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Installing and Launching the Heartsome translation suite on Linux


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The Heartsome company has its corporate headquarters in Singapore and offices in Beijing and Hong Kong, so it is hardly surprising that its logo is a stylized handwritten form of the Chinese character '心' (heart). On its web site, Heartsome explains that the heart logo "… aptly describes the totality of our enterprise: quality and reliability, strength and earnestness, honesty and trustworthiness, wholesome yet far-reaching. Ours is a magnificent heart, operationally and in terms of our business practises".

Translators in North America are not as familiar with Heartsome as they are with the veterans Trados, SDLX, and Déjà Vu or even (relative) newcomers such as Wordfast (conceived in 1999). However, Marc Prior reports that "Heartsome [has] been used internally within the East Asian corporate world … [making it] … a mature product in terms of features …", and, as we will see below, it is obvious that a great deal of thought and experience has gone into the development of this tool.

Translators who work with Asian languages or Cyrillic, or even languages like Polish which use a modified Latin alphabet that is not supported by the ANSI / ISO-8859-1 character sets, are painfully aware that some of the language tools developed in North America and Europe originally had – and some still do have – certain limitations with respect to what languages they can handle properly. This is hardly surprising: At the time these tools were developed, the largest anticipated market was probably North America and Western Europe, and the ANSI / ISO-8859-1 character sets can handle the major West European languages, so some developers probably did not feel the need to go the extra mile to make their products handle other languages properly.

Heartsome, on the other hand, has its headquarters in Asia, where the ability of a translation tool to handle non-Roman alphabet languages properly is a basic requirement, not a "feature" or an "enhancement", as it might be described here. Heartsome easily clears this hurdle.

Heartsome Translation Suite has already been reviewed by Ignacio Garcia and Vivian Stevenson in a recent issue of MultiLingual, however their review only covered using Heartsome on a certain proprietary operating system. Since one of Heartsome's strengths is that it can run on multiple platforms, especially Linux, and since translation tools are one of the last remaining fetters tying translators to this certain proprietary operating system, it is important for translators to know how it does on the Linux platform as well. (At a later date I might also test Heartsome Translation Suite on the Macintosh and/or Solaris platforms.)

Before going any farther, readers should know that installing Heartsome on the platform on which Garcia and Stevenson tested it is very straightforward. On Linux, once Heartsome is installed, using it is no harder than on this proprietary platform. However, readers should be aware that the installation process on Linux can be challenging, for example if you do not have the Java Runtime Environment installed, or if you do not have Mozilla or Firefox installed or if you have them installed in a non-standard location. For this reason, I will describe the installation process in detail, to help those who want to try it on Linux.

Getting and Installing a Trial Version on Linux

Heartsome is not free, but it does have a free trial version that provides full functionality for 30 days. To get the trial version, first go to Heartsome's web site, and click on the download link. On the right side of this page, click on the link "Request Trial Version", which will open an HTML form at the bottom of the page. Fill in the form and click on the "Submit" button. Later, you will receive an e-mail containing a user ID and instructions about downloading the trial version. The trial version does include technical support, and I can confirm that although I do not (yet) have a license to Heartsome, the technical support that I received while using the trial version compared favorably with that which I currently receive from Wordfast and that which I used to receive from Trados during its (very brief) free technical support period.

Heartsome is a Java application, and it requires that the Java Runtime Environment be installed (version 1.4 or later), and that the java program be in your PATH statement. Most users probably already have the JRE installed. However, while you are waiting for your trial user ID, it would be a good idea to check the status of your Java installation. To do this, read my article about the Java Runtime Environment on Linux. Heartsome also requires that Mozilla or Firefox be installed in order to display the documentation (help files, etc.). If you do not have one of these installed, you can get them free from the Mozilla web site. (If you have a fairly recent version and it is a regular release, it should work. However, if you are a Mozilla tester and/or are using a non-release version, please note that you will need a GTK2 version.)

Once you have received your trial user ID and verified that you have JRE 1.4 or later and Mozilla or Firefox installed, the next step is to go to the downloads page to download the program.

Heartsome Translation Tools Download Site showing text box for input of user ID.

When you try to download the program, you will be prompted for your user ID. Enter it, and then on the next line ("To Download") select what package you want to download. The web site does not automatically detect the platform from which you are accessing it, so you yourself must choose the right one (in this case, Linux). You also must choose whether you want to download just one of the programs, or all of them. To get all the programs, select the Translation Suite. Unless you know for certain that you have a 64-bit AMD processor, select "i386 Tarball (*.tgz)". Then, click on the "Submit" button.

Heartsome Translation Tools Download Site showing pop-up list for selection of package to download with Translation Suite 6.1-1-Linuxi386Tarball(.tgz) selected.

After a few moments the download will begin, and you will be prompted for where to put the download file. Put it in a place where you can easily find it (such as the desktop), and wait for the download to finish.

The next step is to decide where you want to install it. In Linux and Unix systems, the best practice is to install programs in a system directory (such as /usr/local/bin or /opt) rather than in a user directory (such as your home directory). The problem with this is that installing in such a directory requires root privileges (this is the Linux equivalent of Administrator privileges on certain proprietary operating systems). Of course I have root privileges on my own computer, so I tried doing this, but I ran up against certain problems involving the need for write privileges on certain directories for log files, etc. While these difficulties are surmountable, if you just want to try out Heartsome on Linux, it is much easier to install it in your home directory to avoid problems of this type.

To install the package you downloaded, first try clicking on it. The KDE desktop has a program called Ark that will automatically handle this type of file similarly to how WinZip® does on a certain proprietary platform. If Ark does open the downloaded package, click on the "Extract" button and specify where Ark should put the extracted files.

If your system does not have Ark, you can also do this as follows. First, make sure that the downloaded package is in the directory where you want it to be installed. For example, if you want the program in a directory right on your desktop, leave the downloaded package on the desktop. If you want the program to be installed in a subdirectory of your home directory, move the downloaded package to your home directory. When the package is extracted, a subdirectory called "HSSuite6" will be created, so make sure that you do not by chance have an existing subdirectory of that name. Next, open a terminal window and use the "cd" command to navigate to the directory containing the downloaded package. Then, type the following:

$ tar -zxvf package_name.tgz

where package_name.tgz is the name of the package you downloaded. This will install the necessary files in a subdirectory called "HSSuite6". Once you are certain you have the program installed, you can delete the file package_name.tgz. However, until you are certain that everything is correct, you might want to keep it a little while: If you make a mistake configuring a file, you can get a fresh copy of it from the archive and start over again. (Doing this with Ark is transparent; to do this with the command-line program "tar", you would first delete or rename the file you want to replace, and then type "tar -zxvf hssuite-6.1-1.backup.tgz HSSuite6/README", using the file "README" as an example. Note that you have to include the relative path, in this case "HSSuite6/", or the tar program won't find the file in the archive.)

Once you have unpacked the files, open a terminal window and use the "cd" command to navigate to the Heartsome directory ("HSSuite6"). In this directory, you will find a number of shell scripts which are used to launch the programs. The most important of these are "tbxedit.sh" (which launches the terminology or dictionary editor), "tmxedit.sh" (which launches the translation memory editor), and "xlfedit.sh" (which launches the actual translation editor). The programs can be launched from the terminal window as follows (remember that you have to do this from the installation directory or use the full path):

$ ./xlfedit.sh &

Of course, most users prefer to use menus to launch programs. If Heartsome is installed from what is called an "rpm" rather than a "tarball", then the installation process automatically adds the programs to the Gnome menu, for those users who use the Gnome desktop. However, if Heartsome is installed from what is called a "tarball", as explained above, then the menu items have to be added manually. The Heartsome web site explains how to do this for the Gnome desktop. To do this on the KDE destop, open the "Start Applications" menu and select "Control Center". Click on "Desktop", and then "Panels". On the "Menus" tab, click on the "Edit K Menu" button. Left click on the existing menu where you want to put the menu command (for example, "Office") and then click on the "New Item" button. Enter the name of it (for example "Heartsome XLIFF Translation Editor") in the dialog box that appears.

KDE Control Center “New Item” dialog box for KDE menu.

On the third line down from the top ("Command:"), click on the folder icon and navigate to find the program (for example, "/home/tom/HSSuite6/xlfedit.sh").

KDE Control Center “Command:” dialog box for new item.

In "Work path", do the same thing, except leave off the name of the program itself: Just put in the path name.

KDE Control Center “Work path:” dialog box for new item.

Click on the rectangle to the right of the "Name:" line, and navigate to find the icon, for example "/home/tom/HSSuite6/xlfdocs/images/xliff.png".

KDE Control Center icon dialog box for new item.

Once you are done, click on the "Apply" button. (By the way, these steps can be followed for any program that you want to add to the "Start Applications" menu on the KDE desktop, not just for Heartsome.) IMPORTANT: If you are running Heartsome from within your home directory in order to avoid having to configure all the permissions (as recommended above), then you must also check the "Run as a different user" check box, and enter your user name. Otherwise, the program will have the same problems running as it would have had if you had installed it in a system directory.

If JRE 1.4 is installed and the java program is in your PATH statement, and if you have Mozilla or Firefox installed, and if you have done everything correctly, then Heartsome should now launch when you select the menu command (or use the terminal command). It is possible that you will be required to enter a license number or to save a file containing a key to the "license" directory. If this is the case, you will receive instructions about this from Heartsome along with the license key. If you have installed Mozilla or Firefox in a non-standard location, then you will get an error message something like: "Unable to find libxpcom.so in Mozilla or Firefox directory. Please check README file.". In this case, you should read the README file and follow its instructions. I am using Seamonkey, which is a bleeding edge testing version of Mozilla, and I edited the shell scripts to make it easier for Heartsome to find what it thinks is Mozilla. These shell scripts contain a line that reads as follows:

export MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME=`java -cp $CP net.heartsome.hshelp.FindMozilla`

I commented this line out (by placing a "# " at the beginning of the line) and replaced it with an explicit statement telling where it should look for Mozilla, which on my computer is the directory "/opt/seamonkey":

# export MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME=`java -cp $CP net.heartsome.hshelp.FindMozilla`
export MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME=/opt/seamonkey

If Heartsome still doesn't launch, read the log files in the directory "HSSuite6/logs". If Heartsome mysteriously won't launch and the log files don't help, you might be having a license problem. In that case you should contact Heartsome.

Heartsome also provides a web page containing some information for Linux users.

When Heartsome first launches, it also launches a tutorial window. (It can be viewed at any time later by the menu commands Help | Getting Started.) This tutorial is very good, and I strongly recommend slowing down and reading it, rather than plowing ahead and reading it only "if all else fails" (the way most American males do things). However, even before launching Heartsome, I recommend viewing the video tutorials on their web site (although some Linux users might have trouble viewing them since they are in AVI format). There are also more screen shots there which will give the reader an idea of what to expect.

Heartsome XLIFF Translation Editor successfully launched in Linux.










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