Why do I hate Logoport (aka Translation Workspace), part 1


I have seen plenty of bad CAT tools, and only two or three really good ones. Some were particularly ugly, like IBM Translation Manager or Multilizer 4.0. (I have translated several thousand words in fourth version of Multilizer in 2010. Since then I prefer to call it Mutilizer [HA-HA]).

However I have never had any emotions about those, working with bad proprietary tools is a part of the job. When you manage to export files to something you can open in your favorite environment, you win. When you don't, it's like whatever. Ultimately all CATs are the same.

But this tolerance failed me when I became familiar with Logoport/Translation Workspace. I hereby admit that I hate it from the bottom of my heart. Reasons are not entirely clear even for me, but I'll try to analyze them for your amusement. So...

First of all it's Logoport's shameful history, which started when SDL swallowed Trados. Lionbridge became dependent of one of its dire competitors, and felt somewhat uncomfortable. For SDL on the other hand this situation opened wide array of exciting opportunities. So Lionbridge went shopping, and bought small unknown company with unknown undeveloped downright useless copy of Trados macro, which communicated with server instead of local TM. Note that it was long before the cloud hype, so Liox can be considered kinda visionary from this perspective.

Then the fun started. By moving projects to Logoport Liox earned some hard cash and lost what was left of their goodwill among translators, because of "optimized" WC algorithm: Similair (but not equal) no match segments within the same project were considered fuzzy. The basic matching mechanism was also "improved" compared to other tools on the market, for example Introduction -> Implementation is considered a high fuzzy, because those two words are so much alike. Don't you agree?

The more, the better. Logoport remained free for a few years, and everyone got used to it. Just another ugly proprietary CAT. Then someone in Lionbridge came up with a brilliant idea: Let's charge for it! Our suppliers will have no choice but to pay, if they want to continue working for us, and our suppliers' suppliers will also have to pay for the same reason. Free cash! And free cash it was. Some good translators left, but SLV agencies who received over 50% of their work from Lionbridge had nowhere to go.

As you can see, greed is the only reason this tool exists. It was purchased to avoid paying SDL for Trados license on their conditions, and used to rip off vendors in several ways. Noone ever cared about insignificant stuff, like usability, testing, or customer care. Cash keeps flowing, and most "clients" don't have a choice, but to buy and use our "product". Why bother? The result: user experience nightmare.

This leads us to Part 2 of this story — technical/usability reasons why I hate Logoport.