To this day, technology in the translation industry has been largely dominated by a handful of proprietary applications.
Linguas OS is a Linux distribution created specifically for professionals in the translation industry, including Free Open Source Software tools to perform all of the tasks that professional translators must do every day in their work.
The tools Linguas OS provides include:
* OpenOffice office suite for creation and manipulation of all major office file formats (including those generated by MSOffice products),
* OmegaT, a Computer Aided Translation (CAT) program for creation of translation memories.
* and other basic tools for creation and manipulation of pdf, html, xml, po, and other files that translators and localizers deal with on a daily basis. (More about OmegaT right here on Linux.com)
* Planner, project management application based on the Gantt project.
* the usual tools for internet communications and research so necessary to the trade, chat software, ftp software and related networking tools.
Linguas OS is built upon PCFluxboxOS, but comes configured with the translation tools mentioned above, and additional documentation and scripts to facilitate use of the system for those experimenting with Linux for the first time. In order to keep the system small enough to fit on one live cd, while including the industry specific translation tools, Linguas OS does not include multimedia software and other extras on the live cd system. Of course, such software can be easily added to the system, once installed to the hard drive, with the synaptic package manager. Linguas OS, being based on PCLinuxOS, has access to thousands of applications currently available in the PCLOS repositories.
What makes Linguas OS notable:
Sure, there are already translators using Linux who have found the solutions to enable them to compete and work in the industry (the author is one of them), but, until now, there hasn't been a distribution specifically tailored to the translators's needs. Linguas OS, as such, comes pre-packaged with the translator's most needed tools, most notably, CAT software. Said software is maintained in the distro's packages via synaptic, so the user does not have to seek it out and install from source, etc., thus facilitating the translator's use of a linux operating system, enabling the user to focus on his work, and not maintaining his software.
Additionally, Linguas OS was created, and is maintained by a successful translator and translation agency owner who is intimately familiar with the needs of professionals in the translation trade.
Advantages / Disadvantages:
The advantages of both FOSS and gnu/linux, in general, have been adequately discussed elsewhere.
The advantages of FOSS and gnu/linux to professionals in the translation industry are no different, the two most notable advantages being the reduction of overhead for software licenses and increased efficiency and productivity for use of a more stable and secure system.
The advantages of Linguas OS, specifically, to those working in the translation trade, are that it is a prepackaged distro with all of the tools a translator needs pre-installed and easily maintainable. Also, from a technology perspective, Linguas OS is a small, quick system, using fluxbox as it's default window manager. The .iso for the distro includes the most needed translation software applications and office applications, but comes packed with little else. The download is light, at 412 mb, and the system will run as a Live CD, enabling the user to download it quickly, fire off a CD and load it up for trial purposes. Installation to the hard drive, even along side another OS, is made simple with the drak-live installer. Once installed, the synaptic package manager puts thousands of additional applications at the user's fingertips, with only a few clicks of the mouse. Also, Linguas OS has created a community of professional translators experienced with the tools Linguas OS offers, and seasoned Linux users, to provide support for those new to these tools.
Linguas OS doesn't claim to be the flame that will cleanse the translation industry of the proprietary software disease. Essentially, Linguas OS: a) attempts to give translators a platform for experimenting with the tools that are available in FOSS for the trade, in a quick and light Live CD distribution, as well as, b) provide an easily maintained, preconfigured OS for translators that are already using, or wish to begin using Linux for their work. There are some potential drawbacks for those coming from a Windows background, which would include the vast majority of professionals working in the translation industry. In order to include the software most needed by translators, and still keep the distro on a live-cd, Linguas OS uses fluxbox as its default window manager, which is not exactly an intuitive environment for a first-time Linux user. KDE or Gnome would seem to be much more viable options for a system aimed at introducing Linux to professionals in an industry already dominated by other, proprietary operating systems. The Linguas OS community, however, is in the process of creating documentation, even for included packages that already have documentation, to make the use of the included software, wm, package management system, etc., as easy as possible for those new to Linux. This documentation is progressively becoming available on the Linguas OS wiki, and will be incuded in the next release. Additionally, of course, the user can easily add KDE, Gnome, or XFCE with only a few clicks, which is explained in the Linguas OS documentation. Also, although the industry is hungry for alternatives to the costly proprietary tools that have until now dominated it, there is resistance within the industry to change, as is the case in many other industries.
Learn more about Linguas OS as http://www.linguasos.org