Archive for the 'Felix' Category

Align Assist version 1.1 released

Jul. 20th 2009

I’ve just released version 1.1 of Align Assist.

Download the latest version here.

This is a bug-fix release. It fixes a bug whereby one of the Align Assist data files became corrupt.

About Align Assist

Align Assist is a free tool that aligns legacy translations to create Felix translation memories.

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in align assist, Felix | No Comments »

Memory Serves version 1.3 released

Jul. 17th 2009

I’ve just released version 1.3 of Memory Serves.

Download the latest version here.

This new version has greatly improved performance, as well as two new features: search and replace, and an admin interface

Improved performance

Memory Serves is now much faster and more responsive. In the previous versions, performance would drop markedly with very large translation memories, but version 1.3 is up to 10 times faster.

Search and replace

Memory Serves has a powerful new search and replace feature, making it easy to explore and maintain your translation memories and glossaries. See the section on Search and Replace in the manual for details.

Admin interface

A new admin interface allows you to create and manage user accounts, view logs, and configure Memory Serves preferences. See the section on the Admin Interface for details.

About Memory Serves

Memory Serves is a free program for sharing Felix translation memories and glossaries over a LAN or VPN. Using Memory Serves, a group of translators can share their TMs and glossaries in real time, ensuring consistency and quality of translations.

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in Felix, Memory Serves | No Comments »

The power of automatic saving

Jun. 27th 2009

I’m working on the next version of Memory Serves now, so I’m doing a lot of dogfooding with it. I’ve thus been using Memory Serves pretty much exclusively over the past month for my own translation work.

Over the course of using Memory Serves intensively, I’ve uncovered quite a few areas needing improvement; which is good, because knowing about the problems makes it possible to fix them. 🙂

One feature that really saved my bacon, however, was the fact that Memory Serves keeps the database up-to-date at all times. I had been working on a fairly large translation, and went out with my family for dinner. Okinawa was experiencing some intense electrical storms, and when we got back, I found that my neighborhood had had a blackout, and my computers had all shut down.

Since Memory Serves uses the SQLite database to store the translation memories, all changes to the TMs are saved to disk immediately. So none of my work was lost, and I was able to carry on translating.

With Felix, your TMs aren’t saved automatically; you have to save them much as you would a Word document. Although it will prompt you to save if you exit the program with unsaved changes, if your computer (or Felix) crashed, then you’d lose all the translation entries you’d made since your last save.

This happened to a Felix user a few months back: she had been working on a translation for about six hours when her computer crashed, and she hadn’t saved her TM even once. She asked me if there was some way to recover her translations, but the only way was to use Align Assist to recreate her translation memory — the original TM was lost.

I added a ticket to my Felix issue tracker to add automatic background saving of TMs, but until now I’ve given higher priority to other development. Seeing first hand how this feature saved my own bacon with Memory Serves, however, I’ve decided to give it higher priority for Felix as well. I hope to have it included in Felix by the next release (version 1.5), or at the latest by the version after that (1.5.1).

The next version of Memory Serves will be released over the next few days, and it’ll have a lot of improvements as well. In particular, it’s much faster, fixes some issues with correcting/editing translations, and will have a new search and replace feature. The new search and replace will serve as a prototype of the improved search and replace I’m adding to Felix.

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in Felix, Memory Serves | No Comments »

How glossary matching works in Felix

Jun. 16th 2009

Built-in glossary searching is one of the key features of Felix. In this post, I want to describe how the glossary searching algorithm works, and how results are displayed.

Finding Matches

Felix has two choices for glossary searches. If you choose a minimum score of below 100% (Tools >> Preferences >> Glossary >> “Minimum fuzzy score”), then Felix will do fuzzy matching based on the Levenshtein (edit) distance.

If you select a score of 100%, it will only count perfect matches.

To give an idea of what this means, consider this glossary entry:

aaBaa

Now, say you’re translating this sentence:

Put the aaCaa in the box.

If you’re not using fuzzy matching, then no match will be found for aaCaa. If you set the fuzzy threshold to around 80%, then this will be retrieved as a candidate.

You can also set whether to ignore case, wide/narrow character distinctions, and distinctions between Hiragana and Katakana.

Ignore…
Case: “aaa” is the same as “AAA”
Wide/narrow: “123” is the same as “123”
Hiragana/Katakana: “いろは” is the same as “イロハ”

Displaying Results

All the glossary matches for the current sentence are displayed in the glossary window. The matches are displayed by reference count, string length, and score. That is, the match with the highest reference count is shown first in the list of matches; if two matches have the same reference count, then the longer match goes first; and so on.

Reference count: The number of times the translation has been retrieved by the user
String length: How long the source word/phrase is
Score: If you use fuzzy glossary matching, how close the match is.

Room for Improvement

There are several ways in which the glossary matching algorithm could be improved. Felix user Steven Venti proposed a search algorithm that I would characterize as based on “closeness” or “stickiness,” and gave the program Jamming (Japanese) as an example of a program that does dictionary searches very well.

Another feature I’ve been thinking about for a while is the ability to create rule-based glossary entries, using wildcards or regular expressions. For example, you could do this to create translations for dates, or product names consisting of set patterns.

The way that matches are displayed can also be improved. I could make it possible for users to determine the sort criteria (what order matches are displayed in), both through preferences and dynamically. I’m also planning to make it possible to easily show and hide details about glossary matches — for example, click “details” to show all the information about the match, such as creator and date created, and “minimal” to show just the source and translation (thus allowing more matches to be shown at once).

In a way, being able to specify the order in which matches are displayed could make up for the “feast or famine” problem that Steven mentions: getting either too few or too many matches. If you set the match score low enough that you get lots of matches, but could arrange so that the matches you want are shown first, I think that would go a long way toward improving usability.

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in Felix | 3 Comments »

Tip: Getting word counts from Excel files

Jun. 2nd 2009

Getting word counts from Microsoft® Excel files is a common and frustrating task for translators and writers and general.

One common approach is to save the worksheet as a text file, then open that in Word and use the Word Count feature. This approach has some problems, though: you can only save one worksheet at a time, and text in text boxes isn’t saved, so you could end up with a word count that’s too low. Not to mention the time and hassle involved.

About a year ago, I did a huge translation that literally consisted of hundreds of Excel files and thousands of worksheets. Counting the words in each file using the MS Word method would have driven me batty.

If you use Windows and often need to get word counts from Excel files, I recommend my free program, Count Anything. Just click the “Count” button, drag and drop your Excel files into the dialog, and click OK.

Drag and drop Excel files into the dialog box

You’ll end up with a nicely formatted report that you can drill down on, print, or save as an HTML or text file.

Results of Excel file word count

Click here to download the free Count Anything program.

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in Felix | 16 Comments »

Analyze Assist version 1.4 released

May. 27th 2009

I’ve just released version 1.4 of Analyze Assist.

Download the latest version here.

Here are the main improvements in version 1.4:

Connect to Memory Serves memories

You can now use Memory Serves memories to analyze your source files. From the Analysis Wizard, click Remote…, and enter the connection string. Note that you must have both Memory Serves and Felix installed in order to use this feature (although you can use the demo version of Felix with no problems).

Analyze web pages

You can now analyze web pages by entering a URL. From the Analysis Wizard, click URL… to analyze that page.

Analyze all files in a folder

You can now analyze all the files in a specified folder. You can specify which kinds of files to include (e.g. HTML, Word®, and XML), and whether to include files in sub-directories. This is a quick way to analyze a lot of files at once.

More complete analysis of HTML files

Analyze Assist now analyzes two additional parts of HTML files: the meta-description and meta-keywords. Analysis of HTML tag attributes can be figured in a very fine-grained way from the Tools-Options menu.


About Analyze Assist

Analyze Assist is a free program for Windows that analyzes source files against translation memories. This is useful to estimate how long a translation will take to complete and how much it will cost when using translation memory, as well as for invoicing translation work. Analyze Assist supports Felix memories as well as the open TMX format for translation memories, and so it can be used with just about any translation-memory program.

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in Felix | No Comments »

Version 1.0 of Align Assist released

May. 23rd 2009

I’ve just released version 1.0 of Align Assist.

Download the latest version here.

I’d like to give special thanks to Align Assist user Kokoro Hyman, who suggested most of the improvements in this version. Here are the main improvements from the last version:

  1. Open Felix memories and glossaries
  2. A save menu makes it easy to select the file type to save
  3. Alignment window status bar shows number of rows and columns
  4. Alignment window title bar shows file name, if any
  5. Bug fix: Save dialog button was “Open” instead of “Save”

Details about the improvements follow:

1. Open Felix memories and glossaries

In addition to intermediate results files, you can now open Felix memories and glossaries, and work with them in the Alignment window. In the main window, select File >> Open from the menu, and then set the file type to “Felix Memory Files” or “Felix Glossary Files”.

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2. A save menu makes it easy to select the file type to save

The Alignment window now has a Save menu, with the choices Felix Memory or Intermediate File. This makes it easy to select the right file type when saving your alignment results.

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3. Alignment window status bar shows number of rows and columns

The right panel of the status bar in the Alignment window shows the number of rows in the source and translation columns. This makes it easy to check, for example, that you have the same number of source and translation rows before saving your results as a Felix memory.

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4. Alignment window title bar shows file name, if any

If you open an Intermediate Results file or Felix memory/glossary file, the file name will be shown in the Alignment window’s title bar. If you save your results, that file name will appear.

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5. Bug fix: Save dialog button was “Open” instead of “Save”

When saving alignment results in the Alignment window, the button text of the Save dialog was mistakenly set to “Open” instead of “Save.”

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About Align Assist

Align Assist is a free application that aligns legacy source and translation files, in order to make Felix translation memories (TMs).

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in align assist, Felix, release | No Comments »

Development roadmap for Felix

May. 22nd 2009

This month last year, I renamed TransAssist to Felix, and took over all aspects of the software. Since then, I’ve made quite a few improvements to Felix, and launched several free programs for Felix users.

Looking back at the original roadmap that I published, I’m happy that I was able to implement all of my roadmap in the course of a year.

Looking forward, I want to lay out my roadmap for the next six months or so. The main features that I want to work on for Felix are improved search/replace, improved memory/glossary management, and a plugin system. I also plan to release an XLIFF editor (as well as filters to convert several file types into XLIFF files), and an extension for Open Office Impress.

Improved search and replace

The next big feature I’m planning for Felix is improved search and replace. Search and replace will be performed in a separate window, and there will be powerful new tools for searching in your memories/glossaries, and global-replace operations.

Improved TM/glossary management

This feature will make it a lot easier to manage Felix memories and glossaries, including advanced import and export operations (such as exporting a Felix TM in TMX format without any formatting information), statistical analysis, and more.

Plugin system

This feature will allow Felix users to pick and choose additional features that are handy, but not needed by all translators. This will let translators pick the special functionality they need, without the complication and bloat of having every possible feature included.

Some examples of planned plugins:

  • Word count from the Excel and PowerPoint add-ins
  • Analysis from the Microsoft® Office and other interfaces
  • Spell-checking on translation memories
  • Quality checks for translation memories
  • Automatic conversion of language-specific units (such as tsubo and kanji numerals for Japanese)
  • Tie-in to Web-based TM services

XLIFF editor

XLIFF is a universal document format for translators that is growing in popularity. I plan to release a free XLIFF editor that will work with Felix, as well as filters to create XLIFF files from various file formats, and convert the translated XLIFF file back into the original format.

Impress extension

There is already an extension available for Open Office Writer; next, I plan to create an extension to use Felix from Open Office Impress. As with the Writer extension, this will be released under the liberal MIT open-source license.

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in Felix | No Comments »

Felix version 1.4.7 released

May. 18th 2009


I’ve just released version 1.4.7 of Felix.

Download the latest version of Felix here

Below are the main changes and improvements in this version.

  1. Bug fix: Skip settings for full-width characters ignored in PowerPoint
  2. Remote memories/glossaries loaded on startup
  3. Preference files (.fprefs) include remote memories and glossaries
  4. The latest Trados text format for translation memories is supported
  5. Bug fix: Cannot change lock property
  6. Preference files (.fprefs) associated with Felix
  7. Bug fix: template files not copied over
  8. Languages picked up when importing MultiTerm glossaries
  9. After installation, Felix starts in the installer language

Details about each improvement/bug fix follow.

1. Bug fix: Skip settings for full-width characters ignored (PowerPoint)

In PowerPoint, the setting to skip segments if they did/didn’t contain double-byte characters was ignored.

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2. Remote memories/glossaries loaded on startup

Now if you select “Load previous memories/glossaries on startup” in the preferences, remote memories/glossaries will also be loaded. Felix will remember a total of 15 each of remote and local memories and glossaries (60 items total).

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3. Preference files (.fprefs) include remote memories and glossaries

When you save your preferences, the preferences file (.fprefs) now includes information about remote memories and glossaries that were loaded. The next time you load that preferences file, Felix will connect to the same remote memories and glossaries. See the manual for details about connecting to remote memories.

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4. The latest Trados text format for translation memories is supported

The latest Trados translaton-memory text format is supported. Note, however, that text formatting information (such as bold and italic) is currently ignored in the new format. Text formatting is still supported in the old Trados text format.

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5. Bug fix: Cannot change lock property

It wasn’t possible to change the “locked” property of memories or glossaries if the current user’s account name didn’t match the creator value of the TM. This caused problems in some situations, like when the creator was “Align Assist.”

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6. Preference files (.fprefs) associated with Felix

Felix preference files (.fprefs) are now associated with Felix. This means that if you double click on a preferences file, it will launch Felix, and Felix will be configured with all the settings and memories/glossaries in that file. You can also drag and drop an .fprefs file onto the Felix memory window, and Felix will load those preferences.

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7. Bug fix: template files not copied over

There was a bug whereby if you already had Felix installed, and then installed an update from a different account, some templates weren’t copied over to the user’s local folder.

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8. Languages picked up when importing MultiTerm glossaries

When you import a MultiTerm glossary, the source and translation languages are set as the source and translation languages of the Felix glossary.

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9. When starting Felix after installation, Felix starts in the installer language

Before, when you launched Felix for the first time after installing it, Felix would start with the Japanese UI if you were running on a Japanese OS, and the English UI otherwise. Now, if will start in whatever language you chose for the installer (currently Japanese and English only).

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Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in Felix, release | No Comments »

Felix version 1.4.6 released

May. 3rd 2009


I’ve just released version 1.4.6 of Felix.

Download the latest version here.

This release improves the stability of Felix in MS Word, and adds a number of new features and improvements. The main changes in Felix version 1.4.6 are as follows:

  1. Check for updates online
  2. Translation history works with Memory Serves
  3. Scroll to top of window after search
  4. Matches re-calculated after being edited in Concordance view
  5. Keyboard shortcut on/off setting saved between sessions
  6. Stability improvements to Word add-in
  7. Bug fix: Searching in fields
  8. Template for glossary matches
  9. Bug fix: Errors when getting translations as plain text
  10. Auto-add behavior for Word changed
  11. Source and target languages picked up from TMX memories
  12. More efficient memory usage
  13. Bug fix: Alt + C in Felix window

Details about each change are shown below.

1. Check for updates online

Felix now includes a feature to check for updates online. Felix is updated frequently, and this feature will help you make sure you have the latest version.

The update check works in two ways. First, you can check for updates manually by selecting Help >> Check Updates… from the Felix menu.

Second, Felix will check for updates automatically every two weeks by default. It will ask you before going online to check; if you don’t want Felix to check online, click No. Select the “Don’t ask me again” checkbox if you don’t want to see this dialog again. (If you select “Don’t ask me again” and click Yes, then Felix will automatically check online for updates every two weeks, without asking first.)

Check for updates dialog

If there isn’t a newer version available, Felix will let you know:

This version is latest

If there’s a newer version available, Felix will let you know, and ask if you want to go to the download page.

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2. Translation history works with Memory Serves

Correcting translations using the translation history feature now works with Memory Serves. You will need version 1.2.1 of Memory Serves or higher to use this feature; download the latest version here.

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3. Scroll to top of window after search

Each time you do a memory or glossary search, the window will scroll back to the top. This is useful if you’ve scrolled down a list of matches, and then perform a new search.

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4. Matches re-calculated after being edited in Concordance view

When you edit translation matches in the Search or Concordance view, and then navigate back to the translation match view (e.g. by pressing F6), the match is re-calculated to reflect any edits you’ve made.

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6. Keyboard shortcut on/off setting saved between sessions

You can press CTRL + ALT + F9 to toggle the Felix keyboard shortcuts on and off from Microsoft® Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Starting with version 1.4.6, this setting will be saved the next time you start each program. Additionally, a minus sign in square brackets (“[-]”) appears to the right of the Felix menu name when shortcuts are disabled, as a visual cue.

Menu when shortcuts are disabled (Word 2007)

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6. Stability improvements to Word add-in

In earlier versions of Felix, some users experienced instability with the Felix add-in for MS Word. Starting with version 1.4.6, the Word add-in degrades gracefully in the face of errors, instead of crashing.

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7. Bug fix: Searching in fields

When searching and replacing in Edit mode, the search dialog has the option to search/replace in source fields, translation fields, context fields, or all fields.

In previous versions of Felix, while this selection worked for the replace function, the search function always searched in all fields. This bug is fixed in version 1.4.6.

Search in fields choice

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8. Template for glossary matches

A template is now used for the glossary match view. With this, all information views in the Felix memory and glossary windows can now be customized. See the template section of the manual for details.

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9. Bug fix: Errors when getting translations as plain text

Entries with <, &, and > characters caused errors when getting translations as plain text. Now they’re handled properly.

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10. Auto-add behavior for Word changed

In previous versions of Felix, every time you retrieved a translation in Word using the “Set and Next” command, Felix would add that translation back into the memory. This was causing problems for people who wanted to use multiple translation memories, and keep their entries separate.

Now, the Word add-in only adds a translation back into Felix if the match is not 100% (i.e. you did “Set and Next” when the match was not perfect). It adds it back in this case, because Felix assumes you’re saying that the retrieved translation is correct for this source segment.

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11. Source and target languages picked up from TMX memories

When you import a memory in TMX format, Felix will now pick up the source and target languages, and set them as properties in your Felix memory.

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12. More efficient memory usage

Felix now uses memory more efficiently, by only loading the logging components when they’re being used. This can save up to 60 MB of RAM usage.

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13. Bug fix: Alt + C in Felix window

In previous versions, pressing Alt + C in Felix (the Concordance shortcut) with no text selected caused an error. Now, it simply displays a message that there is no text selected.

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Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in Felix, release | 2 Comments »
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