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Nov 4, 2019

Finding a file in some random memoQ project


One of the nice things about new users of any software is that they approach it without the ingrained habits of routine users of that software and often ask useful questions that the rest of us might not have considered. One such question was posed today by Aloísio Ferreira, a translation student at FCSH/NOVA in Lisbon. He thought it would be useful if there were a function to help translators or project managers locate a file in some memoQ project no longer remembered. I can see the point of this; on a number of occasions in the past, I have clicked around through various projects trying to do just such a thing, and I had not considered any better way of achieving my objective.

As many of you already know, the Windows Explorer is able in some cases to index and search the content of files, and I knew that the majorVersionStore.info files in the project subfolders for memoQ included the names of files. So I went through the steps needed to ensure that the file contents would be indexed as plain text. All quite unnecessary it turned out.

Feeling very sophisticated after updating which folders were to be indexed, I tested the idea in the folder window for my memoQ projects, which contains all the subfolders with the name of each project. As you can see from the results in the screenshot above, the projects also contain placeholder files (0 bytes in size) with the names of the files imported to translate.

So the short answer to Aloísio's question is that no new feature programming is needed in memoQ; simply go to your projects folder and do a search with part of the filename (use quotes if there are spaces in the name, as in the example above), and the path for the files in the results will show you which projects have what you ate looking for.

From there you can use part of the project name in the filter field of the memoQ Dashboard to find the project you need, open it and work with the file in some way.


And of course once you have opened the project, if there are a lot of files in the list of Project home > Translations, there is another filter you can use to zero in on the one(s) you want quickly:

This screenshot is from a project with two target languages, created by the useful PM Edition of memoQ

What good is all this? It depends. I usually go on a hunt like this if I am given a new version of some file I translated years ago, and I can't remember where it is to use the X-translate feature so the pretranslation will use and lock any unchanged blocks of text from the old version. This can also be used (indirectly) to figure out which heavy resources (attached to the old project) may be useful for other work. I'm sure you can come up with half a dozen reasons of your own if you think about it.

Nov 3, 2019

Yahoogroups is dead. Check out groups.io and the migrated memoQ peer support!

A few weeks ago I saw a notice that Yahoo is taking down its old groups facility, which, back in the day, was like a jazzier version of the old listserves. At the beginning of my career as a commercial translator, I found the translation-related groups there to be enormously helpful, and I met many colleagues who were mentors to me and remain friends to this day. Unfortunately, some years ago, Yahoo reorganized the interface of the groups feature so that I often could not figure out how to use it any more, so aside from occasionally peeking at mailed digests of the content in half a dozen groups, I haven't participated actively in many years.

So I really wasn't sad to learn that YahooGroups are about to be axed. However, the need for better organized sites of this kind has hardly gone away. Although for many organizations and interests, Facebook has come to dominate group communications, Facebook sucks like a Kremlin vacuum cleaner from Hell when it comes to managing content for user advice and Help. Even users who are not lazy find it difficult to search for solutions already posted, so one tends to see the same help requests every week, sometimes the same issue more than once in a day. The archives of a good listserve are usually much better sources of help.

So I was pleased to hear that the YahooGroup for memoQ peer-to-peer support had migrated to a new platform at https://groups.io/g/memoQ/. And I hope other good CAT tool support groups do the same (feel free to post any such links in the comments).

Even if Facebook were not the cesspit of fake news, political and social manipulation that threatens the stability of so many countries around the world as well as the physical safety of everyone (live streaming mass slaughter isn't my idea of fun on a Saturday night, but then I am a bit old-fashioned), it is unlikely that it will ever become a good platform for the kind of technical information sharing among professional peers that we need. YahooGroups met that need once, and I think that these new incarnations on Groups.io may do a better job with less (or no?) trashy ad spam.

If you are a memoQ user, I encourage you to join the new group if you were not already on the old YahooGroups platform. (If you were, you have probably already been migrated by the helpful moderators.) Contribute your expertise, and ask the questions that need asking and answering for all of us to move forward with the technical challenges of the tools we use.

Oct 29, 2019

Bilingual EU legislation the easy way in #xl8


Translators of European languages based in the EU and many others deal often with citations of EU legislation or need to consult relevant EU legislation for terminology in their translations. One popular source of information for that is the EUR-LEX website, which provides a convenient archive of legislation and related information, with the possibility of multilingual text displays, as seen here:


Some years ago, I published a description of how data from these multilingual EUR-LEX displays can be transferred to translation memories or other corpora for reference purposes, and more recently I produced a video showing this same procedure. But some people don't like the paragraph-level alignment format of the EUR-LEX displays, and these can also occasionally be seriously out of sync for some reason, as in this example (or worse):


Now I don't find that much of a nuisance when I use memoQ LiveDocs, because I can simply view the full bilingual document context and see where the corresponding information really is (kind of like leaving alignments in memoQ uncorrected until you actually find a use for the data and determine that the effort is worthwhile), but if you plan to feed that aligned data to a translation memory, it's a bit of a disaster. And many people prefer data aligned at the sentence level anyway.

Well, there is a simple way to get the EU legislation texts you want, aligned at the sentence level, with the individual bitexts ready to import into a translation memory, LiveDocs corpus or other reference tool. See that document number above with the large red arrow pointing to it? That's where you start....

Did you know that much of the information available in EUR-LEX is also available in the publicly available DGT translation memories? These are sentence-level alignments. But most people go about using this data in a rather klutzy and unhelpful way. The "big data" craze some years ago had a lot of people trying to load this information into translation memories and other places, usually with miserable results. These include:

  • the inability to load such enormous data quantities in a CAT tool's TM without having far more computer RAM than most translators ever think they'll need;
  • very slow imports, some apparently proceeding on a geological time scale; 
  • data overload - so many concordance hits that users simply can't find the focused information they need; and
  • system performance degradation, with extremely sluggish responses in a wide variety of tasks.
Bulk data is for monkeys and those who haven't evolved professionally much beyond that stage. Precision data selection makes more sense, and enables better use of the resources available. But how can you achieve that precision? If I want the full bilingual text of EU Regulation No. 575/2013 in some language pair, for example, with sentence-level alignment, how can I find that quickly in the vast swamp of DGT data?

Years ago, I published an article describing how it is better to load the individual TMX files found in the downloadable ZIP archives from the DGT into LiveDocs so that the full document context can be seen from the concordance searches. What I didn't mention in that article is that the names of those individual TMX files correspond to the document numbers in EUR-LEX

Armed with that knowledge, you can be very selective in what data and how much you load from the DGT collection. For example, if you organize the data releases in folders by year...


... and simply unpack the ZIP files in each year's folder...


... each folder will contain TMX files...


... the names of which correspond to the document number found in EUR-LEX. So a quick search in Windows Explorer or by other means can locate the exact document you want as a TMX file ready to import into your CAT tool:


These TMX files typically contain 24 EU languages now, but most CAT tools will filter just the language pair you want. So the same file can usually give you Polish+French, German+English, Portuguese+Greek or whatever combination you need among the languages present.

I still prefer to import my TMX data into a LiveDocs corpus in memoQ, and there I can use the feature to import a folder structure, and in the import dialog, I simply write the name of the file I want, and all other files (thousands of them) are promptly excluded:


After I enter the file name in the Include files field, I click the Update button to refresh the view and confirm that only the file I want has been selected. Depending on where in memoQ you do the import, you may have to specify the languages (Resource Console) to extract or not (in a project, where the languages are already set). Of course, the data can also be imported to a translation memory in memoQ, but that is an inferior option, because then it is not possible to read the reference document in a bilingual view as you can in a LiveDocs corpus; only isolated segments can be viewed in the Concordance or Translation results pane.

How you work with these data and with what tools is up to you, but this procedure will provide you with a number of options for better data selection and improved access to the reference data you may need for EU legislation without getting stuck in the morass of millions of translation units in a performance-killing megabomb TM.


Sep 26, 2019

10 Tips to Term Base Mastery in memoQ! (online course)

Note: the pilot phase for this training course has passed, free enrollment has been closed, and the content is being revised and expanded for re-release soon... available courses can be seen at my online teaching site: https://transtrib-tech.teachable.com/
In the past few years I have done a number of long webinars in English and German to help translators and those involved in translation processes using the memoQ environment work more effectively with terminology. These are available on my YouTube channel (subscribe!), and I think all of them have extensive hotlinked indexes to enable viewers to skip to exactly the parts that are relevant to them. A playlist of the terminology tutorial videos in English is available here.

I've also written quite a few blog posts - big and small - teaching various aspects of terminology handling for translation with or without memoQ. These can be found with the search function on the left side of this blog or using the rather sumptuous keyword list.

But sometimes just a few little things can get you rather far, rather quickly toward the goal of using terminology more effectively in memoQ, and it isn't always easy to find those tidbits in the hours of video or the mass of blog posts (now approaching 1000). So I'm trying a new teaching format, inspired in part by my old memoQuickie blog posts and past tutorial books. I have created a free course using the Teachable platform, which I find easier to use than Moodle (I have a server on my domain that I use for mentoring projects), Udemy and other tools I've looked at over the years.

This new course - "memoQuickies: On Better Terms with memoQ! 10 Tips toward Term Base Mastery" - is currently designed to give you one tip on using memoQ term bases or related functions each day for 10 days. Much of the content is currently shared as an e-mail message, but all the released content can be viewed in the online course at any time, and some tips may have additional information or resources, such as videos or relevant links, practice files, quality assurance profiles or custom keyboard settings you can import to your memoQ installation.

These are the tips (in sequence) that are part of this first course version:
  1. Setting Default Term Bases for New Terms
  2. Importing and Exporting Terms in Microsoft Excel Files
  3. Getting a Grip on Term Entry Properties in memoQ
  4. "Fixing" Term Base Default Properties
  5. Changing the Properties of Many Term Entries in a Term Base
  6. Sharing and Updating Term Bases with Google Sheets
  7. Sending New Terms to Only a Specific Ranked Term Base
  8. Succeeding with Term QA
  9. Fixing Terminology in a Translation Memory
  10. Mining Words with memoQ
There is also a summary webinar recorded to go over the 10 tips and provide additional information.
I have a number of courses which have been developed (and may or may not be publicly visible depending on when you read this) and others under development in which I try to tie together the many learning resources available for various professional translation technology subjects, because I think this approach may offer the most flexibility and likelihood of success in communicating necessary skills and knowledge to an audience wider than I can serve with the hours available for consulting and training in my often too busy days.

I would also like to thank the professional colleagues and clients who have provided so much (often unsolicited) support to enable me to focus more on helping translators, other translation project participants and translation consumers work more effectively and reduce the frustrations too often experienced with technology.




Aug 28, 2019

The challenge of light resource updates with many projects in memoQ

"Templates" take two forms in memoQ: the configuration option for equipping new projects with relevant resources in an automated way to save time and avoid forgetting important references or other information, which was introduced several years ago, and the older sort of "template" - a configured, existing project for a particular client or subject area - where new documents are simply added and old ones archived or deleted as time goes by. I use both approaches and still tend to rely more on the latter practice, as many do.

One colleague who is a frequent source of inspiration for new workflow approaches often mentions that her projects and support resources number in the hundreds, so many ideas I have for managing my own more limited set these days are not practical for her work. But recently someone mentioned casually that it was going to be difficult to update segmentation rules in the 1500 or so projects that her team maintains to support in-house translation needs in their firm. Oh, my God. Yes, that would take some time following the usual approach of going to Project home > Settings and selecting a new resource in even 10% of that number of projects.

There is a better way. In fact, this way will work with the desktop editions typically used by individuals as well as with memoQ server installations of any size, and a "mass update" of project light resources can be performed in very little time - less than it usually takes me to finish a cup of coffee in the morning. My recent article on memoQ light resource defaults and how to change them essentially points the way, but more details, now tested with a memoQ server as well, are given here.

Light resources in a desktop edition are typically stored in the paths
C:\ProgramData\MemoQ\Resources\Defaults for default resources and
C:\ProgramData\MemoQ\Resources\Local for customized (user-created) resources, unless that path was changed (as many do if they deal with a lot of files with long names and need to shorten paths to avoid errors when the file and path names together approach the 256 character limit imposed by Microsoft Windows).

Server installations follow more or less the same logic:
C:\ProgramData\MemoQ Server\Resources\Defaults for default resources and
C:\ProgramData\MemoQ Server\Resources\Local for custom ones, unless changed as noted above.

Note that the ProgramData folder is a hidden folder by default in Windows, so you may need to change your folder settings to view it.


Light resources stored in both the Defaults and custom (Local) folders are saved without the MemoQResource header one sees in an exported light resource file. Compare the following two screenshots of the same resource in the external editing and maintenance file (with XML comments to help me keep track of what things mean) and the stored file after importing it into memoQ:

My master resource file for German segmentation, maintained with comments in Notepad++
Imported custom resource file for German segmentation. All comments are stripped by memoQ.

So, what should you do if you have 200 projects for your personal work with a memoQ desktop edition or 1500 projects on your memoQ server, and you have a new segmentation rules file, for example, which you want to apply to all of your projects? Simply
  1. Copy all the text beginning with the XML declaration

    all the way down to the end of the file.
  2. Find the default or local resource to update in the paths described above (or in your own custom path) and open the file in a text editor.
  3. Select all the text in the installed resource file, and paste the text of the new resource over it, replacing the content completely.
  4. Save and close the file.
The changes to your default or custom resource will be active immediately. No need to restart memoQ or close and re-open any projects.

In my case, with the German segmentation file given as an example, I would paste that new content into the resource files for generic German (ger), as well as German from Germany (ger-DE), Austria (ger-AT) and Switzerland (ger-CH). No need to mess with the awful integrated resource editors in memoQ, because I keep a master resource file with explanatory comments to help me maintain it better outside of memoQ, and the segmentation I want will be the same for all language variants.

This method does nothing to disturb the content of existing projects nor does it affect their stability in any way. This should work with any memoQ light resources. Thus, for example, an IT department could plan bulk updates even of local resources like keyboard shortcut or web search settings given the necessary access to user drives on a network.

The approach that many follow of deleting old resources and importing new ones with the same names won't work; this can play Hell with project settings, because memoQ notices that a resource used in projects has been removed, and it does not replace the old assignment with a new one, even if that new one has the same name. I played that game with many variations to see if I could trick memoQ into substituting the same-named resource in my project and had no success at all. Don't go there. Use the process I described above.


Aug 26, 2019

Exporting compatible XLIFF (XLF) bilingual files from memoQ


Here we go again. Although memoQ is the undisputed leader for compatibility and interoperability among translation environment tools, users still encounter problems exchanging files, particularly XLIFF of some sort, with users of other tools. This is not because of any actual difficulty producing compatible XLIFF files, but rather a matter of deficient tool training and the failure to date by memoQ product designers to make the ease of interoperability a little more obvious. Some other tools, like recent versions of SDL Trados Studio, come pre-configured on installation to recognize the proprietary file extensions for memoQ's flavor of XLIFF ("MQXLIFF") and renamed ZIP packages (MQXLZ) containing XLIFF files, but others (or versions of SDL Trados Studio from many years ago) need to be configured to recognize those extensions, or someone simply has to change the MQXLIFF file extension to an extension that will be recognized by any tool: *.xliff or *.xlf are the choices.

The two-step solution is shown here:


On the Documents ribbon in memoQ, click on the tiny arrow under the Export icon and choose the option to export a bilingual file. There is some blue text which, if clicked, will allow a compatible XLIFF file to be exported, albeit with the MQXLIFF extension that some other programs might not recognize.

When the Export button in the dialog (marked 1, above) is clicked, the Save As dialog (marked 2, above) appears, simply change the file extension (the part after the period) to "xlf", for example. Then any program that reads XLIFF files can work with the file you export from memoQ. Despite the change of extension, memoQ will still recognize the file it produced, so it is possible to re-import it, for example if another person has made corrections to the XLIFF file that you want to use to update your translation or reference resources.

In some much older versions of memoQ, it does not work to change the extension in the export dialog; this has to be done directly to the exported file in whatever folder you save it in.

Of course, all of this will be rather difficult if you are one of those users who has not fixed the awful Microsoft Windows default to hide the extensions of known file types. Fixing that particular stupidity requires slightly different measures in different versions of Windows, but in Windows 10 you can do that on the View ribbon of Windows Explorer by marking the choice to show file name extensions:




Aug 25, 2019

Valerij Tomarenko, requiescat in pace

Some of the professional circles of which I am a part have been shaken once again by an unexpected and very untimely loss. One of the most gifted colleagues we were privileged to know, Valerij Tomarenko, lost his life on holiday while hiking in a Scottish national park. The alarm was raised after he failed to return home when expected.

I met him for the first time years ago at a conference in Warsaw; I don't remember all the details of that night in which at least half a dozen bottles of wine were opened with another colleague as we chatted late and later. He was always "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma" but his astonishing talents, and the kindness and respect he showed me over the years were all unmistakable. The quality of his writing in English and German - neither his native language - and the subtlety and humor it so often revealed - consistently and rightly drew the admiration of the most perceptive people I know in what was our shared profession. His eye for detail was expressed not only in beautiful words, but in photographs and composed images which never ceased to surprise and delight me and many others.

We had our differences, as people do, but always he refrained from the ad hominem attacks one sees too often now, and expressed himself in ways more likely to call a listener to reflect and consider. I never thought of him as an adversary, but if I am to have adversaries in my life, I hope to be blessed with ones of such caliber and to enjoy a glass together as we toast and dispute our divergent perspectives.

The world of communication and culture is less now without Valerij, and the void he left there is surely less than the one in the hearts of his family and those who knew him. Go read his words, and remember. Vai com Deus, meu amigo.

 


Aug 20, 2019

Dragon NaturallySpeaking tip: killing the "please say that again" message


One annoying default setting for dictation using Nuance's Dragon NaturallySpeaking is the display of a message which appears if speech is unclear or - more usually - when there is some background noise. Depending on the active settings, the message box may persist and cover up text so that it cannot be read easily or at all. This is particularly annoying when one edits while dictation is active.

It is possible to limit the amount of time this message is displayed or eliminate it altogether.

The solution to the problem is found in the DNS options:


Under Appearance...


The auto-hide delay settings in the Results Box section are the key. Set to "Never show" (as in the screenshot above), that annoying message will never appear on your screen. If you want to see it for some period of time, choose the desired time to display (the delay before hiding) and when the message appears, right click on it and enable Auto-hide:


Then the message will display and disappear again after the specified time. In my work, I find it an unnecessary interference that can be triggered by a noisy laptop fan or background chatter in Portuguese (when the doutora has visitors), so I turn off the message entirely as shown above.


(Many thanks to David Hardisty for making me aware of this possibility!)

Aug 1, 2019

memoQ Ergonomics Webinar on August 14th

On Wednesday, August 14 at 16:00 Central European Time, I will be giving a talk on working ergonomics in memoQ, drawing on the outline of an online course to be released later this month. You can register now HERE. The webinar will be held in English and is available to all interested parties free of charge. The recording will be available later to participants with the course materials.

This discussion will highlight key concepts and approaches from the course outline shown below. memoQ version 9 will be used as the basis for discussion, but most of the talk's content is applicable to any version from recent years.

Working Ergonomics in memoQ 9.0: Technology Practice for Ease of Use

Getting Laid Out
- Standard memoQ Layouts
This can be improved on....
- More Fun with memoQ Working Layouts!


Colors, Visibility and Priority
- Color My Grid!
- Fonts in the Working Display
Wild & crazy? Or legible? You decide!
- Translation Results List Tuning
See the match results in the order you prefer!

- Setting the user interface language

- Showing hidden characters

Tuning Options for Typists

- Autocorrect
- Lookup & insertion
- Autopropagation and Its Implications
- Predictive Typing
- Keyboard Customizing!

The Great Dictators
- Hey memoQ

- Chrome Speech

- Dragon NaturallySpeaking

- Other Speech Tools and the 3-Stage Process

Other Views of Translation
- Combining and Filtering Files for Translation

- What's in a Translation Files List?

- Making Sense of memoQ QA Results




Jul 31, 2019

URL-based searches of your Google Drive


Just before a recent short holiday, I ran across an article from 2017 which described how to search Google Drive directly from Chrome's address bar. "Interesting," I thought, and with the possibility of integrating such Google Drive searches with IntelliWebSearch or memoQ's integrated web search feature (or similar features in other environments) in mind, I shared the link with a few friends.

Google Drive and its application suite, which includes GoogleDocs (the word processor) and Google Sheets (the spreadsheet application), offer many possibilities for helping in language projects, collaborative and otherwise. I have written extensively about these possibilities with terminology (here, for example, and in a number of related articles). But these earlier investigations involved specific documents and viewing these - or selected portions of them - in a web browser window. Searching a number of files of various types on one's Google Drive ("My Drive") or a subfolder thereof is a little different. Possibly more useful in some circumstances, such as in a group project where multiple participants are contributing to a shared reference folder (though this folder will have to be added to the "My Drive" of each collaborator).

Google's Help for the relevant search function explains:
You can find files in Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides by searching for:
  • File title
  • File contents
  • Items featured in pictures, PDF files, or other files stored on your Drive
You can only search for files stored in My Drive. Files stored in folders shared with you won't appear in your search unless you add the folders to My Drive.
 
You can also sort and filter search results.
It all starts with a basic URL, such as
https://drive.google.com/drive/search?q=SOMETEXT
Execute that in your browser's address bar, replacing the SOMETEXT with your desired search expression, and you'll get a hit list of all files on your Google drive which include that text in the title or contents. In a tool like memoQ Web Search, it is substituted by the placeholder for search text that the application uses (that is {} in the case of memoQ Web Search). With a little experimentation, you'll soon find the additional arguments to search specific file types or folders.

For example, if I want to do a search in the "Other" subfolder on my Google drive, I can discover the URL arguments by starting a manual search and just reading the address bar:


The parameter to use for a specific folder search is "parent", followed by a colon and the coded ID of that folder.


An example of a folder search with a specific text segment is in the screenshot above; this was taken while configuring and testing the search in a memoQ Web Search profile. One document containing the search text "turnip" was found in the folder. To view the document, right-click on it in the hit list and choose Preview.

Search inside the preview of a document found in a Google Drive search with memoQ Web Search

Unfortunately there seems to be a bug in the memoQ Web Search - which now uses Chromium - because double-clicking the document tries to open it in the old search engine based on Internet Explorer, where I was not logged in to Google.

An Internet Explorer window, bizarrely launched by the Chromium-based memoQ Web Search

In fact, you'll have to log in to Google each time you open the memoQ Web Search window (a total nuisance), so it's better to leave it open in the background, even though the current bug in which the web search window is no longer brought to the forefront can make this inconvenient. In other tools this may not be an issue.


The Chromium/IE issue as well as the focus and login hassles with memoQ's web search have been reported to memoQ Support; I look forward to seeing how these are handled. Nonetheless, this Google Drive search seems to have significant potential for individuals and teams to build searchable document collections in the folders of a Google Drive account. Try it in your working environment and share your findings!

Jul 22, 2019

No comment... on memoQ "light" resources and their editors

The memoQ working environment includes a number of editing functions and modules, some better developed and more useful than others. Unfortunately, the terms "better" and "more useful" cannot be applied to many of those functions for creating and maintaining resources for auto-translation and many other functions. And, at the present time, integrated facilities for documenting the purpose and function of resources are usually limited to a short description field. The consequence of this can be, in a better case, some confusion, and if you are unlucky you might lose and or accidentally delete resources or apply a version unfit for use.

Auto-translation rule set editor with inadequate space for reading and writing the rules.

The auto-translation rule set editor is a particular headache for me. Scrolling back and forth in a tiny field to read and edit a long match rule (here, in the example of the number-matching auto-translation rules provided with the memoQ installation) is difficult and error-prone.

Even with the dialog-based editors which don't look much like editors (such as the example for QA options configuration below), it's hard to get an overview.


Unless I can compress all the relevant information into the description field for the resource, the only way I am going to get an overview of which functions are enabled is to go through all eight tabs for the QA profile in that dialog. Yuck. And the "why"? Maybe recorded in a notebook buried in the paper pile of my work table if I'm lucky.

There is a better way. And while that way is followed by a number of technically adept colleagues and developers I know, unfortunately it is not usually discussed and taught in workshops and other training venues, nor is it promoted by the software providers for memoQ in any way of which I am aware.

I typically recommend the use of specialized text editors, such as the free text and source code editor Notepad++ for most development, maintenance and documentation tasks involving memoQ light resources. It is available at no cost to everyone and offers simple functions to help you get an overview, edit and document your resources. Only a tiny bit of arcane knowledge is required.

Armed with such a tool, or even with the simple Windows Notepad application, there are a number of useful things that can be done, such as:

Add <!-- comments --> to the text of an MQRES light resource file saved from memoQ
The markers shown in red in the previous line can be added to a line in the file to provide explanatory comments or maintenance instructions. In files with regex content, I often use comments to explain to myself the use of syntax that I will otherwise forget and be unable to understand in a matter of hours or at best weeks.
Example of an auto-translation rule set with comments added
Note that these comments are stripped when resources are imported into memoQ, remaining only in the original external file. Thus, a workflow involving external development and documentation in the resource files, with imports to memoQ for testing and use, is highly desirable. If deficiencies are found in the resource, it should be corrected externally in Notepad++, etc. and re-imported, not fixed in-situ in memoQ, where no information will be present regarding the resource, its purpose and mysterious details.
Comments of this sort night be added to a QA profile, for example, to give a quick overview of the resource and its purpose in more detail than the description field allows (and I often forget to update that description field, because it is in the header of the file, which is usually not of much interest for developing and testing configurations, except to note a version number and a few details). 
Edit the resource more sensibly, using standard text editor features like search and replace
Often I'll decide to add nonbreaking spaces to a date or currency expression (or to the French output numbers in the "French Group" numbers auto-translation rule set provided with memoQ, which unfortunately probably still uses ordinary spaces as separators for thousands, millions, etc.), and this can be totally tedious in the internal editors of memoQ. Such tasks are much simpler in Notepad or Notepad++, for example.
It's also much simpler to find multiple instances of a word or structure that needs amendment or to do just about anything else when you can see all the content in a larger display.
Where resources are in fact simpler to develop inside memoQ, it is still worthwhile to export MQRES files as security. Comments added to these are a form of internal documentation which can avoid confusion and mistakes later when sorted file messes on a hard drive.
Teach and practice resource development and maintenance more effectively
A heavily commented resource file can be thought of as an easily portable "textbook" which includes a functional, importable example of its teaching. And when another person receives a copy of such a file as an example, it will be much easier to understand its structure and purpose and make any necessary changes.



Jul 21, 2019

"Faulty" memoQ light resource defaults and how to change them

So often in the decade since I began using memoQ, I've felt an undercurrent of irritation at some of the default settings for certain types of resources, and with the need to switch these resources manually in so many projects. But with so many other pressing matters, I didn't really focus on the problem until a participant in last week's summer school course at Universidade Nova in Lisbon expressed the same irritation with regard to the default QA settings.

QA settings are probably the most familiar irritants to many memoQ users. Some have declared memoQ QA to be "unusable" because of many false positives or a failure to check certain things, and these opinions are usually unfounded and reflect a poor understanding of the available options and how to use them. But even those of us who do know how to use them get caught out by forgetting to change the QA settings to our favorite profiles on many occasions.

No more. If, for example, you want to change the memoQ QA default settings, it is very easy to configure them to match your preferred profile. I started off by cloning my empty QA profile, a template file that I maintain in which no checks at all are enabled. This is the starting point I use for custom QA rule sets in memoQ.


I then edited the renamed file and configured it with the terminology, auto-translation rule and tag settings I prefer in routine cases, leaving many of the usual, irritating memoQ QA defaults disabled. Then I exported the MQRES file as a backup and opened it in a text editor.


There I copied all of the text starting with the XML declaration (skipping the MemoQResource header), and I looked (for example, in the Resource Console, though the Options and Project Settings would do as well) to see where the default resource was located:


Then I went to the file location...


... opened the file, and pasted the copied text of my desired settings into the file:


Default resources (as well as already-imported light resources) do not use headers. Then I saved the new default file and closed it. Then I started memoQ again and make a copy of the Default file for QA settings, and used the editor to examine its contents, which matched those I had pasted into the file for the QA option defaults.


I'm not sure (yet) whether these defaults will be replaced when bugfixed builds or new versions are installed, so I am keeping my exported custom QA configuration as a backup in case I need to do this again. And I will be looking at other light resources which might benefit from this approach.

I had originally considered setting my empty QA profile (with nothing set) as the default until I realized that this could lead to a false impression that nothing of interest was wrong if that default profile is accidentally chosen (or not deselected, rather) for a quality check. Then I realized that the best default to use would, of course, be the settings I use most frequently.

One objection to this procedure raised on social media is that one can set the default for new projects in the memoQ options under "default resources". However, this does nothing for projects which already exist. In these, the change would have to be made project-by-project. And for users who tend to re-use projects for a particular client rather than use the powerful, but somewhat confusing project templates feature, this is a real time-consuming nuisance. Changing the installation-level defaults automatically changes how QA is done in all the exiting projects that use "default" QA options.