Have you used XML cloud and what is your opinion of it?
Thread poster: xxxLucyPatterso
xxxLucyPatterso
English
Feb 16, 2012

Several times recently, I have been asked by different agencies to use this "XML Cloud" tool for projects. I usually start the project optimistically, but am fed up an hour later due to the lagging, technical faults and those annoying tags which you have to add to your target text (I think this might be the same in Trados? - what a time-consuming chore).

Anyway, I have concluded that I really dislike "XML Cloud" because it means my projects take 20 times as long and my stress levels increase due to the lagging and other annoying features of this tool.

I usually work with Wordfast which is simple, fast and gets the job done. I cannot see what XML offers that Trados and Wordfast do not - apart from that the translator does not even get to keep their own TM (I guess you could create one in a long-winded way - that is if you have any time left after using XML).

Looking around on the internet it appears I am the only translator who feels this way. One of the agencies mentioned they will be managing the majority of their projects in this way in the future - am I going to be left behind while everyone else uses XML?

I am interested to know what others think!


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XTM Cloud Feb 17, 2012

Hi Lucy,

Thank you for your comments. I am the Technical Architect of XTM and I am always very interested in user feedback. Please could you expand on what technical faults you have experinced. The best way to report these and any performance issues that you encounter is to email support@xtm-intl.com and we will respond immediately. We are not aware of any technical faults in XTM.

Did you have any training in XTM? We conduct 3 free training webinars each week on all aspects of XTM and you can gain certification by attending these. We have designed XTM to be intuative and very simple to use, but training always makes life that much easier.

We are dedicated to making XTM fast and responsive and with each release we add improvements in these areas. Where are you located and what is your Internet connection like?

Best Regards,

Andrzej Zydroń CTO XTM International


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BabelOn-line
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:56
English to French
+ ...
XTM: a mixed experience Mar 7, 2012

Hello there


First, i need to admit that my knowledge of TMs other than XTM is very limited. So it will be difficult for me to assess XTM against other TMs. And i am not even a proficient user of XTM.

I mainly translate magazines, so we have very few fuzzy matches and TMs are not a priority in our trade.

As a Mac user, I have used OmegaT for a few projects where there were more repeats. I use XTM specifically for an agency producing a magazine in InDesign format. So that limits the scope of my appreciation of XTM to a fairly small domain.

Here are my 10p worth of the proverbial stuff:

1/ XTM is good for agencies as it simplifies their workflow: stick your source on line, hit a button and bingo, your whole team of linguists receives an email notification that they have work to do. Not great for human contact, but ruthlessly efficient.

2/ For agencies working on magazines, it has the added bonus of handling InDesign files directly. Generally speaking, the workflow management aspect looks like a real asset for XTM, agency-side, as they can upload idml, html or anything they can think of and simply press GO!.

3/ This in turns spells misery for the linguist receiving InDesign based files (i.e. compared to work on Word files), since they have no control on the segmenting.

I had masses of wordings ending up looking very much like {1}H{2}E{3}L{4}L{5}O{5}. Not ideal, but i don't think other TMs would fare much better.

4/ We are usually asked to try to keep it short, roughly to the source character length. XTM makes this really hard (but so would any TM for that matter)

5/ Cloud based architecture: I have a reliable and fast Internet connection and the fact XTM constantly "saves" your work in the cloud is definitely a bonus. XTM feels very secure in that respect.

6/ I found the QA (quality assurance - or spellcheck in plain English) absolutely useless, missing typos and howlers in French. That's a problem. Also, i had a Word style red dotted line underneath all the target (supposedly something to do with the input language) taht makes proofreading on screen hell.

7/ You cannot print out or save your target text into a simple file to proofread / run a check outside XTM (you can get a bilingual PDF with two narrow columns in a ridiculously illegible font). Not ideal

8/ I found that the Workbench (linguist interface) is well designed but has a few flaws. You need to change page to access quite a few useful functions (word count, texts that were already translated). The side by side Source-Target quickly makes the screen look cluttered.

9/ XTM is fast. You don't feel like you are working on a browser, which is quite an achievement. It is fiddly at times (say, when you try to place your cursor at a given position), but nothing you could not live with.

So I say a mixed experience but that probably only apply to my scope of work, which is probably not mainstream stuff for people who routinely need a TM.

It works cross platform (PC, Mac, ...) which is a huge bonus, it is cheap, you do not have to upgrade it every 3 month, and feels secure.

Overall, i think the appeal of XTM is more for agencies / work groups: a single point of entry for all their translations. No more emailing source all across the board. That makes sense. The downside is that it is a one size fits all for the linguists.


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XTM Intl
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:56
Thank you for sharing your thoughts Mar 8, 2012

Dear BabelOn-line,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about XTM and thank you for pointing out the greatest benefits of the tool, i.e. its security, stability, efficiency and low cost.

We would like to address the couple of "flaws" that you have mentioned.

1. We are usually asked to try to keep it short, roughly to the source character length. XTM makes this really hard (but so would any TM for that matter)

Limiting character count in the target language is on our roadmap. As it has been repeatedly suggested by our customer, we will be working on implementing it in the near future.

2. I had a Word style red dotted line underneath all the target (supposedly something to do with the input language) taht makes proofreading on screen hell.

The red dotted line is the browser spell checking warning. Mozilla Firefox does that - this basically means that you have two independent spell checking processes - XTM QA and Firefox one. You can disable the Firefox spell check in the browser settings if you wish. This is done in Tools->Options->Advanced->General->Check my spelling as I type

3. You cannot print out or save your target text into a simple file to proofread / run a check outside XTM (you can get a bilingual PDF with two narrow columns in a ridiculously illegible font). Not ideal

The last option in the "preview menu" allows you to "download the target file". This will show you the preview of the document under translation in the original file format.

4. I need to change page to access quite a few useful functions e.g.word count

The metrics is available from the left hand side tool bar (the pie chart icon) and it opens in a pop up, so it doesn't close the Worknbench at the same time. When you close the metrics window you will find yourself in the same place that you left.

5. The downside is that it is a one size fits all for the linguists.

We try to do our best to make XTM as user fiendly as possible. The general design is the same for all of the users, however we allow for a great deal of customization, especially in the Translator's Workbench (e.g. changing keyboard shortcuts). We will make the QA configurable for the translators in the near future as well.

Please let us know if we can be of any further help.

Best regards,
XTM Support


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BabelOn-line
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:56
English to French
+ ...
Thx for your reply Mar 15, 2012

Thanks for your answer.

Well noted answers for points 1, 2.

Re point 3: reason i am translating using XTM in the first place is that, like most translators, i do not have the InDesign application. At £500 + a pop for very occasional work in this format, i simply don't need it. Therefore, saying that i can save my target file as an InDesign file does not help, as i will not be able to open the file.

Saving the target only as a rich text would be simple. Should people want to stick it in Word or whatever they use, they could do so.

Re point 4: i am not talking about having the general metrics of a document, but to be able to do word count on whichever section i need. It is all very nice to know how many words in a doc, but that's not sufficient a tool when you need to work at the "right length".

Re point 5: customization by allowing us to choose the sequence of shortcuts is something, but that's no a big deal. Being able to organise the source/target windows, giving some degree of choice to the translator re segmenting would really change things. But then, you have to work around the abilities of a browser, not of an home-baked executable. That always is going to be a fine balance between "universal, works on any browser"/“customisable and more powerful but on a proprietary format”

Best!


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XTM Intl
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:56
Always happy to receive feedback Mar 16, 2012

Hi,

I see your point with the preview function and would agree that it might be useful. Similarly with customizing the Workbench.

We are always very keen to hear what our customers have to say about XTM and we try to react accordingly given the financial and time constraints. Changes that would be major (such as organizing the source/target window) and with possible impact on the rest of the system are chargeable and involve some time for testing them as well. Let me also mention here that the Administrator of your XTM acocunt is able to customize the segmentation rules prior to project creation.

I am still not 100% sure what you mean by doing "word count on whichever section i need", so I can't suggest any possible solution for the moment...

Best regards,
XTM Intl Support


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BabelOn-line
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:56
English to French
+ ...
Word count function Mar 20, 2012

When we work on magazines, we use not only the word count but also the character count functions of Word all the time.

Say we have a text box in the layout of a magazine and this text box cannot be extended. Text box contains say, 250 words and 1300 characters (inc. spaces) in English source.

We are often requested to try to hit the same word count (character count, in fact) , so that our translation fits in the box with a minimum overmatter. We try to hit 1300/1350 chars, as sub editors can normally tweak a 5% inflation fairly easily.

The natural expansion of e.g. French is around 10%: if you don't know the character count in this specific textbox to start with - and if you have no way of tracking the length of your source – you will tend to get a French version that's 10% longer in terms of chars.

With 10%+ inflation, the language sub-editor has to tweak and sometimes rewrite quite a lot of the text and he starts hating the translator big time.

Hence the idea that you need to be able to know the word/character count not simply in a segment, but in a "unit" that is relevant to the job at hand (it can be e.g. the text box, it can be a long series of paragraphs in the text body, ...)

That's easily done in Word.

That's near impossible when working on segments. You cannot systematically match the length of each segment while translating - it would take ages and the style and flow suffers.

So what you would need would be a character count that can be set on user-defined segments - and just as importantly, a segmenting process that does not automatically define the sentence as being the basic segment.

I hope this makes sense. I was in touch with one of the guys at XTM, you have my details, i am happy to discuss it with you if you think it can be of any help.

Cheers

Jean


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XTM Intl
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:56
re: Word count function Mar 21, 2012

Dear Jean,

Thank you for further explanation.

It seems that this would be a customer specific request.
Once you subscribe to XTM, please contact sales@xtm-intl.com to discuss your licence requirements individually. We cannot be more specific at this point, since our developers have to look into this and provide reasonable time and financial estimate for adding the new feature.

Best regards,
Support XTM Intl


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