Awesome L10n contributor: Francesco Lodolo

Part of a series similar to the Awesome L10n Communities series where individual contributors are spotlighted for their efforts.


Francesco Lodolo (aka flod)


Started with mozilla project: January 2004
Nationality: Italian
Languages: Italian, English
Professional background: IT consultant
Role in L10n community: President of Mozilla Italia, recruiter, and web content localizer


How did you get started?

I began getting involved by contributing to the Mozilla Italia support forums. I would answer common technical questions and quickly became a moderator for the forum. I was impressed with Firefox and wanted to give back to the project. I thought to myself, “I’m getting something for free, so I want to give back and help make this available to people in my country.”

My first project was translating the Mozilla Europe site. Shortly after that, I had to take over localizing Firefox desktop. From there, I became more involved and more active within the community.

What is your approach to overcoming blocks and bugs in your L10n work?

I’m one of the few people who work on the central channel. I’m also one of the few who are the very vocal in expressing my opinions in bugzilla. One example of bugs I look for on central is when developers create bugs, like changing strings without changing entity names. Mainly, my approach is to stay very active in bugzilla. I try to localize on central instead of aurora to help catch major bugs early so that most L10n teams don’t have to deal with them in aurora.

How do you find new contributors for your community?

Largely through the Mozilla Italia support forums. When needs arise, I reach out through new threads in the forums. We’ll find people, like college students, who have time to help with small projects, but we have a difficult time finding long-term contributors. It’s one thing to find someone who thinks the project is cool initially, it’s another to keep them excited and motivated to continue their participation.

When you find new contributors, what sort of best practices do you train them on?

Fortunately, most of the newcomers we find already have experience with L10n. Because of that, we don’t have to teach them to translate. Instead we concentrate on training them about some of the L10n aspects that are unique to Mozilla.

The approach we take with training is an open and public one. When we have a newcomer, their initial work is reviewed and discussed on the forums. This provides them with a lot of feedback and quickly helps them to learn how L10n is done within our community.

What are you most looking forward to accomplishing this next year?

Marketplace could be a very interesting project to localize this year. I think that my first goal for this year is ensure that we have a the best localization for Firefox Mobile. I’ve discovered that mobile is a real challenge, due to UI element character limitations. So a lot of my energy will be focused on that.

5 things you may not know about flod:
  1. I started playing guitar at age 15 and I still do, but not very often in public. At some point in my life I also played flute (according to Wikipedia in English it’s called “western concert flute”).
  2. I read a lot of books. Two or three years ago I started reading only books written in English in order to improve my language skills (not sure if it worked very much…).
  3. I don’t drink alcohol at all and I’m very picky about food, which is kind of weird considering where I live. 🙂
  4. I love dogs (I live with a 12 years old Labrador named Homer) and I’m allergic to cats.
  5. I don’t watch TV very often but I love watching singing talent shows from other countries (probably because I’m a very bad singer)

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