SDL TRADOS 2009 SP2 - Demo Version Test Results
Thread poster: MikeTrans
MikeTrans
Germany
Local time: 03:24
Member (2005)
Italian to German
+ ...
Sep 24, 2010

As I was not able to contact SDL directly within their last advertisement sent to me of Trados 2009, I will publish here my feedback and evaluation of SDL TRADOS 2009 SP2.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Sir or Madam, dear SDL developer,

as a freelance translator being in the business for 20 years, please allow me to give you a feedback about the Demo Version of SDL Trados 2009 SP2.

First, I'm very surprised that you never asked me for such a feedback, because an evaluation usefull for the client should also return information for the product seller. So, what's exactly the purpose of this Demo Version? Dear SDL, you have to tell me that, I don't have to figure it out!

I'm afraid that my conclusion of the trial is very negative, but i think a fair judgment of mine will help you most as well as your developement team.
I have subdivided my major concerns in 3 topics containing issues that need to be fixed as soon as possible. Before that, I don't think that any translator can use your program for a serious and durable work. These topics are:

1)
In its present state (SP2), the numerous CTDs (Crashs To Desktop) and other malfunctioning operational aspects, especially related to Multiterm, are a major obstacle of using the tool with security and confidence. If you don't believe me, just take a look at the technical forums of Proz.com. The issues mentioned there may be short or put in simple language, but you will get the right picture.

2)
What is much more severe: the program's TM management which is accessed within the "Maintenance" menu doesn't allow you to take any reasonable control of your TM. It's very important that you understand that, so I will shortly get to the point:

First, The translator must have a full control over any TM in his possession to make reliable backups or editing procedures within the TM. Although your program can create backups of your TMs, this is useless if they cannot be edited correctly.

Second, for the reason above, there must be the possibility to export the TM in CSV format in order to be read by any professional text editor (e.g. MS-EXCEL or MS-ACCESS) and then to reimport it from CSV into TRADOS 2009. Just offering Trados or TMX format import/export for TM is not a solution, but a major problem.

Please note that the TMX standard format you are using within TRADOS 2009 is totally OUTDATED. It has a lot of issues, especially when it comes to import/export attributes of a TM which are an essential part of it, one of the major issues being that TMX is NOT suited for any editing, thus making corrections or manipulations impossible without a third-party program that doesn't even exist for modern system and software requirements. So essentially, TMX is nowadays not an option anymore (unless a major update is published). Besides, it will not even work correctly when importing/exporting to other CAT-tools.
Of course, this aspect is not an SDL made problem, but it would make sense in offering alternatives.

It's nice that your "Maintenance" allows filtering, but this is useless if you cannot even jump to the last TM entry, although there are navigational arrows provided in your tool for that purpose. I have been very disappointed to see that because this tells me that your testers have done a mediocre work.

3)
I cannot see any operational improvements over SDLX 2007 or TRADOS 2007 other than the pure outfit or menu layouts.
When comparing these tools to Trados 2009 it comes out that SDLX is far better, faster and more stable than Trados 2009.
These are the crude facts, not just an opinion of mine, so please take respect of my experience in this field.

For example, your Auto-suggestion Feature may impress a trainee of CAT tools, but for me it's nothing more than a bad auto-text completer which should have already been included years ago, not being an implementation that requires "years of research".
By selling me such "improvements", I must suspect you have a long list of other more or less usefull program "improvements" ready in your drawer which you will delay maybe for Trados 2014 SP7, taking advantage in the meantime of the client's annual maintenance fees.
But I must be wrong here, right?

Just to give you an insight for text completion, I use a freeware tool called LetMe Type, or a commercial and very cheap and small tool called Flashpeak UltimaShell. Yes, these are old programs, but if I use these together with SDLX, I have a far better solution than Trados 2009. Sorry to say this, but it seems that your marketing department also perform a mediocre work and need some more information.

I also don't welcome receiving constantly discount offers of more than 40% to buy Trados 2009. This has a very adverse effect telling me you are not in a position to sell your program at the price you would like.
As for the price: I would rather pay 40% MORE than your actual prize if having a program like SDLX updated seriously, that is, being conform to modern system and software requirements, having the newest formats for translation documents, a new and faster engine capable of dealing with very large TMs and including a REAL improved text auto-completer or other improvements.
The time spent for dealing with the malfunctions of TRADOS 2009 (at least in the Demo Version, as I assume this will also reflect in the full version) is largely worth this higher price.
Would you have done only these little steps in the past, I think you would have been much better off as far as your sales are concerned. I'm not a marketing expert, but it doesn't harm if you also give some respect to this advice, although it's late.

I sincerly hope you'll take into account some of these considerations for building an acceptable CAT-tool. Any feedback is welcome.

With best regards,
Mike

P.S:
In the meantime, also in order not to worsen my opinion, I suggest you stop sending me your advertisements. I have access to your webpage, so I may take a look at it in the future in order to stay informed. Thank you.



[Edited at 2010-09-24 17:21 GMT]


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Stefan de Boeck  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 03:24
English to Dutch
+ ...
ticket #1754 Sep 24, 2010

MikeTrans wrote:
These are the crude facts, not just an opinion of mine, so please take respect of my experience in this field.

Why of course dottore.


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:24
English to Czech
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Replies Sep 26, 2010

Hi "MikeTrans",
perhaps a few replies for you:


First, I'm very surprised that you never asked me for such a feedback, because an evaluation usefull for the client should also return information for the product seller. So, what's exactly the purpose of this Demo Version? Dear SDL, you have to tell me that, I don't have to figure it out!

The purpose of the Trial is rather clear: try before you buy. The feedback is received from:
A) the Beta testers during the release testing phase
B) from users in the ProZ Forums


1)
In its present state (SP2), the numerous CTDs (Crashs To Desktop) and other malfunctioning operational aspects, especially related to Multiterm, are a major obstacle of using the tool with security and confidence. If you don't believe me, just take a look at the technical forums of Proz.com. The issues mentioned there may be short or put in simple language, but you will get the right picture.

This most probably depends on the user (and his/her computer) setup: I did have many crashes with the first release of Studio which came out in June 2009, but NO crashes whatsoever since SP1.


2)
What is much more severe: the program's TM management which is accessed within the "Maintenance" menu doesn't allow you to take any reasonable control of your TM.

The part where you manage your TMs is the "Translation Memory View" and I really don't figure out what you mean by "not allowing you to take any reasonable control of your TM". The interface is crystal-clear and offers countless filtering, batch edit and RegEx options. So, what's the point?


It's very important that you understand that, so I will shortly get to the point:

First, The translator must have a full control over any TM in his possession to make reliable backups or editing procedures within the TM. Although your program can create backups of your TMs, this is useless if they cannot be edited correctly.

Now I'm really lost.


Second, for the reason above, there must be the possibility to export the TM in CSV format in order to be read by any professional text editor (e.g. MS-EXCEL or MS-ACCESS) and then to reimport it from CSV into TRADOS 2009. Just offering Trados or TMX format import/export for TM is not a solution, but a major problem.

I believe the TM Editor is quite enough and editing large TMs with tens of thousands of TUs in Excel or in Access would be quite dangerous.


Please note that the TMX standard format you are using within TRADOS 2009 is totally OUTDATED.

It is a perfectly valid TMX and an industry standard proposed by LISA. Pure "totally outdated" statement without providing suitable argumentation, however, is not.


It has a lot of issues, especially when it comes to import/export attributes of a TM which are an essential part of it, one of the major issues being that TMX is NOT suited for any editing, thus making corrections or manipulations impossible without a third-party program that doesn't even exist for modern system and software requirements.

I don't get why you would want to edit a TMX directly in a CAT tool. You can, again, use the Translation Memory View to do so. If you want to edit TMX externally, there are numerous other tools (Olifant, Apsic Xbench, QA Distiller etc.).


So essentially, TMX is nowadays not an option anymore (unless a major update is published).

Interesting; I would have thought it is a universal format used by all major TM-tools. As regards offering alternatives: what would be an alternative useful for if not supported by the competitors? The result would be users lamenting over another SDL proprietary format.


It's nice that your "Maintenance" allows filtering, but this is useless if you cannot even jump to the last TM entry, although there are navigational arrows provided in your tool for that purpose.

Seconded; this is a minor bug that needs to be removed.


3)
I cannot see any operational improvements over SDLX 2007 or TRADOS 2007 other than the pure outfit or menu layouts.

Than you have probably not tested extensively enough. There are tons of them.


When comparing these tools to Trados 2009 it comes out that SDLX is far better, faster and more stable than Trados 2009.
These are the crude facts, not just an opinion of mine, so please take respect of my experience in this field.

SDLX has never been better, faster or reliable. As regards the comparision of functionalities, SDLX is simply a loser. As regards speed: yes, it may load more quickly, but that's where its speed advantages end. As to reliability, that may be the case with your setup, not with mine. So don't present as "crude facts" what is your personal experience.


For example, your Auto-suggestion Feature may impress a trainee of CAT tools, but for me it's nothing more than a bad auto-text completer which should have already been included years ago, not being an implementation that requires "years of research".

Hmm, I have used CATs since 2001 and even teach CAT-oriented courses at two universities, so I certainly don't think I'm a newbie in this field. And yet, I find AutoSuggest a huge improvement. You might have failed to see that AutoSuggest has three possible resources: termbases, AutoSuggest dictionaries generated from your TM and AutoText. Especially AS in connection with termbases and AS dictionaries work perfectly and really cannot compare to LetMe Type or anything else. So you are comparing apples with pears.


As for the price: I would rather pay 40% MORE than your actual prize if having a program like SDLX updated seriously, that is, being conform to modern system and software requirements, having the newest formats for translation documents, a new and faster engine capable of dealing with very large TMs and including a REAL improved text auto-completer or other improvements.

Well, you may have seen that the Studio acually uses a brand-new RevleX engine that has improved the speed considerably and introduced context matches, one of the improvements that have probably slipped your attention. I use EU DGT memories in and they are much faster in Studio than in any other tool.

The time spent for dealing with the malfunctions of TRADOS 2009 (at least in the Demo Version, as I assume this will also reflect in the full version) is largely worth this higher price.
Would you have done only these little steps in the past, I think you would have been much better off as far as your sales are concerned. I'm not a marketing expert, but it doesn't harm if you also give some respect to this advice, although it's late.

In fact, I am one of the Beta testers and I must reassure you that every single release undergoes very thorough testing and every single issue is reported to and received feedback from SDL. Again, the problems you mention (and don't specify further...) seem to be with your setup. When providing feedback, it's usually a good idea to mention your system params.

Any feedback is welcome.

I hope mine is quite enough.

P.S:
In the meantime, also in order not to worsen my opinion, I suggest you stop sending me your advertisements. I have access to your webpage, so I may take a look at it in the future in order to stay informed. Thank you.

You can unsubscribe from receiving the newsletters at any time. It's just a few clicks...


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:24
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
"Your system parameters".... just strange that we talk about them! Sep 26, 2010

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:
The time spent for dealing with the malfunctions of TRADOS 2009 (at least in the Demo Version, as I assume this will also reflect in the full version) is largely worth this higher price.
Would you have done only these little steps in the past, I think you would have been much better off as far as your sales are concerned. I'm not a marketing expert, but it doesn't harm if you also give some respect to this advice, although it's late.

In fact, I am one of the Beta testers and I must reassure you that every single release undergoes very thorough testing and every single issue is reported to and received feedback from SDL. Again, the problems you mention (and don't specify further...) seem to be with your setup. When providing feedback, it's usually a good idea to mention your system params.

I find it increasingly amazing that we must know and consider each user's systems parameters in order to decide whether experiencing repeated crashes in Studio 2009 is sensible or not. Shouldn't Studio JUST WORK on any reasonably up-to-date compatible operating system?

Isn't it a bit odd that, apart from installing Studio 2009, complaining users are in a subtle way blamed for the problems? If Studio 2009 requires very exact parameters to work correctly, shouldn't such parameters be verified and corrected by Studio 2009's setup, so that users can simply work with no crashes?


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:24
English to Czech
+ ...
I don't think it's so strange... Sep 27, 2010

Hi Tomás,
I can clearly see your point and the logic behind that which makes sense. Anyway, my note was concerning providing feedback to the developer where the system params should be mentioned. To give an example, while I could run TW and TE under Win 2000, there's little chance I will be able to do so with Studio.
Also, each and every computer application (even games) has some minimum computer requirements which should be fulfilled.
Also, if the machine used for testing is used for gaming and similar purposes too, there will be most probably problems with more advanced programs, such as CAT (or CAD) software.

I hope you can see my point?


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:24
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Of course! Sep 27, 2010

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:
Also, if the machine used for testing is used for gaming and similar purposes too, there will be most probably problems with more advanced programs, such as CAT (or CAD) software.
I hope you can see my point?

Of course Stanislav. And I entirely agree. I feel however that, even if controlling and fixing all parameters involved in each and every complex software is quite a task, my feeling is that Trados in general (and Studio 2009 too, as seen in the fora) is too dependent on OS factors, Windows Registry, etc. etc., which makes it a less-than-solid product if you ask me.

Yes, indeed most users of SP2 report that they don't have big problems in that area, but I wonder whether the strategy of relationship between Studio and the computer has really improved and was simplified for a more robust performance.

[Edited at 2010-09-27 07:51 GMT]


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:24
English to Czech
+ ...
It has indeed Sep 27, 2010

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
Yes, indeed most users of SP2 report that they don't have big problems in that area, but I wonder whether the strategy of relationship between Studio and the computer has really improved and was simplified for a more robust performance.


Hello Tomás,
I installed Studio SP2 under a not very clean installation of Win XP Home (fully updated) and no problems. About a half a year ago I installed the same under Win 7 Home Premium and no problems either. The only thing I had to got used to was working with the UAC which was quite new to me as an old XP user, but that's a Windows thing, not a Studio one.

So much for my experience...


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:24
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
UAC stinks! Sep 27, 2010

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:
I installed Studio SP2 under a not very clean installation of Win XP Home (fully updated) and no problems. About a half a year ago I installed the same under Win 7 Home Premium and no problems either. The only thing I had to got used to was working with the UAC which was quite new to me as an old XP user, but that's a Windows thing, not a Studio one.

Indeed UAC stinks. Worst concoction ever by Microsoft.


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:24
English to Czech
+ ...
:) Sep 27, 2010

Yes, but for me, there was always a problem on the way from the chair to the keyboard...

[Upraveno: 2010-09-27 09:27 GMT]


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MikeTrans
Germany
Local time: 03:24
Member (2005)
Italian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Precisions about my feedback Sep 27, 2010

Hi Stanislav,

thank you for your reply.
I have to give here further precisions about this post, especially because it 'seems' to be far from objective, as showing very negative results, at least on my system.
First, its title as "Test Results" is unfortunately very misleading. I've realized that, but changing it would have add more confusion. In a demo feedback you actually focus on things to be improved and you are not telling about things working at 100% like in a real test where you have to convince people.

My intention was never to convience anybody (this is not my job!), but to list the flaws hoping not to see them again in future versions of Trados. So, from that point of view my feedback was intended to be one-sided.

But there are positive improvements, be assured! Otherwise I wouldn't be that disappointed and wouldn't have lost my time in giving this feedback.
To mention 2 aspects I like, I agree that the new engine is much faster if all Trados settings are optimal; also the automatic text formating in a segment works most of the time, except when you paste text from concordance. This works much better than in SDLX or TagEditor (but who cares about TagEditor when using SDLX ?! Improving TagEditor was really not difficult!)

About Trados not being able to list the last TM entries, you said:
"this is a minor bug that needs to be removed". I'm happy you agree. By filtering you could get there to make editings/corrections but simple navigation should work as intended, jumping to the last entries is probably what you do most.

Why I would like to edit my TMs?
My dear Stanislav, how much little useless sentences do you believe are in a TM , like
" Procedure 0823B - A75, first sequence 45"
or things like that? I don't want to find them as a match or with the concordance. This has to be taken out. Or what about correcting "3This is the third.." after taking out all format tags with Olifant (format tags have nothing to do in a TM, only messing up the search by adding useless strings)?
What if I want to reorganize my TMs using other attribute criterias (very rarely done but may boost your performance after reorganizing very large TMs).
I could go on mentioning but I think you understand the - long term - importance.

You are saying it's my setup ? Let's take a look at it. I have a middle-class computer including
AMD 3200+ processor,
4 GB RAM,
Grafic device with 1MB, dedicated memory,
Windows XP SP2

I think if I'm able to run such grafic- and processor-demanding games like HALO2, or apps like Adobe Photoshop or else, then Trados 2009 should also run fine if using the default program's setup.
No, my dear Stanislas, the problems are not only related to my setup:
For example, I would HIGHLY welcome if Multiterm would definitely say Good Bye to the Java platform, being a pain in the ... , as the major problems with Multiterm are related to Java. I found out that I have to install and mess with very old Java versions in order to get Multiterm work correctly with Trados 2009, and not to speak about these old versions interfering with other applications.


Mike


[Edited at 2010-09-27 11:59 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-09-27 12:23 GMT]


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stepanraz
Local time: 04:24
Specialized TM-tool ABBYY Aligner Sep 28, 2010

one of the major issues being that TMX is NOT suited for any editing, thus making corrections or manipulations impossible without a third-party program that doesn't even exist for modern system and software requirements.


Actually there's such tool - ABBYY Aligner. Google on it - hope you like it. I do.

See the link for ABBYY Aligner Features

Screenshot of Aligner Interface


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:24
English to Czech
+ ...
Clarification Sep 28, 2010

Hi Mike,
thanks a lot for your clarifications which, I believe, need some comments. So, here they come:


About Trados not being able to list the last TM entries, you said:
"this is a minor bug that needs to be removed". I'm happy you agree. By filtering you could get there to make editings/corrections but simple navigation should work as intended, jumping to the last entries is probably what you do most.

Fully agree.

Why I would like to edit my TMs?
My dear Stanislav, how much little useless sentences do you believe are in a TM , like
" Procedure 0823B - A75, first sequence 45"
or things like that? I don't want to find them as a match or with the concordance. This has to be taken out. Or what about correcting "3This is the third.." after taking out all format tags with Olifant (format tags have nothing to do in a TM, only messing up the search by adding useless strings)?

My question was not why you would want to edit your TMs, but why you would want to do that in Excel or Access. That's a huge difference. Every TM needs maintenance now and then to keep it well-tuned (both linguistically and technically), but you can do that very easily in the Translation Memory View which features very elegant editing options. As regards tags, yes, some of them are useless, but removing them completely may reduce matching rates in further translations of similar documents.

What if I want to reorganize my TMs using other attribute criterias (very rarely done but may boost your performance after reorganizing very large TMs).
I could go on mentioning but I think you understand the - long term - importance.

Again, you can easily use the attribute filtering options in the Translation Memory View. Or do you have a different concept on your mind that I've missed?

You are saying it's my setup ? Let's take a look at it. I have a middle-class computer including
AMD 3200+ processor,
4 GB RAM,
Grafic device with 1MB, dedicated memory,
Windows XP SP2
I think if I'm able to run such grafic- and processor-demanding games like HALO2, or apps like Adobe Photoshop or else, then Trados 2009 should also run fine if using the default program's setup.

Yes, this setup should be more than enough. The problem may be that your system registry is cluttered with entries from games which (sorry to say that) have nothing to do in a system used for production purposes.

No, my dear Stanislas, the problems are not only related to my setup:
For example, I would HIGHLY welcome if Multiterm would definitely say Good Bye to the Java platform, being a pain in the ... , as the major problems with Multiterm are related to Java. I found out that I have to install and mess with very old Java versions in order to get Multiterm work correctly with Trados 2009, and not to speak about these old versions interfering with other applications.

In fact, I don't think Java is the real problem: all platform-independent CATs rely on that. In my opinion, the problem is the "deadly medley" (as I call it) of Java, .NET, and MS Jet (being a hybrid itself). That's potentially a very dangerous cocktail of technologies.

And one final comment:
My intention was never to convience anybody (this is not my job!), but to list the flaws hoping not to see them again in future versions of Trados. So, from that point of view my feedback was intended to be one-sided.

Your intention was definitely fine and should be appreciated by the software developer, but in order for it to be of any use, you should provide concrete examples. Vague statements like the "Maintenance menu (I think you meant the Translation Memory View) not allowing you to take any reasonable control of your TM" usually don't help much.
If you have any ideas for improvement, I believe the guys at SDL will be happy to see them listed on ideas.sdl.com.

Kind regards,

Stanislav

[Upraveno: 2010-09-28 08:37 GMT]


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MikeTrans
Germany
Local time: 03:24
Member (2005)
Italian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, registry problems in fact Sep 28, 2010

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:
The problem may be that your system registry is cluttered with entries


Yes, this is an issue I've somewhat underestimated in the past. I thought regular defragmenting was enough, but following your idea I now have tryed a good system/registry maintenance program at it came out that there were in fact a lot of useless entries and some errors in the registry.

I have spend much time in going through your website which actually contains a lot of help documents in the case of issues. I also found most of ones related to my problems.
I hope starting again a new demo program of Trados 2009 if possible and focus this time on the real working procedures (my concerns about editing a TM are only of secondary importance in this regard).

Again, Stanislav, thank you for your indepth feedback.

Mike

[Edited at 2010-09-28 09:24 GMT]


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:24
English to Czech
+ ...
A suggestion Sep 28, 2010

Hi Mike,
in fact, HDD defragmentation is a thing that is completely different from maintaining the Windows Registry.
What few people know is the fact that most registry cleaners/sweepers only make more mess. The only way of keeping your registry tuned is a clean Windows installation with as few subsequent appz installations and uninstallations as possible.

Just a hint...


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