Studio 2011 database errors and other usability issues
Thread poster: HarryHedgehog

HarryHedgehog
Germany
Local time: 17:46
German to English
Feb 23, 2012

I've been having sporadic problems with my main technical memory, which I migrated from TW 8.0 to Studio 2011 using the included tools. It has around 350,000 entries. When I receive projects from my customers, I add and enable this TM in update mode, so I maintain a local copy of my translations.

The problem is this: Around 1 out of every 3 starts, when I edit the first translation segment, Studio churns and churns my hard drive, then after a couple of minutes reports that the database could not be accessed because it is locked (which is nonsense, of course) and has therefore been disabled. I can then go in and re-enable the TM and everything seems to work fine.

I don't think this is a performance issue, because I work on a high-speed quad-core i7 processor and a very fast 2 TB internal SATA hard drive.

Is there a maximum TM size that Studio can deal with? Or is this a memory management bug in the software? I never had this problem with the old TW 8.0 TM format.

I also have a major peeve about a usability deficit: when you create a return package, Studio demands that you enter a name and destination for it. Why not simply use the project name (which is known) as the default value, plus the return package extension?

I also find it maddening that no information about these and other issues is available in the knowledge base and that SDL Trados wants €215 for an annual support subscription (in essence, paying them to deal with their bugs), but that's old news.

Has anyone else experienced the DB problems I described?

Thanks,
Harry

[Edited at 2012-02-23 17:30 GMT]


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HarryHedgehog
Germany
Local time: 17:46
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Three more issues Feb 23, 2012

Three more usability issues/errors that I've encountered in Studio 2011:

- If I am sent a Word 2010 (.docx) document with comments, Trados is unable to construct a usable target file. It claims to construct the file, but Word reports it as damaged and refuses to open it.

- The buffer for the F3 concordance search seems to be a bit retarded: when I highlight a word in a source segment and press F3, the results of the previous concordance search are shown. I have to highlight the word again (and resize the segment, which is always too large as a result of the repeated clicking) to clear the buffer and get it to look up the right terms.

- This one is truly maddening: Whenever Trados releases an update, no matter how insignificant, you have to go through and re-initialize all the working languages. And why in the name of FSM are you required to enter 5 working languages to continue? How many of us translate between/among 5 different languages?

Again, I was unable to find anything on either of these issues in the knowledge base. I cannot judge whether this is due to SDL Trados information policy or deficiencies in their search engine. Since they have chosen to make the entire knowledge base unsearchable by Google (not a wise business decision IMHO), there's no way to tell. One would think that they would try to make their help files as accessible to as broad an audience as possible, but perhaps that would impede their efforts to sell more annual service agreements (at €215 a pop).

I've worked extensively with MemoQ and Across, thanks to soft licenses provided by clients, and I must say that Studio 2011 is by far the buggiest of all the CAT tools I have to work with.

[Edited at 2012-02-23 18:56 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-02-24 08:28 GMT]


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Grzegorz Gryc  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:46
French to Polish
+ ...
Few comments... Feb 25, 2012

HarryHedgehog wrote:

Three more usability issues/errors that I've encountered in Studio 2011:

- If I am sent a Word 2010 (.docx) document with comments, Trados is unable to construct a usable target file. It claims to construct the file, but Word reports it as damaged and refuses to open it.

It happens.
You may try to open the file with the old good Word 2003.
It's sometimes able to open and repair the file.

- The buffer for the F3 concordance search seems to be a bit retarded: when I highlight a word in a source segment and press F3, the results of the previous concordance search are shown. I have to highlight the word again (and resize the segment, which is always too large as a result of the repeated clicking) to clear the buffer and get it to look up the right terms.

Generally, I think the Concordance in Studio is far worse than in the old Trados.
Studio has also serious performance problems.
E.g., quoting Kevin Lossner:
Concordance searches with SDL Trados Studio 2009, on the other hand, really sucked with a big TM (EU data, about 400,000 TUs). I vacuumed my entire apartment and fed the dog while I waited for the result, and I wasn't even told how many hits were found.
Source at:
http://www.translationtribulations.com/2012/01/recent-experience-when-tutoring-new.html

- This one is truly maddening: Whenever Trados releases an update, no matter how insignificant, you have to go through and re-initialize all the working languages. And why in the name of FSM are you required to enter 5 working languages to continue? How many of us translate between/among 5 different languages?

Here, I'm really happy I have Pro.
The Freelance 5 languages limitation is an absurd and its implementation in Studio is simply buggy.

Again, I was unable to find anything on either of these issues in the knowledge base. I cannot judge whether this is due to SDL Trados information policy or deficiencies in their search engine. Since they have chosen to make the entire knowledge base unsearchable by Google (not a wise business decision IMHO),

If you can't find the bug descriptions, the bugs don't exist.
It's simple

there's no way to tell. One would think that they would try to make their help files as accessible to as broad an audience as possible, but perhaps that would impede their efforts to sell more annual service agreements (at €215 a pop).

Indeed.
I suppose it works in this way.

I've worked extensively with MemoQ and Across, thanks to soft licenses provided by clients, and I must say that Studio 2011 is by far the buggiest of all the CAT tools I have to work with.

No comments...

Cheers
GG


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HarryHedgehog
Germany
Local time: 17:46
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Character formatting (bold/italic/underline) Feb 29, 2012

Has anyone figured out how to turn off character formatting (bold/italic/underline) once it's been activated? I would expect the function to toggle on/off, like every other Windows application does, but it doesn't. You can hit Ctrl+Space to strip all formatting, but it also resets the selected type to the default font/size, which can cause problems itself.

The keyboard shortcuts and the buttons in the toolbar only seem to be able to turn on the respective formatting features, but there's no way to deselect them. This is neither logical nor user-friendly, IMHO.


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:46
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Work with tags Feb 29, 2012

HarryHedgehog wrote:

Has anyone figured out how to turn off character formatting (bold/italic/underline) once it's been activated? I would expect the function to toggle on/off, like every other Windows application does, but it doesn't. You can hit Ctrl+Space to strip all formatting, but it also resets the selected type to the default font/size, which can cause problems itself.

The keyboard shortcuts and the buttons in the toolbar only seem to be able to turn on the respective formatting features, but there's no way to deselect them. This is neither logical nor user-friendly, IMHO.


And the mystery will be demystified. Your assumption any CAT tool would behave like Word is unfortunately wrong. In any CAT tool you are working with tagged text, even if the tool performs like it would be formatted text. The best option is to turn off all the formatting and just insert tags. This way you can sharply and clearly see, where the formatting starts and ends.
To apply formatting in the "formatted" view type your translation, then select the parts of your segment, which need formatting, press CTRL+, (comma) and select the proper formatting from the list. It is better not to use the formatting buttons - when you turn on tags you will quite certainly understand why.


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HarryHedgehog
Germany
Local time: 17:46
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Please don't put words in my mouth Feb 29, 2012

Thanks for your feedback, Jerzy, but there is no mystery, just poor usability. I'm very familiar with the use of tags and character formatting, but I much prefer the WYSIWYG view implemented in Studio, which I must admit is a real improvement over the old Tag Editor.

Nonetheless, if SDL Trados implement a toolbar that looks like - and contains the same character formatting functions - as the familiar ones in Word and other word processing/spreadsheet/presentation programs, then I would expect that toolbar to work just like it does in those programs - with a toggle.

In fact, I've found the answer to my question on the very same toolbar, farther to the right:



The buttons I've highlighted in red perform the exact function I was looking for, but now I'm even more puzzled, for surely it would be more intuitive and logical to simply have the original buttons toggle the function in question for the highlighted text, instead of creating a whole new set of buttons (and separate, obscure key combinations to accompany them). To borrow your phrase, I'm mystified as to why SDL Trados would choose such an awkward implementation approach.


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:46
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
If you are familiar with tags Feb 29, 2012

then test how this buttons behave.
And personally I do find the possibility to work with plain text without any formatting far superior to any other view - clean and clear, with no doubts what belongs where.

But I think my comments are of no value here.


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HarryHedgehog
Germany
Local time: 17:46
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
That's a bit harsh Feb 29, 2012

But I think my comments are of no value here.


That's not true at all, Jerzy. I value your input and that of anyone else who wishes to comment on this thread.

The problem is that we're debating at cross purposes: I'm criticizing what I see as a usability deficit, while you are arguing for the innate superiority of working with tags instead of visible paragraph formatting.

Whether your personal preference is to display character formatting tags or not, I believe that if SDL Trados offer the option of a WYSIWYG display without them, they should implement it properly, in line with the Microsoft standards followed by thousands of application programmers around the world.


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SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:46
English
Maybe look at this in a different way.. Feb 29, 2012

Hi,

In my humble opinion the way Studio works is to insert tags that create the formatting you want, and then inserts tags to switch off the way formatting works. Microsoft Word is a different kettle of fish, and even here it is not consistent as you will often see if you find the author of a document had overridden the default styles and changes fonts, formatting throughout the document. It doesn't always just switch them off as if they were not applied and with some poorly formatted documents you find many superfluous tags that are not required to achieve the desired formatting at all.

Studio, and other CAT tools, are designed to read the tags and manage tags in a consistent way. If you choose to use the WYSIWYG formatting in Studio then you must be sure you understand what it is actually doing or you may well add superfluous tags to your target document.

Although the WYSIWYG approach is very nice, in this regard I'm with Jerzy and would work with all the tags shown all of the time and then I'm less likely to make an error. If I am using WYSIWYG then I would suggest you don't use the quick insert toolbar at all unless you are adding formatting that was not in the source. I think it's far better to use ctrl+comma and select the appropriate formatting from the source and this way you are also less likely to add superfluous tags. But thta would just be my opinion.

Regards

Paul


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HarryHedgehog
Germany
Local time: 17:46
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Misled by the default settings Feb 29, 2012

Thank you for your comment, Paul. Given that the default settings are to show formatting but hide recognized formatting tags, I was misled to believe that this was the processing method Trados intended people to use. I have now changed the setting to "Show all formatting and tags" and hope this won't be reset during the next bugfix update, like the language selection is.

Could you please address the first and primary issue I mentioned in my opening post, namely the random database errors that occur on startup or when I link my largish (>350,000 segments) TM with new projects? Is it too much for Studio 2011 to handle, or is there some memory or paging problem that you're aware of and is being worked on?

Cheers,
Harry


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HarryHedgehog
Germany
Local time: 17:46
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
New bugfix update, old problems Apr 9, 2012

HarryHedgehog wrote:

I've been having sporadic problems with my main technical memory, which I migrated from TW 8.0 to Studio 2011 using the included tools. It has around 350,000 entries. When I receive projects from my customers, I add and enable this TM in update mode, so I maintain a local copy of my translations.

The problem is this: Around 1 out of every 3 starts, when I edit the first translation segment, Studio churns and churns my hard drive, then after a couple of minutes reports that the database could not be accessed because it is locked (which is nonsense, of course) and has therefore been disabled. I can then go in and re-enable the TM and everything seems to work fine.

I don't think this is a performance issue, because I work on a high-speed quad-core i7 processor and a very fast 2 TB internal SATA hard drive.

Is there a maximum TM size that Studio can deal with? Or is this a memory management bug in the software? I never had this problem with the old TW 8.0 TM format.


Six weeks and a new Trados build later (SP1 10.1.2878.3), I'm still having the same problem with my main technical TM. As a result, the memory is disabled as soon as it is connected (or a project in progress is re-opened) and I have to go back into the project settings to re-enable it.

Am I the only one having this problem?


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