Category: Localization

World in many languages.

30 Aug

Firefox Flicks contest website

Firefox Flicks

In Q4 last year, Mozilla has started working on a Firefox Flicks project. Furthermore, it’s a global video contest to tell the Firefox Story. You can enter at www.firefoxflicks.org. Firefox Flicks is a contest that invites Firefox fans and filmmakers from all over the world to create short videos (or “flicks”). By doing that, you will help tell the Firefox story.

Firefox flicks plan

Firefox Flicks
Firefox Flicks logo

We want the world to know more about what makes Firefox different. That we’re a non-profit organization aimed at keeping the power of the Web in people’s hands. Finally, our hope is that through high-quality videos made by our committee and Firefox fans from all around the world, we can help mainstream Internet users know more about the issues that affect their online lives. And, more importantly, how Firefox as a product addresses these issues.

In the beginning

Since the very beginning, we’ve been promoting the project via mozilla.org website. After that we started working on the Firefox Flicks content website. As most of the stuff we’re working on, most products and websites, that is, we want to give people opportunity to read this website in their own language, as well, so we once again ask our tremendous localization community to join us on our journey. We’ve create a thread on mailing list, and immediately got opt-ins from several languages. Yes, that’s how awesome we are!

Firefox Flicks Wrap Party
2012 Firefox Flicks winners posing with celebrity judges and Gary Kovacs, CEO of Mozilla – Photo by: http://blog.mozilla.org

Ever since then, a lot of teams within Mozilla were working on this, giving their best and staying up late, which eventually brought us a new website we’re really proud of: Firefox Flicks contest website! We released the contest website yesterday night(PDT), and besides default English(en-US), we can serve it in following languages: German(de), Spanish(es), French(fr), Ligurian(lij), Dutch(nl), Polish(pl), Brazilian Portuguese(pt-BR), Slovenian(sl) and Chinese(zh-CN). I’d like to use this chance and say “Way to go!” and thank you! To all of you that have been involved in translating this project.

Just a note before I end this post: Winning videos will be used in worldwide marketing campaigns and public service announcements. The contest is planned to close on May 1.

16 Nov

Firefox 8 release process

Firefox Logo

We’ve been working hard on moving localized Firefox builds out of the beta channel straight into final releases, Finally, that effort started paying off. There are several languages we keep in the focus. A few of them made significant progress in that field. Even though for some of them we have only beta localized builds, we still made it.

Firefox translation nvolvement

First of all, I’d like to shout “Yay!” to Armen, Jurk and Kerim for working hard on Armenian(hy-AM), Kashubian(csb) and Bosnian(bs) productization bits, respectively. Productization, for those who don’t already know, means adapting some features to a language/region. It includes default search engine set, protocol handlers, feed readers and live-marks(live bookmarks), along with a set of web pages on http://mozilla.org/ so that we are able to promote localized builds.

So, I’m happy to announce that we have made tremendous progress with aforementioned three locales. Consequently, we’ll be probably seeing them soon as final builds. For one, we made Bosnian locale out of beta channel. Also, we have managed to do everything in time for Firefox 8 release. So now, run to http://www.mozilla.org/bs/firefox/ and download!

Results

I’m also happy to say that Armenian is probably going to follow the Bosnian path soon(I really hope that that’ll be for Firefox 9, in December). Also, Kashubian should probably be joining final localized builds in the very beginning of 2012. Looking forward to that!

21 Apr

Bugzilla C3PO

Bugzilla Logo

A few days ago I needed to file 70+ bugs for the same thing for each locale we support on www.mozilla.com. I then decided to make use of BZAPI(Bugzilla Web Service API), and have created a tiny PHP script to do the job for me. It worked pretty well even the first time I tried it on on http://landfill.bugzilla.org, so I could expect only better performance on bugzilla.mozilla.org.

I will definitely use it in the future, so I created a web interface for it, so the user could choose component, product, version, bugs to block, whiteboard status and such.

On the road to make this work everything went pretty well. Bugzilla as a more-than-a-ticketing-system™ provides you with a publicly available config file, which is in JavaScript, and that contains all the component>product

If you think my code is bad, or that you can do it better, feel free to fork or send me the patch. Code is at https://github.com/milossh/bugzilla-c3po

14 May

Interview with Seth Bindernagel – Director of Mozilla Localization

Hi Seth. Can you tell me a bit about yourself, how you got into working for Mozilla and what were your first tasks?

Sure. I first started working for Mozilla back in 2006 when I was asked to start Mozilla’s Community Giving and Empowerment program. With the help of Asa Dotzler, I was able to launch a program to help members of our community with reasonable levels of support that would both assist and amplify a volunteer’s or a community’s contribution to the Mozilla project. Because so many of our community members had their beginnings in the localization work, I learned a great deal about localization and the needs of the community. It was clear that Mozilla should formalize even further the localization-drivers team to increase our focus on the global distribution of Mozilla applications and websites. Because I had much exposure to our volunteers, I was asked to help lead the l10n-drivers team.

Can you compare the importance of localization against some other parts of a complex projects like Firefox?

From a technical standpoint, someone could argue that localization is not as difficult as hacking on the Mozilla platform code or doing php web development, and they would be correct!  However, that is a bit like comparing apples to oranges because localization is incredibly important to the release engineering process at Mozilla.  If we were not able to localize our code, our global audience would not have as rich a user experience as they do now with a localized product.  Localization touches many parts of the release process along the way to final release, including the user interface, QA, and build.  Therefore, our localizers often have to wear many hats, understanding how to translate the language of the user interface, how to access nightly builds, how to read html and php code, and how to test the versions ready for release.

How do you see the localization in the future, in terms of a popularity among localizers and its complexity?

I think the localization of Mozilla products has gotten easier in the past two years, with more tools, reporting, and documentation available for localizers to use. I also believe that it will continue to get easier. But, the important fact here is not to eliminate choice. Our volunteers should be able to choose how they want to localize products and websites, whether using a “slick” webtool or using a more technical code editor. The point is that we should make hard things easy and let everyone experiment and participate as they choose.

Can you tell me, based on your experience, can we expect more and more localizers, and what do Mozilla do to attract new contributors and to promote using the localized builds of its applications?

We work very hard to continue to attract new localizers. This takes a combination of steps. The first step is to work with local communities to help build contributors. If a local community wants to actively build new contributors, we need to work with them to push that authority to them and to the edges to make sure they are empowered to do so. We are in the midst of planning one such event now with Mozilla’s “Inter-Balkan Meetup”. The second step is to build tools for better localization. This includes improvements to our infrastructure, documents, and tools for translation. New localizers do not always know exactly how our process works. So, we need to create a clear path for them to engage and learn how to contribute. With those two steps in combination, I think we will always be adding new community.

What does Mozilla do to improve the ease of translation for its localizers?

One very specific step we have taken is to implement tools like Verbatim. If a localizer visits http://localize.mozilla.org, he or she will see all the open web projects needing translation for various languages. This brings the work flow and avenue for participation to the localizer in a fairly understandable and clear way. Secondly, we try hard to furnish up-to-date statistics about the state of product and web localization through our dashboards. Localization communities can always see the status of various projects (including how many strings are needing translation and where they are located in the code base) by vising this URL: https://l10n-stage-sj.mozilla.org/ If we continue to enhance our tools and streamline our infrastructure to provide to our localizers the most timely information and statistics about work needing to be done, we will continue to make the process easier.

What message would you send to all potential localizers reading this?

Give localization a try!

  • If you speak a particular language, check out what needs to be done at the Verbatim URL: http://localize.mozilla.org.
  • Contact the locale leader for your language. You can see who the locale leaders are for various language teams here: https://wiki.mozilla.org/L10n:Teams
  • Email me if you have any questions. You can find my contact information at my blog: http://blog.mozilla.com/seth

We always look for new contributors and welcome anyone with any level of experience to participate.

10 Apr

Importance of localization

As I already said in some of my earlier posts, I see the localization as one of the most important things out there. Although I’m writing this blog in English, I do and always will support having localized applications and documentation for it, so non tech-savvy users could enjoy using them with flavor of all its features. Of course, as much as the application a one uses is good, the localization gets more on importance.

On the other hand, it looks like most of the tech-savvy people in Serbia do not agree with aforementioned statement. As some of you might know, I’m the Mozilla Serbia community leader, Web Localizer, Firefox localization peer and Mobile Firefox localization coordinator. Mozilla localization team allowed all lead localizers to have a brief stats on how many Firefox downloads we had last week, and what’s even more important, what percent of those downloads are actually downloads of localized versions of Firefox.

Last week I took a look at those statistics, and noticed that more than 60 percent of Firefox downloads from Serbia belongs to en-US locale, or the default one. That is something that worried me a bit, because we have Firefox localized in Serbian for several years now, and by now a one would expect that more than 70 percent of people in Serbia using Firefox, to actually use it in Serbian language.

I crawled the web a bit these days, and saw that many Serbian website’s web-masters tend to link to official Mozilla website rather than to Mozilla Serbia community website or even official Mozilla website in Serbian. Also, I asked a few of them if they could change the links with an brief argument, and believe it or not, always got the response saying that they DO NOT SUPPORT SERBIAN LANGUAGE ON THE INTERNET. Now, that got me amused, and made me wonder what could cause such a thing, and how should we treat it. So here’s the thesis:

Why would a man/woman from Serbia prefer English over Serbian(in apps)

  • People got used to English
  • Some of them are not actually reading the whole strings, but can recognize them by reading first few letters
  • Some translations in Serbian may sound weird or funny

So, now we came to the point where we should ask ourselves the following: “How to change that, or how to convince people that can change things that we should really encourage users to use native language?”. There is no simple nor ultimate answer that can explain the process as it should be done. The first thing is the root, and if we’re talking about Firefox(I am), than that is Mozilla. I have noticed that Mozilla actually cares about this, and is trying to promote both localized versions and local Mozilla communities, to help localizers their “product” is seen. We can see a link to Mozilla Serbia local community on Firefox Support, Thunderbird Support, Spread Firefox…

Another thing that we could do, is to advertize the localized version of our product to users coming from Serbia (using GeoIP tech) and are using Firefox in en-US locale. The pages on which we need this the most are the ones you get when you start Firefox after installation or upgrade process. That would, in my opinion, significantly improve the percentage of usage of localized Firefox. Also, we need to spread the word, to ask wherever we can and whoever we can to promote the localized Firefox for the sake of all newbies that will and are using Firefox.