Categories: Events Tools

Future of Mozilla L10n tools

For those of you who were able to attend, I’m sure that you can agree that  MozCamp EU 2011 was phenomenal! The sessions were informative, personal, and sincerely thought-provoking. Once the session recordings are made available, I strongly recommend you watch/listen to them all!

One of the most discussed sessions was Pike’s session on the future of L10n tools at Mozilla. Because it was so engaging, we’ve decided to launch the L10n blog with a brief summary & review of the topics in Pike’s session.

Pike emphasized two main points in his session:

  1. L10n tools need to satisfy both the needs of the Mozilla project and those of the L10n communities.
  2. L10n tools need to adhere to certain standards of criteria.

Seem pretty straightforward? Consider the following:

  • The Mozilla project’s scale has grown and L10n tools need to be able to function and help ensure high-quality work within that massive scale (i.e., the work of thousands of contributors, not single contributors).
  • L10n tools need to empower all contributors, regardless of length or type of L10n experience.
  • L10n tools also need to empower L10n maintainers (i.e., those who field the contributions of a wide range of contributors).
  • The freedom to choose the tool a contributor will use must reside with the contributor.

If you haven’t already thought it, I’ll come out and say it, developing L10n tools to satisfy the above-mentioned needs is clearly not as easy as it sounds. Having these goals and needs identified, however, allows us to take a step back and identify some key criteria to measure our current tools against and requirements for future tools we develop. These are the requirements that we’ve identified.

L10n tools must allow (for):

  • cooperation (sharing and distributing a workload among various independent contributors).
  • collaboration (multiple contributors engaging in solving a problem).
  • attribution (giving credit where it’s due).
  • interoperability (contributing to a L10n effort with one tool without  blocking the ability to contribute through use of another tool).
  • discoverability (finding contributions to a L10n effort).
  • federation (receiving contributions from independent tool installations).

Now that we have standardized criteria, the challenge for the future is seeing how well our current tools function in each category and ensuring that they, and all new tools, can perform in each of these areas.

Topics to consider: If you could give a 1-5 ranking (1 = very poor, 5 = very good) for our tools in these areas, how would they do? Do you want more information about any of these areas? Leave your comments below.

Sources: We borrowed the defined terms cooperation and collaboration from David Eaves and federation from Ward Cunningham. Thanks David and Ward!


2 comments on “Future of Mozilla L10n tools”

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  1. Axel Hecht wrote on

    I’ve also talked about how one could do performant web-ui. is an interesting post on how one can do that.


  2. Stacey Beck wrote on

    This is really interesting, thanks for sharing. This was so confusing to me at first but it’s easy to catch on.


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