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Slate Desktop: your personal MT engine
Thread poster: Mohamed

Richard Hill  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 09:19
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
User manual+ Feb 17, 2016

Great!

Where's the best place to post questions? I posted another question this morning at pttools forums but... perhaps the vetting takes a while.

I'd like to spend a while going over the user guide if you could let me know where I can find it please. Firstly to read about how to use the CAT conector. It's all new to me and reading the guides will save posting every doubt that crops up.. and there will me many... I'm new to this...
See more
Great!

Where's the best place to post questions? I posted another question this morning at pttools forums but... perhaps the vetting takes a while.

I'd like to spend a while going over the user guide if you could let me know where I can find it please. Firstly to read about how to use the CAT conector. It's all new to me and reading the guides will save posting every doubt that crops up.. and there will me many... I'm new to this

I really need to start from the beginning, with the most basic stuff. I have the connector integrated in Studio, have selected it in the TM options, loaded a doc. but no suggestions or translations from Slate? Also, having built my first engine, based on just one personal TM with around 150,000 segments (5 hours or so to complete), and when I run the Translate document process I get an error message (don't know how to upload screenshots here): "In 'FilterGraph.errorreports', 252: Slate_Desktop xslate-txt(undefined interruption)".








[Edited at 2016-02-18 00:15 GMT]
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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:19
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Beyond Europe Feb 18, 2016

tahoar wrote:
I know everyone is eager to hear about translation quality performance, but these basic issues are really important to everyone's overall experience, not to mention wasting your valuable production time or spending our
time with customer support instead of new feature development).

Tom, is Slate language pair-agnostic? Or, more specifically, will it work with Japanese/English TMs?

Dan


 

Richard Hill  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 09:19
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
Where's the manual? Feb 18, 2016

I had no idea Slate does not translate Word documents and only just realized they must be txt files saved to UFT-8, and I still have no idea how to use the Studio connector. Even with saving to UFT-8, it doesn't always work. Still get error messages such as: "translation failed: no output file was generated!"

I have managed to load the Connector in Studio, but no clue how to use it.

I was free yesterday and this morning and it took me several hours to work out the UFT-8
... See more
I had no idea Slate does not translate Word documents and only just realized they must be txt files saved to UFT-8, and I still have no idea how to use the Studio connector. Even with saving to UFT-8, it doesn't always work. Still get error messages such as: "translation failed: no output file was generated!"

I have managed to load the Connector in Studio, but no clue how to use it.

I was free yesterday and this morning and it took me several hours to work out the UFT-8 thing, but now I'm back at work, so no more time to spend trying to work these things out, so please tell me where I can find the manual.
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Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:19
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Did Moses need a manual? Feb 18, 2016

Richard Hill wrote:

I had no idea Slate does not translate Word documents and only just realized they must be txt files saved to UFT-8, and I still have no idea how to use the Studio connector. Even with saving to UFT-8, it doesn't always work. Still get error messages such as: "translation failed: no output file was generated!"

I have managed to load the Connector in Studio, but no clue how to use it.

I was free yesterday and this morning and it took me several hours to work out the UFT-8 thing, but now I'm back at work, so no more time to spend trying to work these things out, so please tell me where I can find the manual.



Please don't take this the wrong way, but if you need a manual, I think maybe you bought the wrong program



Michael

PS: Here is some info:
https://pttools.freshdesk.com/support/home
https://pttools.freshdesk.com/support/discussions

[Edited at 2016-02-18 22:59 GMT]


 

Richard Hill  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 09:19
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
No, God said unto him! Feb 18, 2016

Michael Beijer wrote:

Please don't take this the wrong way, but if you need a manual, I think maybe you bought the wrong program


I'm not sure how to take it. How was it meant? I guess you're trying to be funny, but why wouldn't I expect a manual to learn how to use a piece of software I've never used? Should I only have bought it if I knew how to use it beforehand? Is it only for the most computer-savvy among us?

I've already seen the links you provided, but I want to know how to use it, not how to install it.

I don't have time to spend hours discovering things I could learn in minutes with a manual, even if it just covered the basics. The fact that Slate doesn't translate Word documents, and that the txt files have to be UFT-8, is news to me. And like I said, I have no idea how to use the Studio connector. Anyway...


 

Mohamed  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:19
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
This is how it works Feb 19, 2016

Hi Richard,

I have installed it, built even an MT engine and used it efficiently. It was a small engine though for testing.

To make it work in Studio, you should add it under TM as you should do with any TM. Select Slate from the drop-down list (sorry, I am not in front of my PC now), but you should already know how to add a TM from the Project setting. Once it's added and enabled, it will work once you go to a segment.

Also, the Translate function works w
... See more
Hi Richard,

I have installed it, built even an MT engine and used it efficiently. It was a small engine though for testing.

To make it work in Studio, you should add it under TM as you should do with any TM. Select Slate from the drop-down list (sorry, I am not in front of my PC now), but you should already know how to add a TM from the Project setting. Once it's added and enabled, it will work once you go to a segment.

Also, the Translate function works with some types other than text files. The default is text file, but you expanded the drop-down list, you should see "tab separated text, TMX, XLIFF which includes MemoQ Xliff, SDLXLIF, etc.

I am sure Tom was extremely busy working on this release and I believe he did a really good job delivering on time. I will keep experimenting.

Hope this helps.

Mohamed

[Edited at 2016-02-19 02:32 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-02-19 02:33 GMT]
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Mohamed  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:19
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
explore it Feb 19, 2016

Richard Hill wrote:

The fact that Slate doesn't translate Word documents, and that the txt files have to be UFT-8, is news to me. And like I said, I have no idea how to use the Studio connector. Anyway...


Before making any claims, please explore the program, expand drop-down lists, etc.

If you open the Word document in Studio and converted it to SDXLIFF format, you will be able to translate it in Slate through the Translate function. You can also use the Slate connector for Trados which works just fine.

Good luck!

[Edited at 2016-02-19 02:37 GMT]


 

Richard Hill  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 09:19
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
I have been trying/exploring Feb 19, 2016

Hi Mohamed,

I mentioned in a previous post that "I have the connector integrated in Studio, have selected it in the TM options, loaded a doc. but no suggestions or translations from Slate."

As for exploring, I was OK with doing that for a day or so while I wasn't too busy. This is exactly why a manual is a must. I haven't got time to explore. I think this is the only software I own that didn't come with a manual.

Thanks for the extra info on exporting to S
... See more
Hi Mohamed,

I mentioned in a previous post that "I have the connector integrated in Studio, have selected it in the TM options, loaded a doc. but no suggestions or translations from Slate."

As for exploring, I was OK with doing that for a day or so while I wasn't too busy. This is exactly why a manual is a must. I haven't got time to explore. I think this is the only software I own that didn't come with a manual.

Thanks for the extra info on exporting to SDXLIFF.

Richard
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Mohamed  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:19
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No problm, Richard Feb 19, 2016

No problem, Richard!

It took me a bit to find out as well.

To make it work, you need to build an MT engine first. You also need to close Sudio and open it again after installation of the connector. The next time you start Studio, it will alert you about the plugin and if you are really want to load it, click Yes.

Create a project in Studio. Go to the Project' settings and add Slate.

I noticed that Slate might now work for the firs segment. I
... See more
No problem, Richard!

It took me a bit to find out as well.

To make it work, you need to build an MT engine first. You also need to close Sudio and open it again after installation of the connector. The next time you start Studio, it will alert you about the plugin and if you are really want to load it, click Yes.

Create a project in Studio. Go to the Project' settings and add Slate.

I noticed that Slate might now work for the firs segment. I am not sure, I need to do some more testing, but going from first segment to second one, the connector works and it shows up suggestions.

Give it a try and see how it goes.

You also may use Sate support or send a message to Tom and I am sure he will be able to help you out with any questions.

That being said, yes, Slate needs some documentation and I believe this is what Tom is going to work on next.

Good luck!

Mohamed

[Edited at 2016-02-19 02:58 GMT]
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Richard Hill  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 09:19
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
Done exactly that: Feb 19, 2016

- Built the engine from one TM of around 150,000 segments.
- Gave Studio permission to add the plug-in.
- Loaded Slate as a TM.
- Tried on various segments, but nothing.

I also submitted a support ticket yesterday, but like you say, I'm sure they are pretty busy.

Thanks again Mohamed!


 

Tom Hoar
United States
Local time: 09:19
English
Manual, error reporting, maintenance update and support forum Feb 19, 2016

Richard Hill wrote:

I also submitted a support ticket yesterday, but like you say, I'm sure they are pretty busy.



Hi everyone... yes, yesterday was a bear. I'm digging out from the rubble. Starting with last-things-first:

Support forum: http://pttools.freshdesk.com

Richard, I saw your ticket there. I'll respond there. By the way, the forum is open for everyone's review. So, everyone who is interested can monitor. Please check the topics there to see if others have experienced the same problems.

Next, maintenance updates: The forum includes an "Announcements" section. This will be our focal point for all product maintenance and update announcements. FYI, each customer receives a unique download link with their purchase receipt. This link will always download the newest installer.

Error reporting: an important bugfix with improved error traps and reporting failed to make the "final" release 1.0.8. My apologies. The 1.0.9 update is now ready for download.

Manual: We will publish a manual. We're counting on the help prompts in the GUI to give users a basic step-by-step experience. With users reporting their experience, we can create the manual that addresses new users' experiences. Overall, the translation engine topic covers volumes of academic papers/journals. Commoditizing that information to user's manual, detailed appendix, workflow design guide, developer's guide and more are all on our TODO list.

I know we're on borrowed time with the glitch in the initial release. I'll review everyone's comments over the weekend for details I missed here. Thanks in advance for your patience.


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:19
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
This isn't Microsoft Feb 19, 2016

Richard Hill wrote:
why wouldn't I expect a manual to learn how to use a piece of software I've never used?

I know you can actually pledge money towards this, so it may seem like a full product, but it terms of the software itself it seems to me that it's basically still in beta. At a startup like this, manuals get written after everything else!

Regards
Dan


 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:19
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Slate is a complex beast Feb 19, 2016

Richard Hill wrote:

Michael Beijer wrote:

Please don't take this the wrong way, but if you need a manual, I think maybe you bought the wrong program


I'm not sure how to take it. How was it meant? I guess you're trying to be funny, but why wouldn't I expect a manual to learn how to use a piece of software I've never used? Should I only have bought it if I knew how to use it beforehand? Is it only for the most computer-savvy among us?

I've already seen the links you provided, but I want to know how to use it, not how to install it.

I don't have time to spend hours discovering things I could learn in minutes with a manual, even if it just covered the basics. The fact that Slate doesn't translate Word documents, and that the txt files have to be UFT-8, is news to me. And like I said, I have no idea how to use the Studio connector. Anyway...


Yes, I was joking (as I usually am). My point being that Slate is a very complex best, and that it is probably not going to be of much use to people who expect a point-and-click solution. Sure, you may be able to generate an engine with just a few clicks, but will it be any good? For Dutch-English, the general engine provided (for free) by Google (in the from of Google Translate) is already amazing, and so I am kind of using this as the gold standard at the moment. My goal is to produce a better engine, for one of my specialist areas (general contracts, IT, patents, etc.). We shall see.

I also have very little free time, and so have barely had an opportunity to test or play with it yet, but I don't expect to be able to produce any kind of useful results without a hell of a lot of fiddling and tweaking. As far as I know (from my very limited knowledge of MT), producing a good MT engine involves a lot of work in the preparatory stage, and without this, you will end up with pretty terrible quality. Half the work lies in preparing your TMs (selecting, cleaning, etc.), creating a reference target text corpus, etc. etc. etc. That is, all kinds of stuff needs to be done if you are going to magically produce a functioning engine capable of spitting out polished translations. And it might never really work. But all of this is par for the course and I bought the program more as an experiment than anything else. Something to tinker with on a rainy day, so to speak.


[Edited at 2016-02-19 09:24 GMT]


 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:19
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
PS: Pieter Beens recently wrote an impressive post in his blog about Slate Desktop! Feb 20, 2016

@ http://www.vertaalt.nu/blog/slate-desktop-review/ (well worth a read by anyone who bought the program!)

 

Richard Hill  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 09:19
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
Interesting reading Feb 20, 2016

Thanks for that link Michael.

On reflection I think I was expecting too much, too soon; that it would be great right out the box.
Bit of patience is called for I think. I don't use machine translation, but love working with CAT tools, so better just wait for the glitches to be ironed out and the new developments on the cards, especially over the first year or so.

Slate's creators have been quick and helpful in their responses, which is encouraging.

Lo
... See more
Thanks for that link Michael.

On reflection I think I was expecting too much, too soon; that it would be great right out the box.
Bit of patience is called for I think. I don't use machine translation, but love working with CAT tools, so better just wait for the glitches to be ironed out and the new developments on the cards, especially over the first year or so.

Slate's creators have been quick and helpful in their responses, which is encouraging.

Looking forward to the coming developments.

Saludos!

Richard
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