Why are there no repetitions in online projects
Context: In online projects, translators don't see repetition marks. This article explains the reasons behind not showing repetitions in online projects.
Description: There are three key reasons for not showing repetitions in online projects.
1: This is a technical consideration. Detecting repetitions is a costly operation that depends on the size of the entire project (# of segments), not the size of a single imported document. The nature of things is, the cost of the operation is proportional specifically to the number of repetitions in the project. On countless occasions, we witnessed the following nasty scenario. Given is a large online project with a high rate of repetitions, and a single small document is added to the existing project later on. After importing and storing the document in, say, 5 seconds, the server would then be busy for minutes or much longer re-detecting project-wide repetitions. This was judged prohibitive.
2: A single online project is, in reality, several different projects, depending on the point of view of the user working in it. Out of, say, 600 documents, a given translator gets only, say, 50. What are repetitions for this translator's checked out copy? Identical segments in those 50 documents? Identical segments across the entire project?
3: And finally, in online projects with desktop documents, changes made in a local copy accumulate until the translator syncs her work. Imagine a translator with 500 segments waiting to be synced. Now a project manager imports a new document in the server; repetitions are re-calculated; and because the green marks representing repetitions are part of the data, the timestamp of many segments gets refreshed in the server. At this moment, the translator synchronizes. Because the segments' timestamps have changed in the server, her changes are rejected, and her work disappears from her local project.
It was the conjunction of these three things that have led us, years ago, to drop the idea of using repetitions in online projects.