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Slate Desktop: will they make it?

530 USD in 8 days, that are 2 perks to sell

Should be possible ...

Thank you, Hans.

We've received great backing from several CafeTrans users. Early in the campaign, we received assurance from Igor that he will review our API when it's ready. Together, I'm sure we can support all of you.

Of course, there's no harm if we over-shoot the goal. Backers get a great perpetual 40% discount off the initial product and all future upgrades. We get more customers as we continue to improve our products.

Thanks again!

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Keeping my fingers crossed here (and tweeting about it as often as I can)!


Your worries are over. Slate Desktop made it, with a 7% margin (so far).


Thanks and greetz from the Eastside Gallery

Don't blink. Things are changing fast. In 24 hours we went from "WE'RE ALMOST THERE" to "YIPPEE", and now we're @ $7,500 for 115% with 68 hours to go. Everyone is now locked in, and those who continue to back the campaign will have the discounts forever. Stay tuned. On Friday I'll announce some cool statistics/demographics and a surprise or two.

Tom, did you already publish? If so, where? Hans

I just posted a Linkedin update. I'm preparing other posts with more details. Until then, Here's what I posted on my update:

Slate Desktop Indiegogo campaign just completed!

Raised: $9,175

Funded: 141.15%

Backers: 36 (25 Super Early Birds)

Visitors: 4,089 (your blogs, discussions, and great support)

Social Media Referrals: 216 (your word through Twitter, Facebook,, etc)

By popular demand, we converted the campaign to continue until we release Slate Desktop in January. If you missed the Super Early Bird discounts, please check out the new discounts.

Thanks for the update Tom and congratulations! I hope that Slate Desktop will accelerate freelance translators and will help them regaining control over the fun aspect in translating as much as CafeTran does. ;) More fun, more free time for the matters in life that really count.

In his last Tool Box Journal (no. 254)  Jost Zetzsche judges the sense or non-sense of Slate:

I know there are colleagues who work in very narrow domains and mostly for one client, and I think for them this tool might be a real productivity boost, but I'm not sure how much that's true for others.

I wholeheartedly agree. And I wonder if Slate Desktop is significantly better than the MT features (AA, Recall, Virtual Matches) CafeTran already offers. And it has to be significantly better, because it's significantly more expensive.

But we will soon find out, since the Bright Boys signed up for a perk. And if it is significantly better, we Macs, we will have to see if we can get Moses up and running. For free.


I just read Jost's piece. It was a nice surprise and well written with only one factual error (our motivation for doing the igg campaign). I'm in the process of writing a blog to compare the wide variety of implementations that have been built using Moses (from DGT to Asia Online to eBay and more). Each has been designed to serve different requirements and each demonstrate different performance characteristics.

Slate Desktop's unique design requirements are unlike all the other implementations. It's not a question of will it perform as I've stated. The academic research supports that. Like Jost points out, one questions is how many will benefit from similar performance. Another question is what new performance characteristics will we discover since this is a totally new design.

The truth is, we're entering uncharted waters. Windows users have an innate propensity to push applications beyond their limits and then use them in ways their designers never imagined. I think therein lies the real opportunity.

Re "if Slate Desktop is significantly better than the MT features CafeTran already offers..." I have no idea. Slate Desktop is as good as the TMs it learns from. For some users, this means it will outperform any other solution. For others, it will fall dismally short. Can someone make a pretty picture with Photoshop? Can everyone make pretty pictures with Photoshop? Ultimately, it depends on whose hands are in control.

Re OS X, Hieu Hong (Moses lead researcher) has been coding Moses C++ source code exclusively on Mac for almost 10 years. There's no doubt that Moses works on Mac. So, there's nothing stopping you from getting Moses up and running for "free" today.

So, there's nothing stopping you from getting Moses up and running for "free" today.

You seem to be a big fan of OS X, I assume.

Okay, irony off. Some points to consider:

  • For really good clients and/or specializations you have – in most or many cases – a good TM with > 50.000 TUs. In which way will Slate in this case be able to be better than any auto-assembling, subsegment matches and auto-completion in CafeTran?
  • For some really good clients I have signed a NDA – no chance to use MT. 

IMHO the real productivity booster for well-written texts is voice recognition and a good AA/AC function. 

And although this is your business plan, not ours: Assuming Slate might bring 25 % of productivity to a translator (not to me, as long as it won't run on OS X), how much would she or he be willing to pay for it? With a decent living for the developers? Voice recognition brings a productivity boost of 30 or 50 % (and for some users even more) and does not cost more than one upgrade in 2 years (about 150 bucks). 

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