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Feb 1, 2010

memoQ 4.0 released on schedule

Last week, István Lengyel, reiterated that memoQ 4.0 would indeed be released on February 1st as originally announced. Since there were still a number of issues to be worked out with the beta, some memoQ users were concerned, fearing a fiasco similar to the release of the not-ready-for-prime-time SDL Trados Studio 2009 last summer. I wasn't terribly worried myself, as the most serious issue bugging me at the time was that the keyboard shortcut for a quick addition to the termbase wasn't working. Otherwise, version 4.0 was my production workhorse for most of the past two weeks, and it worked well. The occasions when I had to switch to version 3.6 for joint projects with my partner were a bit of a letdown, because the aesthetics of the new version are simply so much better.

Throughout a long, busy day I kept waiting for the announcement. It never came. I quit working about 10:30 p.m. after spending hours trying to deal with a TagEditor problem (which I finally solved by bringing the file into memoQ, which has better features for QA and troubleshooting). I took a break with my patient dogs and went for a long walk in the snow. When I came back, the announcement was in my inbox, sent by Gabor Ugray at 10:39 p.m. It read:
Dear beta testers,

I just announced memoQ 4.0's release on the Yahoo! Groups mailing list, but as you are possibly not following that, I'm sending the announcement directly to you as well. Thank you for the feedback you have been sending us over the last few weeks, it has been a great contribution and helped us improve memoQ a great deal.

Best regards,

Gábor

Hi All,

I am happy to announce that you can now download the first release build of the new memoQ 4.0 from the following link: http://kilgray.com/memoq/memoQSetup.4.0.15.exe. I can sense the vibrations of excitement in the air, so instead of touting the features of 4.0, I'll just share a few useful bits of information here.

-- memoQ 4.0 is designed to co-exist with 3.6 on the same PC. Just run the new installer, and you can pick which version to open. TMs and TBs are fully exchangeable, i.e., you can use the same ones in both products.

-- When you first start the new version, you will be prompted to upgrade your licenses as usual with point version upgrades. memoQ will then convert your legacy "settings" into new "resources."

-- You can open 3.6 projects in the new version, but after conversion these projects will no longer open in 3.6. memoQ 4.0 will not connect to legacy servers.

-- Just as the tool itself, the HTML help has been fundamentally reworked. So do share questions, concerns and impressions about both, here as well as in private mail. Improving the documentation is as important as improving memoQ itself; we are happy to see your engagement in both areas.

Download and enjoy!

BR,

Gábor

They made it on time. Once again Kilgray proves that they are a team you can depend on.

9 comments:

  1. This doesn't seem to be a general release though. There's no announcement to that effect on their website, no email from them, and no automatic update from the software itself. Looks like you scooped 'em.

    (I love the Word Verification you get on these comments - some of them are very suggestive. Today's puzzler is "doutycle". As in, "Some doutycles remain when the announcement comes from a 3rd party blog")

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  2. I had a quick look at the new release yesterday and it looks very exciting - I especially like the drag-n-drop and unprinted characters options, and improved 'pin edited segment to the middle'. However, I find the visual choices for the interface somewhat distracting. I would prefer a more muted working background (too bright now), the MQ 3.6-style color for the active segment number (orange in MQ 4) and more visible segment borders.

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  3. First impression: Two steps back.

    There's lots of unwanted busyness, including value-subtracted graphical flourishes, and support for Japanese has fallen back to where it was in the middle of Version 3. The thing took 10 minutes to download instead of the previous 5 minutes, if that.

    Now, where have I seen this before?

    Who tested the Japanese beta?

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  4. Other than the highly annoying bug that makes the keyboard shortcut for adding terms to the termbase quickly not work, I'm OK with the features. Of course I'm only looking at one European language pair, so I'll have to take Rod's word on Japanese.

    I partly agree with you o the colors, Arkadi. The general color scheme of light blue is quite good for me. It's a relaxing color, and some of the text I see is so bad that anything that helps me to relax without impairing my motor coordination is welcome. But some of the highlighting colors need to be toned down. I think we can customize all that in the settings somewhere.

    On the bright side, note that 4.0 and 3.6 can operate side-by-side. And share the same TMs and termbases. So the risk of installing and dabbling with the new version while the bugs get ironed out is fairly minimal. While I was beta testing by doing real projects, I ran into a number of quirks that forced me to go back to 3.6 to meet a deadline (all *those* are ironed out meanwhile). Although the projects themselves were not backward compatible this caused relatively little pain.

    You may have seen István's comments on the Yahoogroups list about releasing the software in its current good-but-not-perfect state. Having bee involved in pre-release testing of software myself a number of times (including stuff I developed in the 80s & 90s, about 30 education titles et alia for the Mac with original games in almost every one), I found his reasoning to be correct and his public admission of limitations to be very responsible and trust-inspiring.

    Let's make a comparison here. I don't want to bash SDL again at this point, because lately I'm seeing positive signs of life and want to revisit and review more of their technology. But look how the release of Studio 2009 was handled: your previous installation was basically hosed. In fact, I was a beta tester in the spring before the release, and I haven't bee able to use my SDL Trados 2007 Suite properly since then, because the other version screwed it up. Installation - or reinstallation - is a hassle for which I haven't bee able to find time. Reinstalling memoQ is so easy my dog could do it. In his sleep. With the new release, Kilgray isn't taking away anything you already have. They are offering an additional tool which, if not yet fully formed for your purposes, will be ready sooner because of the strategy followed here.

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  5. @Rod: What are the specific issues with Japanese and where does 4.0 fall short of 3.6?

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  6. With a Japanese PC, you have both Japanese and English input modes, and both you and the program can set which one to use. If the program sets it inappropriately, it can become crippling in short order. MemoQ 3.x had this problem until I and several other people complained. Then it was fixed, largely. Now every time you click outside the target window, the input switches to Japanese, so when you go back to the English pane and start typing "Consequently...", it comes out in a Japanese approximation of those characters.

    Another problem is with fonts. Select the wrong font for Japanese and when you try to enter a new term, the program crashed. They fixed that. But now, if you select the wrong font, the Japanese that appears in the target window is displayed as little 'font not found' squares. Not much use, that. Japanese fonts display English in a very ugly fashion, but that's what you're forced to look at in your English pane.

    Clearly, Kilgray didn't test for this stuff, and haven't dealt with these issues systemically from 3.x. I keep telling them they're too Eurocentric, and if they don't listen, they'll pay the price for it.

    4 looks a total mess to me, with functions and graphics that I don't need. I want to stay with 3, but with drag and drop text handling, a smooth alignment function, and intelligent term extraction.

    I understand that your collaborative needs are totally unlike mine, and in that respect, Asia is probably far behind Europe. So the sooner Kilgray put their development on Freelance and Corporate tracks, the better probably.

    Word Verification: 'essefat'. Yes, I think so. I wish it would slim down again.

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  7. I don't know whether this is the right forum to ask for advice, but I'll try anyway.

    I'm an experienced translator (freelance) but a novice in CAT.

    Under pressure from a couple of translation agencies I work for, I now realize it's time to take the plunge and buy a CAT tool.

    I tried Wordfast, but I came up against a couple of bugs and customer support failed to materialize. I've been using SDLX Lite for a while.

    So the dilemma is whether to go for Trados for guaranteed compatibility with the sources of my work, or others like memoQ or Deja Vu. I see that Trados not only is overpriced in the first place, they also make you pay through the nose for upgrades, and add-ons etc.

    My issues are:

    1. Compability - I take it both memoQ and Deja Vu can import/ export files in Microsoft Office and Open Office file formats, but would there be any problem in sending memoQ/Deja Vu files (including TM files) for processing by the agencies I deal with? You can see I don't know much about this.

    2. Ease of use - can I be up and running pretty quickly in either? As I mentioned, I have used SDLX Lite a fair bit and am reasonably familiar with the way that program works.

    3. Functionality - would I miss out on anything by choosing either memoQ or Deja Vu. I think I know the answer to this one.

    4. Multiple licences - I see I can buy an additional licence for use on one extra machine in Trados. Do either of the options I am asking about offer the possibility of using the software on 2 or 3 machines? I have a desktop which I may or may not upgrade within the year and will be acquiring a laptop within the next month or two.

    I hope someone out there can help me in making this difficult choice. Please post answers on this blog or e-mail me privately.

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  8. > Under pressure from a couple
    > of translation agencies I work
    > for, I now realize it's time to
    > take the plunge and buy a
    > CAT tool.

    Get a CAT tool for your own reasons, not somebody else's. There are many advantages for more types of projects than many realize, but they are also a handicap for some things. Don't spend a dime until you are comfortable with basic operations of the tool you choose.

    > I tried Wordfast

    I used to have a WF license. I let it lapse. I'll never miss it.

    > I've been using SDLX Lite
    > for a while.

    Trados Studio 2009, memoQ and DVX among others use more or less the same workspace paradigm as the old SDLX, so all three would be reasonable options to consider. Possibly others too that I don't know. Look at the Translators' Training site that Jost does: a modest investment (USD 35?) gives you a pretty comprehensive comparative overview. Think of it as a incredibly cheap consulting hour. Or 100 hours. (A link to it is here.)

    >... the dilemma is whether to go
    > for Trados for guaranteed compatibility
    > with the sources of my work

    No guarantees at all. The ew Trados isn't fully compatible with the old Trados AFAIK, it's more compatible with the competition in many senses. The market is wide open at the moment. Think horse and carriage to motor vehicle transition. Go read up on the subject of interoperability.


    > I see that Trados not only is
    > overpriced in the first place

    Bullshit. A investment is what you make of it if it is basically a sound tool. I don't like Trados and I prefer other options, but I would not call it overpriced for the filters and other capabilities it delivers. It is more like "under-supported" or focused o interests that have little to do with freelancers. But I can make a Trados investment pay off in a bad week. I just have more fun working faster and cleaner with other tools. Please note here that my comments refer to older versions of Trados through the beta for the current release. I am not up to date on improvements made since June. Yet.

    > Compability

    Go read my old posts o this subject. Lots of info there which I see no point in repeating here. There are right ways and wrong ways to go about all you asked.

    > 2. Ease of use - can I be up and running pretty quickly in either?

    Tough one. I usually need at least 15 minutes to get someone trained up to the power user stage. Some busy translators have trouble finding that time.

    > 3. Functionality - would I miss out on anything by choosing either memoQ or Deja Vu?

    You most definitely would. Pain. Lots of it. If you are a masochist, memoQ and DVX are the wrong choices for you.

    4. Multiple licences

    Ask the company reps. DVX is easy. Install anywhere, move your USB dongle. The others have other ways of dealing that are less straightforward.

    > I hope someone out there can
    > help me in making this difficult choice.

    Difficult choices are stuff like where to study and whom to marry. Maybe. A CAT tool? No way. Any one of the majors will repay your investment in short order. Besides, except for Trados you can try everything out for a month or more for free. Rumor has it that SDL is afraid that nobody would buy their software if they actually got to test it first, so they are pretty much alone AFAIK in offering no demo. I hope that changes, because I think with the latest version (or maybe future versions given the general direction) SDL employees will soon dare to admit in public which company they work for ;-)

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  9. Thanks for your prompt, detailed and even-handed reply!

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