Recently a vendor in our industry touted open source translation tools as the solution to all translators’ troubles. They claimed them to be a plausible replacement to proprietary applications and industry de facto standards.
GlobalSight and TM2 had their days. Honestly, opening their source and touting them with Joomla as a killer website translation solution sound like an attempt to resurrect the dead.
Just ask translators and localizers to tell you what they think of this lethal cocktail. Certainly a triple nightmare to most, if not all.
Which begs the following question: Does open sourcing obsolete tools make them better?
Open Source Translation Tools
Unless you have a dedicated top notch IT team at your disposal, don’t even think about touching these wares. However, if you have a top notch IT team, why do you need to use undocumented and unsupported legacy code along with dated development environments?!
A small team of developers with the advent of SQL and the latest development tools is sufficient. They can create parsers, a segmenter, a fuzzy match engine and a top notch user interface. They can do that for both offline or online translation. It would take a similar time to use undocumented legacy code. This is without using shackling development environments that lead to less than optimal results.
In spirit, we all are for integration and open source. But repackaging old and tried tools into new industry killer apps by hiding them behind an open source, integration and industry-standards wrapper is not acceptable. The localization industry has gained enough technical savvy in the past decade. It knows that overstated stories like this no longer hold water.
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