool.
It has some very strong points e.g. verification plug-ins but the translation environment was always incommode for me.

The end result is a correct file with everything carefully reviewed, but at the cost of losing a lot of time.

True.

I see that the situation hasn't improved much with SDL Studio 2009, which makes me think that Studio still has a long way to go before it reaches the abilities of other products readily available and tested today...

In fact, it's a basic difference in the approach.
In Trados (and a lot of other tools), you're supposed to work in a linear way.
You finish one segment, you start to translate the next one.
The tools with a "spatial" approach, e.g. DVX or MemoQ allow multiple views and multiple editors for the same content.
So, unlike in Trados, you may have have simultaneous different points of view (filtered, sorted, multiple files etc.).
The Trados 2009 series are getting better but you still have only one view at a time.

BTW.
I think DVX is still better than MQ because it allows multiple instances and simultaneous multiuser access in file based projects but the MQ views feature is incredible in one user scenario.
Trados is a looser in both cases.

Cheers
GG


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:41
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English to Spanish
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The "file" is dead Oct 25, 2009

Grzegorz Gryc wrote:
The tools with a "spatial" approach, e.g. DVX or MemoQ allow multiple views and multiple editors for the same content.

Indeed. I think that with Trados we have become too accustomed to the idea of "file", i.e. you open/close files, you process files and then give them over to the next person in the line, etc. Too many files all over the shop.

In the case of other tools, the concept of "file" only exists when you receive a job or have to deliver the results, but all during the translation/editing/proofreading/QA steps you are instead dealing with a database of sorted segments which you can process, combine, and view in many different ways. I thought SDL Studio 2009 had taken this approach, definitely leaving the "file concept" behind, but apparently I was wrong... I hope other colleagues using SDL Studio 2009 have more information to share about this matter, which to me seems quite critical at the moment.


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Grzegorz Gryc  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:41
French to Polish
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Relational data bases... Oct 25, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Grzegorz Gryc wrote:
The tools with a "spatial" approach, e.g. DVX or MemoQ allow multiple views and multiple editors for the same content.

Indeed. I think that with Trados we have become too accustomed to the idea of "file", i.e. you open/close files, you process files and then give them over to the next person in the line, etc. Too many files all over the shop.

Agree, you can't handle a 1000 files project in a this way...

In the case of other tools,

I would say "case of some other tools"...

the concept of "file" only exists when you receive a job or have to deliver the results, but all during the translation/editing/proofreading/QA steps you are instead dealing with a database of sorted segments which you can process, combine, and view in many different ways.

The DVX/MemoQ "files" are relational data bases.
It's so simple...

I thought SDL Studio 2009 had taken this approach, definitely leaving the "file concept" behind, but apparently I was wrong...

T2009 simply replaced the TTX linear approach by the SDLXLIFF linear approach.
It's better than in TE but it's no revolution at all.

I hope other colleagues using SDL Studio 2009 have more information to share about this matter, which to me seems quite critical at the moment.

Indeed, it may be critical 'cause the "package" concept may be inadequate for huge files.

Cheers
GG


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:41
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Packages Oct 25, 2009

Hi Tomás and GG,
to add my two cents:
Indeed, it may be critical 'cause the "package" concept may be inadequate for huge files.


I don't think the file size really matters (brandwith connections, FTP etc.). The problem with the packages is what GG has described as a "linear" approach. In theory, you can divide a project into multiple packages that you send out to the translators. In practice:
1. Package A = 200 files
2. Package B = 180 files
Sent to two translators.
The problem is that you can start the proofreading part only once the complete package has been returned. If you proofread say 150 files from Package A and then receive the remaining 50 files in the next return package, the changes you made to the 150 files will be lost.

This means that the only way of avoiding this, is to work with project and main TMs. Still not very elegant. I'm afraid you would have to buy the Trados TM Server to allow multiple translators working on one and the same project simulaneously. At least I cannot think of anything else. Given the costs of a server solution (by ANY CAT tool developer), you can as well develop a tool of your own at the same price.


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Grzegorz Gryc  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:41
French to Polish
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Some comments... Oct 26, 2009

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:

to add my two cents:
Indeed, it may be critical 'cause the "package" concept may be inadequate for huge files.


I don't think the file size really matters (brandwith connections, FTP etc.).

No, the size matters.
A 1000 word file can be prooflread and returned quickly.
A 50000 word file is a problem when your deadline is tight.

BTW.
I know it's possible to split this kind of files in packages in T2009 but it's not very elegant/practical as solution.

The problem with the packages is what GG has described as a "linear" approach. In theory, you can divide a project into multiple packages that you send out to the translators. In practice:
1. Package A = 200 files
2. Package B = 180 files
Sent to two translators.
The problem is that you can start the proofreading part only once the complete package has been returned.

Sad but true.

If you proofread say 150 files from Package A and then receive the remaining 50 files in the next return package, the changes you made to the 150 files will be lost.

In fact, it may be unmanageable in a simple way.
LOL.

This means that the only way of avoiding this, is to work with project and main TMs. Still not very elegant. I'm afraid you would have to buy the Trados TM Server to allow multiple translators working on one and the same project simulaneously.

For a moment, you have no Trados 2009 server available.
Sorry.

At least I cannot think of anything else. Given the costs of a server solution (by ANY CAT tool developer), you can as well develop a tool of your own at the same price.

I never asked the Atril guys about their DVX server but the MemoQ server is promising.
And cheap.
It's not perfect (really, I don't agree with some MemoQ assumptions) but their prices are a killah.

Cheers
GG


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SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:41
English
Some clarification and questions Oct 26, 2009

Hello Tomás et al,

This is an interesting discussion, and I don't have all the answers, but I would like to join in just to clarify where I can and ask a couple of questions.

Package Management
If I take your example sent to two translators;
1. Package A = 200 files
2. Package B = 180 files
Currently, it would require a Professional License to allow the Translator to return the package in parts, ie. translate one or several files and then create a package for the reviewer, or just to return to the Project Manager. I expected to be able to create as many return packages as I liked, but I cannot do this with the Freelance or the Professional edition. I have raised this with the development team and will report back on this issue.

So this means the Project Manager would currently have to create as many translation packages as he/she thought necessary so that a more frequent review could be carried out.

Translation Workflow
The workflow you have described, with the review going on at the same time, or shortly after the Translator has started. How important is it to have this feature? Is it more important for the Reviewer to be able to work outside of the CAT Tool and then feedback to the translator for comment and inclusion in the translation?

For example, if you were able to review the translation in excel, or in word, or in a browser interface, source against target, either in vertical columns or as horizontal top and bottom approach, would this make the review process more efficient? Or is it more important to keep the Reviewer inside the CAT tool and allow changes and notes to be made more efficiently in the translation itself.

I think there are good arguments for both, but I would be interested to listen to the reasoning behind this from you practitioners.

Regards

Paul


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:41
English to Czech
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Perhaps a few points Oct 26, 2009

Hi Paul,
nice to see you join this discussion.

Currently, it would require a Professional License to allow the Translator to return the package in parts, ie. translate one or several files and then create a package for the reviewer, or just to return to the Project Manager. I expected to be able to create as many return packages as I liked, but I cannot do this with the Freelance or the Professional edition. I have raised this with the development team and will report back on this issue.

If translators had the possibilities to return a package they received in several sub-packages, this would be a very good step forward.

The workflow you have described, with the review going on at the same time, or shortly after the Translator has started. How important is it to have this feature? Is it more important for the Reviewer to be able to work outside of the CAT Tool and then feedback to the translator for comment and inclusion in the translation?

For example, if you were able to review the translation in excel, or in word, or in a browser interface, source against target, either in vertical columns or as horizontal top and bottom approach, would this make the review process more efficient? Or is it more important to keep the Reviewer inside the CAT tool and allow changes and notes to be made more efficiently in the translation itself.

I think there are good arguments for both, but I would be interested to listen to the reasoning behind this from you practitioners.


In my opinion, having the revision going on at the same time as the translation is extremely important in the case of medium-size to large projects to save time.
As regards the review mode, I believe both options (i.e. working in, say Word, and in a CAT tool) are quite necessary.
1. In Word or PDF: seeing the document in the final layout makes enables you to focus on the content.
2. In a CAT tool: important to update the TM on the fly, thus saving the translator's time necessary to implement any changes made by the reviser.


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Grzegorz Gryc  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:41
French to Polish
+ ...
Segment locking... package cancelling... Oct 26, 2009

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:

Hi Paul,
nice to see you join this discussion.

Currently, it would require a Professional License to allow the Translator to return the package in parts, ie. translate one or several files and then create a package for the reviewer, or just to return to the Project Manager. I expected to be able to create as many return packages as I liked, but I cannot do this with the Freelance or the Professional edition. I have raised this with the development team and will report back on this issue.

If translators had the possibilities to return a package they received in several sub-packages, this would be a very good step forward.

You should implement locking feature for segments sent for review in this kind of partial package.
When the reviewed segments are returned back to the translator, they should be unlocked (optional).

BTW.
It's possible to cancel the package creation in Studio?
E.g. when the PM/translator makes a mistake or a last minute modification should be made, it should be possible to "release" the package (after many warnings, of course).
In Synergy 2007, it was necessary to return the void package.
When the package was missing for some reason, the "packaged" files were inaccessible i.e. the project became unmanageable.
I didn't test it for Studio (no time).

PS.
In Passolo Team you can force the package cancelling.

Cheers
GG


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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 03:41
Member (2001)
German to Italian
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Editor on board Oct 26, 2009

Hello Paul,

thank you for stepping in. Even if I wasn't the thread starter, I was following it closely, as the idea of having the editor "on board" while the translators are still working and translators connected other than via server TM did fascinate me as a regular "team worker". Instintively, I'd say that it could be a great time-saver - both for the editor and the translators in the team. A less stressed editor / QA editor is a better "project companion" for the translator team.

Working scenarios may vary according to the agency/outsoucer preferences, still... Until now, i.e. up to Suite 2007, team members would receive their batches / files and work indipendently (of course according to style guides, instructions, conventions etc. provided by the PM) using (best scenario IMHO) a common server TM. And the editor would start the editing as soon as files / batches are delivered (while the transaltors are still working on other files / after the translators are done).

Disadvantages (I see):

- changes implemented by the editor are not passed over to the translation team (time is normally an issue, so either you translate or you implement the changes. Edited files are rarely cleaned at once or even if they are, translators may have already translated the edited segment in some other files), so no real-time implementation. A real-time editing would result in - I'd say - some time saving for the editor (edited segments won't need to be edited in the following files... with some propagating/populating?) and the translators (as to the translation of new words, sometimes there are various options, but you can't decide what's best at that stage... for whatever reason, no need to discuss anything in the project forum or do some extensive research online).

For example, if you were able to review the translation in excel, or in word, or in a browser interface, source against target, either in vertical columns or as horizontal top and bottom approach, would this make the review process more efficient? Or is it more important to keep the Reviewer inside the CAT tool and allow changes and notes to be made more efficiently in the translation itself.


Personally, I'd prefer to have the editor real-time in the CAT tool.

I prefer to do the editing or QA on bilingual files (or SDLX two-column style editing). The QA/editing speed is much higher than in (non-bilingual) MSWord/Excel/Powerpoint files (where you have to keep source & target open parallely. If I get an Excel, it is never source & target in two parallel columns, but the final file, the translation only file, which has to be double-checked with the original. One click and the track changes are gone, a second click and ttxs & docs are cleaned in TWB, TM updated (in SDLX it's even faster).

Not only, when I am editing in a non-bilingual environment (such as ppts or xls') and I have similar or identical sentences, I have to go back and check how I modified a sentence (not that I tend to forget, but when you are editing thousands of words ....at light speed or so and not only, it's easy not to remember ), as the TM isn't used at that stage. And once you are done, if you want to have the changes implemented (next time you might be one of the translators, so why "wasting" all these units), you have to align source and target. Multiply all these steps for an X(XX) number of files and you'll see how much time you are wasting instead of investing.

Giuliana



[Edited at 2009-10-26 13:53 GMT]


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SDL Community  Identity Verified
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Local time: 03:41
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Translators returning Packages Oct 26, 2009

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:

If translators had the possibilities to return a package they received in several sub-packages, this would be a very good step forward.


Hi Stan,

Just a quick update on this one. In my test on this I discovered two things.

  1. You can do this now with both versions of the software - Freelance and Professional
  2. I now know exactly what is and what is not included in the package


The first point is explanatory, the second I will share with you for interest. This is how I tested this at first and reached an incorrect conclusion. I asked a colleague to create a package for me so I could test this scenario with a Freelance License.


  1. He created a package with one file and sent it to me
  2. I wanted several files so I deleted the project created by the package and asked for another
  3. He added two more files to the same Project he created for me earlier and just converted them to translatable format (sdlxliff) instead of preparing them for translation
  4. He then created a project package for all the files and sent to me
  5. I had to prepare the two additional files myself because he had not and they were not showing up in my Target Language folder.
  6. But as they were not prepared prior to creating the Project Package they are not seen as being part of the package and I cannot return them.

So whilst the ability of Translators to create several sub-packages is indeed there, we do need to look at a robustness check to either provide a warning message to say that some of the files in the package have not been prepared properly and will not be available as part of the return package, or simply don’t include anything that has not been prepared correctly in the initial package.

I hope this is useful as part of this discussion.

Regards

Paul


[Edited at 2009-10-26 16:26 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-10-26 16:27 GMT]


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:41
English to Czech
+ ...
Packages Oct 27, 2009

Hi Paul,
thank you for your input.
Yes, in fact translators already can deliver partially translated packages if they select the individual files they want to include into the return package. However, there are still several drawbacks:
1. The return package is sent along with the TM which is not updated with the changes made by a reviser. After returning three or four packages, the result will probably be quite a mess of TM versions and I'm afraid the Project TM will not help much in this case.
2. In the case of partial deliveries, the translator will have to know which files he/she has already delivered; i.e. it will be necessary to flag the delivered files in some way.
3. The same goes for the receiving party: it will need to know which files have been delivered in a project package and when. Again, some kind of flagging should do the job.
4. It should be possible to deliver only the translated files. Advantages:
a) reduction of volume of tranferred data
b) less confusion in TM versions
Of course, it is possible to do so even without project packages. But some people are simply unable or don't have time to investigate all the folder structure and I can't navigate five different people on the phone as where to find the bilingual SDLXLIFF files.
I feel I've been jumping from one thought to another, so I apologize if you find my post diffcult to follow. If so, please let me know and I will elaborate on this once I have a little more time. Or we could perhaps arrange a session where we could verify the current workflow in practice and think about the current bottlenecks.


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SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:41
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Many Ideas Oct 27, 2009

Hi,

Thanks all, for the posts. There are a lot of thoughts in this so I will try to answer the questions where I can, and will review all the ideas with the team here.

Stan wrote:

1. The return package is sent along with the TM which is not updated with the changes made by a reviser. After returning three or four packages, the result will probably be quite a mess of TM versions and I'm afraid the Project TM will not help much in this case.


I don't believe this is the case. The return package contains the sdlxliff and this is used in preference to the one in the originators Project. So there is only one Project TM and at the end the originator of the Project can update the main TM's if needed, or just keep the Project TM. I think the problem will be having multiple versions of the same sdlxliff overwriting each other if the strict workflow is not adhered to. ie;

translate - review - finalise (with iterations of this as needed)

If the translator sends a partially complete file for review and carries on working on it whilst the reviewer makes comments and changes in another then we have the overwrite scenario. Only the online editor, or some check as mentioned earlier to ensure you always have the updated version will work. This is a similar issue for Document Management Systems and normally checking out and checking in is the way around it. I would welcome your thoughts on that however.

2. In the case of partial deliveries, the translator will have to know which files he/she has already delivered; i.e. it will be necessary to flag the delivered files in some way.


The files are flagged by a green circle with a white tick in it in the files view after the task has been completed and the file returned. So you can see what you have sent back and what you have not. However, if you create multiple return packages for the same file then you cannot see any changes after the first one. You can of course see the progress bar is not at 100% if you only sent an interim update but this will leads to the same problems discussed above. If you follow the simple workflow it works and don't work on this file again until you have a new package for it after review then this works, but it doesn't allow for the sort of enhanced productivity raised at the start.



Picture paints a thousand words sometimes Here youi can see I sent two files back and they are clearly labelled.

3. The same goes for the receiving party: it will need to know which files have been delivered in a project package and when. Again, some kind of flagging should do the job.


This works in a similar way. The Package creator will see which ones are flagged as having being returned and which ones are not. For example;



In this example I had two translatable files I sent out in one packjage and then I updated one after it was sent back. The one I got back is flagged as task complete, the other is not.

But some people are simply unable or don't have time to investigate all the folder structure and I can't navigate five different people on the phone as where to find the bilingual SDLXLIFF files.


This can be tricky, particularly if you use your own folder structure instead of accepting the default so they are always consistent. Just in case you weren't ware of this you can right-click on the project or the files and select "Open project Folder" or "Explore containing Folder" and the relevant folder will open up in explorer wherever they are on your drive.

Sorry for this rather long email, but I hope this clarifies things a little for you on these points... or maybe they have simply raised others? I think the idea of a session on this would be a good one. We could organise a webex with some of the people on this discussion to cover this in more detail if it would help? Certainly I would be interested to learn more about how you all see this working in practice?

Regards

Paul


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