As we head into our final day of the GALA conference in Monte Carlo, I thought it would be a good time to share feedback from the many visitors to our booth an impressions from some of the presentations. Regarding the conference itself, it would be challenge to find even minor constructive criticism for improvement. The hotel venue with its comfortable indoor/outdoor traffic patterns from sessions to vendors has been ideal. The general area around the Adobe booth has been the main gathering place, so it has been a perfect opportunity to informally “poll” attendees on their impressions of key trends.
Old problems, frustration with clients on old software
This issue came up a surprising number of times. And not just in context of Adobe software. Many of the translation/localization professionals I spoke with have been frustrated by projects which require software for source file formats that is 2 or 3 releases behind. For a variety of reasons touched on in previous blogs, a translation project can require more time and money when not using the latest tools.
Several people I polled indicated that their clients “want” to upgrade, but are either taking a “wait and see” approach or don’t know how to convince their management how to justify SW upgrade costs. Ironically, excessively out-of-date authoring SW is expensive for the LSP (Language Service Partner or translation agency) as well, because they often have to reconfigure older HW with out-of-date OS (Operating Systems.) It is a lose-lose situation for all involved.
Watch for an upcoming eSeminar or conference topic on this theme from us in the coming months.
The importance of CMS integration and content reuse
According to attendees that I’ve polled so far, this is an issue of growing importance with much of their clientele. One session at the conference, “Integrating Acronyms: How to Connect Your CMS with Your TMS“, created a lot of buzz and was one of the “most mentioned” sessions amongst attendees I queried. After this session, we heard quite a bit of positive feedback about Clay Tablet, due to panel participation by that company’s CEO, Robinson Kelly. Connectors between an authoring tool and TMS (Translation Memory Systems) are becoming increasingly important.
We were surprised at the number of questions about Adobe CQ, CRX and whether FrameMaker could with CRX for content management. (The answer is yes.) Watch for more information on this in the near future.
High interest in potential for projects with mixed content
The dozens of booth demos that I’ve done so far have focused on how both FrameMaker and RoboHelp in Tech Comm Suite are capable of linking or aggregating mixed content that can be single-sourced to a variety of strategic formats, from ePubs to various forms of WebHelp. Attendees have commented on projects they’ve worked on in the past that were in DITA but required last minute insertion of unstructured content (legacy files) for appendices, etc. This was one of the most commented features on our product.
Another trend shared by several attendees is that they have clients who are migrating into DITA, but have to publish legacy content that is not yet converted to DITA structure. In this regard, FrameMaker has a clear advantage in that it can publish a book or project composed of structured DITA, and regular or unstructured documents.
Growing language trends
GALA had a sizeable contingent from Turkey this year. Turkey’s significant economy has reached the “tipping” point for many North American clients, who are not localizing SW and content into this significant language. I had seen this trend growing over the last several years, but was pleased to note the number of questions about the Turkish language that I received in our Adobe booth. Translating your content into Turkish (if the product or the service is a good fit to that locale) can be a lucrative investment.
GALA attendees stuck with the conference rather than with the temptations of Monte Carlo
One of the most positive observations about this conference is that although it was held on one of the most beautiful places on earth (long steps away from the world-famed casino), all sessions had full attendance. The sun had well set each day before anyone ventured out to sample the many temptations (from food to gambling) that Monte Carlo had to offer. Personally, I only found time for one near-midnight 40 minute walk to snap some photos of this enchanting place at night. Watch for a photo gallery on our AdobeTCS Facebook page soon.
The World is your audience
Many blogs I’ve written in the past, before coming on board at Adobe, have focused on the fact that nearly any business critical information you author today will likely be translated into another language. Customers in North America (where English is taken for granted) are finally grasping this fact in larger numbers. My final blog on the GALA conference will touch more on L10n issues relevant to publishing. But for now, the view from here is that structured content, intelligent content management and connectors between key components of the translation process are major points of interest.
Watch for a closing blog on conference highlights to be posted on later this week.