January '00 - March' 02

Software Architect

Under my direction the Domino Translation Object increased its scope and target support. In addition to Machine Translation I added to this support for integrating with Human Translation and Translation Memory. The product was renamed Lotus Translation Components to reflect its more general applications.

For the 2.0 release supported a much increased range of vendors. Instead of just one, all the industry leaders had adopted the LTC interface as a standard for cross-vendor access.

The AIX and Solaris platforms were added to Windows in the 2.0 release, and AS/400 with the 3.0 release.

In the 2.0 release a new component, the Lotus Translation Services for Sametime, was added. This was a plug-in service for Lotus' Sametime product; the Enterprise Ready Chat and Collaboration software. The user experience runs like this:

A cutsomer may be engaged in a chat with someone and finds that they do speak the language as fluently as they would like. They can select a menu option "Add Translation". Once selected, a second 'Translation Window' is invoked which allows the user to specify which language they are speaking and which language they wish to see translations in. As the conversation takes place in the main window, translations of that conversation are displayed in the translation client.

This has the disadvantage that Machine Translation works the least well with ill-formatted or colloquial speech. So chat room text is pretty bad for it. That disadvantage is outweighed by the fact that chat is an interative process. If you are translating a web page, you are stuck with the result, and good translation or bad translation, you have to make the best of it. In chat, if the user mispells something, or uses a term or abbreviation that the MT doesn't understand, their partner can ask them to repeat or simplify. Users are then self correcting and, much like being a tourist in a foreign country, will simplify their language to the point where good translations are achieved. This the LTSS enables communication and team sharing where otherwise there would be none.

In the 3.0 release several new components were added. There was a centralized Notes database for controlling several translation servers. There was also a servlet that was deployable under Domino or other J2EE container, and portlets for K-Station and WebSphere Portal Server. All of these additional access points were also WAP enabled allowing for translation to be accesed from mobile devices.