Development roadmap for Felix

25/05/08 1:05 AM
The Felix CAT tool

Now that my translation memory system has a new start as Felix, I’ve got a lot of plans for its development. In this post I want to lay out my development roadmap for the next three months. In June, I’m going to be working on a minor release with several minor enhancements. After that, I’m going to be working on two new features in July and August: translation history and network support (described below). I haven’t decided which order to implement them, so if you have a preference please let me know!

Translation history

This feature will be somewhat analogous to the Trados “bilingual file” concept, except that the information will be stored in a separate file. For example, if you’re translating a file called “MyFile.doc”, the translation history file would be “MyFile.doc.fth”.

This will make reviewing translations a lot easier. It will also make it possible to get rid of the “translation” and “review” modes (which I think introduce too much complexity) — instead Fellix will automatically know whether the current segment is a source or a translation, and behave accordingly.

Another benefit of the translation history feature is that it will allow integration with Trados-based workflows. I’ve long anguished over what to do about “bilingual” Trados files. There is demand to support these in Felix, but I absolutely didn’t want to do it the same way in Felix. I think embedding hidden text in your translation that later needs to be “cleaned up” is a horrible, horrible idea and one of the main reasons why I developed Felix. With a translation history feature, however, I could create a filter that translated between “bilingual” files and translation history files.

Network support

This feature will allow multiple translators to use the same memory simultaneously over a network, or over the Internet using a VPN. This eliminates the coordination problem, when two or more translators work on the same project simultaneously, and translator A translates sentence X or term Y one way, and translator B another way because they haven’t seen each other’s translations yet.

Further out

I don’t have anything concrete planned beyond August, but there are a number of things coming down the pipe. One is a new and improved Align Assist program (for “aligning” legacy translations to create translation memories). Alignment tools generally don’t work very well and are a hard problem, but there’s demand for them so I plan to brush up Align Assist when I hit a good spot with Felix.

I also want to have a better tool for translating XML files, and maybe some other formats like .NET resource files (for localization).

As always, if you have specific preferences for development, please let me know.

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in Felix | 5 Comments »

5 Comments on “Development roadmap for Felix”

  1. Sako Says:

    Both network support and the translation history features seem equally appealing, but I’d like to see the former first (although the latter is a very close second).

  2. Ryan Ginstrom Says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Sako! Your preference is duly noted :)

  3. Jean-Christophe Helary Says:

    Ryan,

    I have no idea what kind of alignment tools you have on WIndows, but if you have a spare Mac take a look at AppleTrans. It is a fullfledged TM tool and it also does alignment.

    I used to work with Heartsome’s TMXEditor but gave up because the process was not smooth enough. AppleTrans is very simple to use and the process is very smooth.

    I have a summary of the process here if you want to take a look:
    http://mac4translators.blogspot.com/2008/04/text-alignment-on-mac.html

    Cheers,

    Jean-Christophe

  4. Ryan Ginstrom Says:

    Thanks for the link, Jean-Christophe!

    I have a free alignment program for Windows now, but it’s out of commission (it needs a simple fix to work with Felix; I plan to patch it up within a week).

    The alignment tool will eventually work with TMX memories (my analysis program, Analyze Assist, already does), and is free, so I’m thinking that it can be used by other CAT software that doesn’t have alignment capabilities.

    That said, alignment really is a hard problem and not really worth it in my opinion. Back in my computational linguistics days, many a paper was written on automatic alignment, but not too much progress was made…

  5. Progress report: Memory Serves at Felix Blog Says:

    [...] I stated in my May development roadmap, this month I’m working on a server component for Felix. Development is going very well, and [...]

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