Terminology Management Tools - A General Overview
Having been presented with the basics of terminology management as an interdisciplinary science we should now consider terminology management from a pragmatic point of view. Therefore the following chapter of the present thesis will focus on the presentation of terminology management tools, their general features and functionalities.
First, the users will be presented with the basic principles according to which the terminology management tools operate. Since most terminology management tools have a number of common characteristics, these will be discussed right after this introduction. The differences between particular tools will be illustrated later, in the testing procedure applied to the selected programs. The features of the tools discussed shall be presented in the order in which the evaluation procedure will later be applied. Thus, first the readers will find an overview of the general software and hardware requirements of the tools including compatibility issues. Next, some details of the user interface shall be presented along with on-screen display. Later the issues of data management will be discussed, followed by a thorough discussion of entry models and structures. As a next step, the issues of data retrieval and access will be detailed. The next section shall be devoted to the systems' responses to queries, security of information, data input, terminology extraction, validation and control. Also the issues of data exchange, import and export will be presented briefly. Finally, the discussion will focus on the interaction of the terminology management tools with other applications such as word processors, translation memories and other. Also some attention will be devoted to fonts and character sets and maintenance operations. Commercial aspects of the tools under investigation will be discussed as the last step of the presentation.
Before applying the evaluation procedure, the author decided to remark upon the advantages and some possible limitations of the particular functionalities and solutions. A long-term membership of the mailing lists of users of the tools later subject to evaluation helped the author to monitor the problems and inconveniences the professional users face, as well as acquire a broader understanding of the tools' advantages. The comments resulting from this research seem to be a good complement to the above presentation, and as such will constitute a good background for conducting the evaluation procedure in chapter IV of the present thesis.