Sep 15, 2009

What DVX users are saying about MemoQ

Some snippets from today's Yahoogroups digest for the dejavu-l list:
I've just added my name to the group buy too - I don't much like the idea of having to get to grips with another CAT, but do want to encourage developers who listen to translators' needs, and everybody seems quite satisfied with MemoQ for the time being. I do love DVX (compared with Trados), but I do run into a few bugs occasionally and have also been waiting for their new release. I tend to share other users' reservations regarding Powerling...

Same here.

As Frank mentioned the possibility, I contacted Proz to inquire about the TGB for MemoQ and got the following info:

I have extended the time to add your name on the TGB list.
Please feel free to add your name here on this memoQ TGB.

The sale will close on 21 September or when 40 buyers are added to the list.

And so I added my name as no. 29 on the list.
And then less than an hour later...
There are now 32 people signed up, so maybe we will get the 8 more needed.
I wonder if Atril is paying any attention to all these DV users wanting to buy MemoQ.
Five minutes later:
make that 33.
One DVX user was desperate enough to get MemoQ with active development and real support that he commented shortly afterward with regard to the possibility of the magic number of 40 orders not being achieved for the ProZ group purchase:
If not, I'm prepared to buy two.
Over the last few days, I've been shocked to see how much of the message content on the Déjà Vu user support forum has focused on the desirability of purchasing MemoQ, because Atril is not moving at the pace required to meet the needs of its very loyal user base. I too am an enthusiastic user of Déjà Vu software from Atril, and I can bore people all evening with stories of how that software has helped my business over the past decade, how the company founder once saved my bacon at 3 am by fixing a corrupted file for me and so on. Most long-term DV users have stories like mine. The problem is that we are speaking of the olden, golden days. Ain't much been happenin' these past five years or so. Waiting for a new DVX release seems almost more absurd than waiting for Godot. It shouldn't be this way.

There was much fanfare about the new marketing and support relationship with PowerLing, and after I was publicly critical of the lack of anything apparently useful coming of it, I received a nice phone call from that Atril partner asking me to give it all a chance and be "patient". Well, all DVX users have a lot of practice with patience in recent years. The real problem, however, is not PowerLing's competence or lack thereof, it's the dearth of communication and lack of visible progress from Atril itself. A company has to work hard to destroy the trust of a loyal user base like Atril has (had?). Imagine the hordes of Apple fanatics suddenly finding religion with Microsoft or some geeky Linux environment. Imagine Toyota owners lining up to buy GM cars. Not even in an alternate universe. But this seems to be the direction that things are headed with Atril if the long-overdue releases don't start happening. Go ahead, charge us upgrade fees. Please. Just release the damned software at last so we have to be less creative with workarounds as the release versions get left farther behind in the technology race.

MemoQ 3.6 now offers the equivalent of DV's autoassemble feature. External views with exportable comments are coming soon. Inclusion of unsegmented content from Trados jobs (so dates and numbers can be handled) has been around for a while, the same for the sophisticated TM-driven segmentation technology that enables better leverage that you'll see from any other CAT tool on the market that I am aware of. DVX still has a few advantages, but with the Hun(garians) at the gate and the walls crumbling, it's time to mount a real defense of market share, not some silly "I Love" slogans like PowerLing has offered. Real technology. Real progress. Let's see a healthy competition between two great companies who can cheerfully toast each other as they carve fat chunks out of the SDL's market share.

This evening there are 38 of 40 units claimed in the MemoQ group buy at ProZ. Most of the final push (maybe all of it) is from DVX users. Atril, please wake up.


  1. However, it bugs me when MemoQ send out uninformative emails with an SDL-type look, including the unrealistic, racially inclusive stock photography.

    I always respond with a "Cut out the marketing, and go heavy on the usable info" email.

    I hope other users will join me in trying to maintain proper discipline in this regard. Otherwise, I fear that things will eventually slide the way of Trados and DV.

  2. I've been with Atril since DV3 and I bought MemoQ through a Proz group buy in June because the price made it worth getting just to experiment with. I wanted to see how it coped with Finnish case endings in the term base. The answer is extremely well and I now use MemoQ for all my Finnish-English jobs. For Swedish I am sticking with DVX because at the moment its autoassemble is still better and faster, and switching from DVX's single memory for everything approach to MemoQ's separate memories for different clients would be a pain.

    It's so disappointing that Atril aren't coming up with upgrades and seizing their chance to grab market share from Trados.

  3. It seems that all units are gone now.

    As with many other CAT software, MemoQ doesn't run on Linux so I can't even try it. The last time I did (which was when I still had a Windows computer, about two or three years ago) I was really disappointed by MemoQ.

  4. @Sonja: I followed MQ for a year before it improved to the point that I could do serious work with it. A number of DVX users became enthused about it before version 3.5, but when I looked at it there were simply too many features missing for me to work with anything close to the efficient workflows in DVX. Version 3.5 was the first that was really worth my time. And I was quite surprised to discover that I was a bit more productive with it in many cases and had wonderful overviews of complex projects with many files. The latest version (3.6) adds a few more nice thing, but the killer app I am waiting for is 4.x. If Kilgray keeps its promises to deliver certain features by the end of the year, then any remaining gaps with DVX that I care about will be closed. In certain areas, such as server technology for agencies and companies, Kilgray is way ahead of Atril.

  5. Hi Kevin,

    Rather than letting rip about Atril here, I think it would be better for you to get in touch with them directly - even by phone - and tell them your opinion, which seems to be shared by lots of DVX users right now. What a shame Atril's success with DVX's going to pot!

    I get the messages people put on the dejavu-l forum every day (and have written the odd one myself every now and again, including a critical one about PowerLing), but I really wonder whether all this is getting through to Atril - after all, they're the ones who ought to be reading them attentively and then responding.

    What's the use of all the aggro if they're not listening?



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  6. Carl wrote:
    > Rather than letting rip about
    > Atril here, I think it would be
    > better for you to get in touch
    > with them directly

    Been there, done that through various channels. After many months of asking I managed to get an API manual from Daniel, and from time to time I have an interesting exchange with a developer or other employee. But ultimately it leads to nothing. When Atril's Community Manager Loek van Kooten buys a MemoQ license you know the situation isn't pretty. Loek is an excellent communicator and has summarized and communicated user concerns directly to Atril for some time. Most of us have done so in one way or another, and Atril employees have always been an active part of the dejavu-l list. Really, Atril is by no means short of information regarding its users' concerns. And I'm sure at least some of my extremely long, detailed conversation with PowerLing got back to them.

    Atril has been a great team in the past with a superb product. In some respects it still beats MQ hands down, especially with regard to performance with large TMs. The hierarchical classification system which is used in match selection is one of a number of powerful features not offered by MQ (which has other powerful features not offered by DVX). Which package is "best" at the moment is really a matter of how one works.

    As the feature sets converge in usefulness, however, the real issues are support and ongoing development. Atril was once simply legendary in this regard. Since you've only been using DVX since last December (if I remember correctly), you haven't experienced all the broken promises of releases announced, then never made available. DVX is super software. It is worth paying for upgrades or add-ons to it. But for whatever reason, our Spanish friends choose to leave the money on the table and let us worry about our future competitiveness.

    > What's the use of all the
    > aggro if they're not listening?

    Very simple. Make potential users aware of what is happening on the market. Many people need what CAT tools offer, and many SDL customers are looking for real alternatives with real support. Discussing these problems openly is not intended as an attack against Atril, a company which will always have my gratitude for its past contributions. The intent is to help other freelancers make informed decisions. I am just as critical about Kilgray and MemoQ when I think things are not as they should be. It just doesn't look that way, because for the most part they are getting the things that matter to me right.

  7. Hello,
    I was reading your comments about MemoQ because I signed up for the free webinar tomorrow, Monday and wanted to know more about it.
    I am a freelance translator and I don't work in a team. I work solo on 99% of my projects. Would you recommend standard or pro? Does the standard allow users to create an unlimited number of TMs and term bases, and do the translation memories really pick up words already translated in the past?
    Thanks for your advice in advance!

  8. Definitely the Pro version. "Standard" is a hamstrung waste of time for a translator working to earn a living. It's really more suited to students and dabblers.

    Check the Kilgray web site for the current list of features. I haven't updated my knowledge yet, and there have been a number of important changes.


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