Mozilla brings Indian communities together twice in one month

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This is a guest post from Subhashish Panigrahi from the Mozilla India community.

Mozilla, in the process of putting its best effort on people that make it, has organized two larger and national events in India: Indic FirefoxOS L10n Sprint 2014 and MozCamp Beta – India. The first is being a more implementation based sprint with the goal to motivate Indic language localization teams to translate strings for its upcoming Firefox OS based $25 phone where the second one was an event for meeting mentors, planning for the future and strategizing Mozilla’s mission in India.

Indic FirefoxOS L10n Sprint 2014 was held at Redhat’s Pune office during 7 – 8 June. This was the first time 13 Indic language communities came under one roof to translate interface strings together, says Mozilla’s Community Manager Arky. During the two day sprint most language communities with the strength of 2 – 4 members each completed more than 40% of the localizations that will appear as interface strings for Firefox OS, an upcoming operating system for mobiles and tablets. Mozilla, after releasing its developer test phones starting with GeeksPhone Keon in April last year also started thinking of the mobile users from the emerging nations leaving the west for Android, iOS and Windows 8. Bringing cheaper phones to people with an interface of their own language could help to make phones more smarter for common users. Assamese, Bangla, Hindi, Gujarati, Maithili, Malayalam, Marathi, Kannada, Odia, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil and Urdu are the 13 language communities that took part in the event.

The other event, MozCamp Beta – India was aimed to bring core contributors form the multiple communities housed under the Mozilla umbrella and engage with them in a participatory and learning mode. Staffers from Mozilla who are responsible for various projects and products together with these contributors spent three days (20 – 22 June) building strategies for best practices for recruiting new contributors, mentoring them and sustaining the communities in a long run. The project page says, “MozCamp Beta is an experiment. This is the first time Mozilla is testing how to train contributors to bring in more contributors across the project.” Mozilla’s core product Firefox browser’s expanding wing Firefox OS was the center of attention. Mozilla has tied up with two Indian brands Spice and Intex to produce these phones that are expected to be around $25 revolutionizing the smartphone world and breaking the stereotype of having smartphones in the hands of them who could afford them. Some of the sessions during the event were also aimed to break the notion of app making process being too technical. The newest web innovation Appmaker gives a user the option to create a web app and flash it into the Firefox OS device without even learning any coding. Similarly the User Centered Design process was helping users to go creating with creating their app by drawing them on papers and brainstorming about having useful functionalities in them. Three of the days ended with celebrating the success of the grand user contribution that makes Mozilla a creativity-seeking organization. “Mozilla is committed to make the web free and fun. We aim to have the maximum number of Maker parties in India this year to promote web literacy and having students to create and curate Open Educational Resources,” says Mozilla’s Global Strategist and Manager of Webmake mentor team Michelle Thorne.

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