Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Review of Studio SP1

The first service pack of Studio 2014 has now been published and with it the brand new alignment editor. SDL developed a new alignment interface to replace the old WinAlign which couldn't cope neither with new formats from Microsoft, Adobe… nor with the "new" bilingual standard .sdlxliff. The first step was already done without editor but many feedbacks have come to describe specific use cases where the alignment tool was not appropriate, for example when source document contains texts which are missing in the target document because of a difference in the document version. 
So SDL made it:



The new editor gives now a view in the alignment results before segments are imported in a selected TM as well as basic edition features to realign the segmented text. This way, it is possible to see if there are important problems in the alignment and to change erroneous connections.


The most interesting function in the new editor is the "Realign" function which permits to rework the alignment after having manually set or confirmed some connections. Studio won't change any of the confirmed segments and will "re-think" the alignment with these new "100% trustable clues". This function helps to correct several false connections at once and at the end to get a completed proofed alignment quicker than with the old tool.
The editor is in its first version and does not include all the functionalities of WinAlign yet like "join" and "split". This will be added in the next updates/service packs.



Another new function in Studio SP1 - actually a redevelopment - is the embedded content processing for XML file type filters. Since SDL Studio 2009, it was possible to enter regular expressions in the XML file type filter to tag embedded content, for example HTML tags in so called "CDATA section".

In SP1, you have now the possibility to select an HTML4 or HTML5 processor in the new embedded content section of the XML file type filter to automatically tag the HTML elements embedded in your XML files without having to write any regular expressions at all. You just have to check the box "Process embedded content using the following processor" and choose the HTML version.



The settings of the processor can be found at the bottom of the left-hand pane.
The plain text processor allow to write regular expressions as the old concept proposes.

This is a great improvement especially for users without experience with regular expressions and who used to copy-paste untagged HTML elements from source to target (i.e. in plain text), which is quite "dangerous”. For advanced users, this is a relevant gain of time in setting XML file type filters.

SDL chose to offer both solutions: old embedded content in the file type settings and new embedded content processors. It remains easy to adjust old settings without having to think about the new concept and to migrate all project templates. 

In this first version, the new processor misses some features that could be important for you:
-          No possibility to join HTML tagging and plain text regular expressions,
-          Preview of CDATA does not work yet.
The major advantage of the new processor is that it is possible to import and export embedded content settings. No need to search inside the “.sdltpl” file anymore to use them in other templates or project settings.


To me, 2 important enhancements: the first to replace an alignment tool that I couldn't use anymore and the second to make embedded content easier to handle.

The SP1 installer is a free upgrade available for those who have a valid license of Studio 2014 through the personal account on sdl.com

 Another review here: http://signsandsymptomsoftranslation.com/2014/04/30/studio-2014-sp1/