tonybaldwin | blog

non compos mentis

Posts Tagged ‘omegat

Fiddling with Fedora 14

leave a comment »

So, in my never ending quest to plumb the depths of all that is gnu/linux (I have NOT gone very deep yet, really), today I decided to play with an old friend.  My first long-time relationship in the gnu/linux world was with RedHat (starting with 7.1), which evolved into Fedora Linux, which I continued to use until about 2007, when I switched, at that time, to Ubuntu’s Dapper Drake (within a year of that, I switched to my ownPCLinuxOS derived, home brewed Linguas OS, and in 2009 I switched to Debian, which, at this juncture I still use, and probably will forever, unless I switch to Arch Linux with which I was toying yesterday).

So, I downloaded the Fedora LXDE Spin and gave it a whirl on my old, spare machine.  It ran well enough, grabbed the ethernet connection automagically (unlike Arch, yesterday, but that was easily amended).  It came with the usual LXDE stuff, including PCManFM, LXTerminal, LXTask, even an LXplay front-end to XMMS2 that I’d never seen before.  It had other useful goodies, including Firefox, MTPaint, Osmo personal organizer, which was cute, etc. No real big surprises, just, basic, popular, useful stuff for your average desktop, but good stuff.

I opened up the little gui package manager and surfed around the available packages for Fedora, and, I have to say, it seems like a lot of stuff I use in Debian was simply not available in Fedora.  There were definitely far fewer packages, especially in the development area.  At the same time, many of them were more recent.  For instance, I install OmegaT by hand on my Debian system, because only 1.8.1 is available in even the brand, shiny, spanking new stable release Squeeze, while the OmegaT project has release 2.2.2 (I’m using 2.2.0 here).  Well, Fedora has OmegaT 2.2.3 (good news for my fellow translators, at least).  In truth, that’s about the only thing that impressed me.  Their inclusion of the latest OmegaT.  Yeah.  Otherwise, I was more or less confirmed in my conviction that leaving Fedora, I wasn’t missing anything, and, especially, moving to Debian was a great idea.  I don’t mean to bad-mouth the Fedora Project, of course.  Back in 2007, I left Fedora, because, as I recall, yum (the package manager) kept breaking stuff.  They may very well have resolved that issue, and, I’m certain Fedora is a solid project. It is very popular, but, frankly, I just didn’t see anything in this LiveCD that would motivate me to install it on my hdd (unlike the CTKArch LiveCD I tried yesterday…that was AWESOME! Considering a dual-boot with that, at the very least).

Anyway, here are a few screenshots for your viewing pleasure.

From screenshots

Written by tonybaldwin

February 14, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Yes! You, too, can use Free Software and Succeed as a Freelance Translator

with 5 comments

This past weekend new versions were released of two Free software programs very important for translators, OmegaT, CAT program (Computer Aided Translation), and Anaphraseus, another CAT program, both Free (as in speech) and free (as in beer).

OmegaT, developed in Java, is the CAT program is most used by translators in the Free Software community, and has been used in translation and localization of other important Free Software projects such as, the complete, Free, office suite. It is rather distinct from other CAT programs, broadly useful, with ample functions and the ability to deal with a wide variety of files formats, including all those most common to the translation industry, such as all MSOffice® file formats, various software localization formats, and, of course, all Open Document Format files. In addition, OmegaT works with the standard translation memory format, TMX (Translation Memory eXchange).

Anaphraseus CAT works similarly to another, proprietary CAT program, Wordfast®, in its earlier incarnations, but as a macro in, not with MSOffice®, as does Wordfast. Anaphraseus developed in StarBasic, is important because it allows translators who are users of free software to provide their customers “unclean” .doc or .rtf files, a bilingual word processing file (containing both, the source and target languages), widely used in the translation industry. With both these tools, translators using only free software are able to compete with those who work with proprietary products that dominate the industry. Both programs are cross-platform, able to run in GNU/Linux, Mac or Windows.

I announced the release of these new versions over the past several days, but today, I’m taking the time to elaborate again on these release, because I believe these programs are extremely important. I’ve already discussed why I believe open document formats are important at some length, but it is a topic I am likely to revisit, and my original article touching on the matter is, as I see it, a work in progress. I’m certain I will continue to revise and update that article and repost it from time to time. Why freedom of information and open standards are important in my industry, translation, should, as I see it, require little explanation.

Now, my industry, translation, like so many others, is dominated by the use of propietary software tools, such as Trados® and Wordfast@, and inundated with the widespread use of MSOffice®. That’s no surprise and no secret. Many translators, in fact, believe that you simply can’t work successfully in our industry without MSOffice® and Trados® or Wordfast®, and I’m living proof that the notion is completely erroneous. I’ve been working as a freelance translator now for half a decade, and using only Free Software on my computers for a full decade, and my family eats three square meals a day. My three most used programs are the above mentioned, OmegaT, Anaphraseus, and (the 4th being a web browser, for research and to communicate with clients, providers, etc., and fifth being mocp to listen to music while I work. Seriously. But that’s a matter for another article). I work for private clients, government agencies, school systems, and large translation warehouse agencies, the vast majority of whom use the popular proprietary products mentioned above. I’ve never had any difficulty due to lack of compatibility, and have always been able to deliver the product that my clients have demanded of me. Furthermore, it is my belief that I can do so more efficiently using the Free Software I use, especially since I use them with a GNU/Linux operating system. My system is secure, stable, and efficient. It uses fewer resources than popular proprietary operating systems, doesn’t fall prey to the hordes of viruses and attacks to which those other systems are so easily and frequently prey, has never crashed on me (seriously, not once), and is far more customizable and configurable, allowing me to set it up in the way that is more “ergonomic” and efficient for me, allowing me to work as efficiently as possible. I save time, not having to deal with AV software updates, fixing crashes, removing intrusions, etc. Heck, I never even have to reboot the darned thing. Another factor, and, in my opinion, this is probably the least important, but often the most touted in some circles, is that none of my software has cost me a penny. Seriously. I have powerful CAT tools and office tools for my translation work, all the web communication tools needed (e-mail, chat, voip), tools for managing the financial back end (some day I should write an article on gnucash), powerful image manipulation software (sometimes I edit images for clients), essentially, everything I need for my work. (I also have all the toys, games, multimedia software, etc., I could possibly ever not need to distract me when I should be working…).

A common proprietary operating system, cat program, and office suite, alone, would cost me in the neighborhood of US$1500.00. Proprietary image manipulation software would easily tack on another $700, and, let’s not forget that I’d have to pay for security tools to protect all my data, with regular AV updates, etc. I could easily spend US$3000.00 or more for the software I would need to do the work that I do, were I to use proprietary software tools. So, I’m not only more efficient in terms of time/energy waste maintaining my machine (able to focus more on work than maintenance…except when I’m blogging or facebooking), I’m also more efficient in terms of expenditure of financial resources, which enables me to pass the savings on to my clients, making, in fact, more competitive than my colleagues who use proprietary software tools.

Now, do I use Free (as in speech) Software just because it’s free as in beer)?
No. For me, the issues of freedom of information and open file format standards, and the freedom to control my own computer (not be licensed to use a product over which I have little control, and in a fashion that gives its creators rights over the software on MY machine) are FAR more important to me than price. In addition, the added efficiency and configurability I have with the Free Software I use are convenient and agree with me immensely. Nonetheless, I do feel that it’s worth mentioning the added financial advantage these tools bring.
With that, I will get back to work translating these Brazilian articles, and bid you good day.


Written by tonybaldwin

February 23, 2010 at 7:33 am

OmegaT 2.1.3 Released!

with one comment

This just in from M. Didier Briel, French translator and java developer:

OmegaT beta version 2.1.3 has been released.

This new version contains 6 enhancements, focused on compatibility with other programs.

There are two new filters: one for Windows Resources (RC) files, the other for Mozilla DTD files.

A new CSV (Comma Separated Values) glossary format is accepted.

Support has been implemented for multiple translation engines, including Belazar in addition to Google Translate. Belazar ( is a BelarusianRussian translation engine, and requires currently a local server.

There are 4 bug fixes, including an important one:
In some cases (for instance, footnotes in OOo documents), some paragraphs could be missing in the Editor. (fixed)
Some translatable text was also not available in the Help & Manual filter. (fixed)

As usual, you can get the new version following the directions in the OmegaT downloads page.

The Java Webstart version has not been updated yet, it will be updated later.

I’m still using 2.0.4, which has integration with google translate, uses dictionary files and glossaries, and, of course, handles a myriad of industry standard file formats, and is standards compliant in reference to the generation of translations memories in standard .tmx format.
Great stuff. I use it for about 80% of my translation work.
OmegaT rocks!
I have downloaded the new beta OmegaT 2.1.3 release, and I am already using it to do my work.
All is well!
Since I don’t translate Belarusian or Russian, and all of my glossaries are in the .tab or .utf8 format, I confess, I’m not seeing much of a difference.
But that’s not a bad thing. It just means that the added features have not disturbed the phenomenal performance of this amazing, FREE CAT tool.
I was using 2.0.4, until this moment.

Written by tonybaldwin

February 21, 2010 at 8:35 am

FREE software alternatives for translators

with one comment

I’ve been using FREE Software exclusively for about 10 years now, including Debian Gnu/Linux as my operating system, and all FREE/Open Source tools, for all of my work.
In addition to OmegaT, I have also, now, been using Anaphraseus.

Both are FREE/Open Source Software, CAT (computer aided translation) tools, and fully cross-platform. OmegaT handles a far broader range of file formats (all MSOffice files, converted to ODF formats, the new docx, xlsx, pptx files, without conversion, Trados ttx files, html, xml, xliff, po,, other text formats and software localization formats, etc., etc.), and, to date, just feels more efficient for me. There are advantages in how it handles translation memories, as well (can use an entire directory full of tmx files for reference, and still generates a project specific TM for each project, whereas Anaphraseus only works with one TM). Anaphraseus, however, functions similar to the popular CAT tool, Wordfast®, only as an extension to (which is also Free/OSS), as opposed to M$Office®. As such, it will generate “unclean” .doc files, which various clients want, for use with both Trados and Wordfast.
Both OmegaT and Anaphraseus, thus, serve different purposes for me. I use OmegaT for more frequently, but when I need Anaphraseus’ functions, I am quite happy to use it, and regard both programs as fantastic tools.
I served as the localization coordinator for the OmegaT project for about a year and a half. It felt really good to be part of the project and contribute, even in this small way, to its continued success.
So, I decided that I’d like to contribute to Anaphraseus, as well. Now, I don’t write java, which is why my contribution to OmegaT was in the auspices of localization coordinator. Anaphraseus is written as an extension to, in StarBasic. I don’t even know if I’ve ever heard of StarBasic before this project, so, clearly I can’t contribute to the code. But the project had no updated documentation, so, I took the rather outdated, and now quite erroneous user and installation manual, and updated it: Anaphraseus Manual.

For years I used FOSS and gnu/linux without making any more of a contribution than some advocacy for FOSS in schools (while teaching in public schools, I formeraly administered a site for said advocacy at, but no longer own this domain), so it feels good to be able to contribute in more hands-on ways. Some day I’m going to be a real hacker, and actually contribute code, but, until then, helping with localization (part of my industry, anyway), and writing documentation are good…Ways to get my feet wet, anyway.

In any case, if you are a translator, I highly recommend both, OmegaT and Anaphraseus. They’re great tools, run in Mac, Windows or Gnu/Linux, and, above all, you sure can’t beat the price of both, the software and support ($0.00)!

For more information on FREE/Open Source Software in the translation industry, see: foss
Linux for Translators article: foss for translators.

(originally posted at nabble news)

Written by tonybaldwin

February 18, 2010 at 12:22 pm

OmegaT splash screen

leave a comment »

OmegaT splash screen
OmegaT splash screen

splash screen I made for OmegaT
a free, cross-platform, FOSS Computer Aided Translation program.

Written by tonybaldwin

February 25, 2008 at 1:00 pm