Jun 10, 2016

memoQ 2015 - big improvements, ongoing issues

The pace of life is slow in the Algarve, but memoQ users would generally agree that big TMX imports to memoQ are a lot slower. Until now.

While on holiday I got a note from an occasional client, asking if I could take on the translation of a little Interessenabgleich for the next day. Not a problem I thought, though I had not yet imported the backup of my Big Mama TM with legal content onto the pokey Portuguese laptop I had dragged with me. With only 4 GB of RAM and the megatrojan known as Windows 10 it isn't much for crunching big data, but it is satisfyingly slow for demos and teaching classes, giving me plenty of time for questions and explanations while things load or refresh.

Nearly three hours later, the import was finished. So was I by that time; it was much too late to think of work any more. And the next morning, as I furiously worked to meet the deadline, a new update for memoQ appeared, which I was too muddle-headed to put off until I had delivered. After updating, not only was my license no longer recognized, I could not even boot the program to re-enter it! Welcome to Build 152! On another machine updated remotely, the update worked, but there was a funny conflict with Kilgray's standard template designations, causing the templates to be re-named.

The problems were sorted out by re-installing the build with a downloaded installation file from memoQ.com, and the job made it out on time. More glitches with term base editing and addition showed up later that day as I worked on another text. Grr.

Fortunately, Kilgray responds quickly to most issues, and the automated bug reporting features recently introduced are probably a great help in pinpointing troubles which users are too often reluctant to complain about. The next morning a patched version - Build 153 - was released. So far, so good with it.

The latest build introduces some interesting new features: among them are content extraction of more Microsoft Office object types, including equations (I've waited years for this!!!), for translation, faster TM imports, word count weighting, better tag handling, improved QA checks and some other things. Looking at all this will take some time, but it will be time well spent for my work purposes.

I was intrigued by the statement that "importing a TM with really many segments has just gotten up to 70 times faster", so I decided to test that with the file that bedeviled my evening recently. The problem with marketing hype is that it emphasizes exceptional cases and too seldom reflects what a typical work experience might be. And here too this is the case. The import of approximately 330,000 segments was completed in just under half an hour, about six times faster. Perhaps on my souped-up, RAM-rich machine in the office the difference might be more dramatic, but that is still a great improvement which will make me less hesitant to do maintenance on my large data sets.

memoQ 2015 has had a rockier road than any other version since the infamous memoQ Version 6 for which the code base was rewritten; a bit over a year since its release it still surprises me with inconvenient errors at inconvenient times, in contrast to my usual expectation of stability and reliability about four months after a major release. Actually, memoQ 2015 seemed to get to that point early in my working experience until about five months after its release, when in late autumn last year things went to Hell with SDL compatibility in many projects. Interesting new features, such as regex filters for the working grid and find/replace functions, continued to be added, but it all had a bit of a bleeding edge feel.

Now that memoQ has survived the awful transition to the me-too ribbon interface, it really is time to focus on stability and process reliability. The tool has become a major part of major corporate translation operations as well as the daily work of countless independent translators and we need stability to support our business more than we need new technotunes to whistle. I appreciate many of the features introduced in the past year very much, and I use a lot of them (the new keyboard shortcuts are my favorite for managing writes to termbases properly when I work), but I might trade it all if I can just be sure again that the software won't crash and burn me just before a translation is to be sent to a client.

I am confident that these matters will be addressed, but the matter of when is of critical importance for many. Issues of novelty versus reliability are hardly new in the software world; I have seen every variation of this for about 40 years now, and Kilgray generally, though not always, earns better marks than the competition. And even with the troubles that have beset memoQ 2015 (which have made it very desirable to keep older versions installed too) it is still the best - and most reliable - tool I have seen for the ways I work.


  1. Always a pleasure to read people who write well... you manage to write about a tecnological issue to sound like poetry... thank you for the content... thank you for the style... thank you for your opinion, Kevin!

    1. Thank you, Lucia :-) And how has the latest version of memoQ treated your team?


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