As we have found in Part 1, Translation Workspace is a business model based on charging your suppliers for the privilege of working with you. It was never intended to act as a "real" CAT tool or tested as such. I don't think that TW developers have ever heard about such illusive ideas as productivity, ergonomics or user experience, and even if they have, they couldn't care less. The result is major usability flaws, which make Translation Workspace even better target for our devoted hatred. I wanted to make a numbered list, but I couldn't decide which flaw is the worst to put it on top, so it's unordered bullets.
- Repetition handling. Surprisingly, Translation Workspace doesn't save a segment to TM immediately when you close it. I think it happens once in several minutes, so if your file contains considerable amount of reps, you'll have to retype them, use copy-paste or save the file before opening each repeated segment. Major waste of time.
- More on repetitions. "Master" TM overrides your changes no matter what. It means, that if a segment is present in Master TM and occurs in a file more than once (imagine 20 instances), and you need to edit it, you'll have to go with retype, copy-paste or find and replace. In the ideal world, where nobody is hungry, everyone is using solar power, and can date Megan Fox or Johny Depp if they want to, Master TM would contain only perfect, thoroughly checked and approved translation units. In real world however (goodbye, Megan) Master TM is the legacy of the time, when nobody cared about localization for developing countries (Russia in my case), content was sourced to very cheap local sweatshops and published without any checks. Being a professional, you have no choice but to correct all that is wrong, so even more of your precious time goes to waste.
- Stability. All facets of Translation Workspace are highly unstable on my scrupulously clean finely-tuned working system with the best broadband you can get (believe it or not, I can watch a 1080p movie from Netflix server on the other side of the world without any hiccups). Every 30 minutes or so Translation Workspace hangs. Sometimes for good, sometimes it returns to normal in 10+ minutes. And no, I am not the only one with this problem. Guess what it does to your precious time?
- Latency. Moving between segments is always accompanied by a delay. It can be anywhere between several seconds and half a minute based on the server workload. Having delays like this for such a small packets of data is a major failure in the world of Telepresence and MOO shooters. This is bad for two reasons. First you loose ~2h per 1000 segments compared to any real CAT tool (This is big. 1000 segments may often correspond to ~2000 adjusted words which take approximately 4 hours to translate in a normal tool. 4h+2h=6h => ~50% overhead). The second reason is described in the next bullet.
- Pop-ups. Lots of pop-ups. Obviously, the process of translation implies strong concentration. Open the segment -> Type your translation -> Place tags if needed -> Move to a next segment > Go on. Carefully set up hotkeys, no pauses, no distractions. For experienced translators it develops into a meditative state of mind, in which one almost completely ignores the external irritants, which may include TV, construction work outside or your wife saying something about supper or taking away the garbage. Loosing this concentration is painful, and that's exactly what happens when continuity the process is interrupted by a pop-up window. "Are you sure that you are freaking sure sure?" Pop-up when you move tags in a fuzzy TU, pop-up when you're closing a segment with different spacing around a tag, pop-up when "new segment is coming from TM" whatever that means, pop-up for no-specific-reason-just-for-the-fun-of-it, etc. I haven't used Logoport for a while, so this list may be incomplete. Anyway you work slower, and guess what, waste your time.
- XLIFF editor doesn't support any export. Yes, it's true. Not only poor souls have to buy Logoport, they actually must work in it. No choice at all.
- Various minor, but still irritating bugs. For example, hotkeys may just stop working for reason unknown. It can be solved by restarting the application, but given the exhaustive five-step login process, it converts to even more time waste.
No big conclusion here, sorry. Just one thing: time is money; everyone who wastes your time is as good as thief and should be treated as such. Feel free to post your experiences here, I am sure I have omitted something.