Localization Hackathon in Mexico

From April 9-10th 2016 we held a localization Hackathon in Oaxaca, Mexico. A total of 21 people gathered in this beautiful city for two days of work and fun. Eight locales were represented there, most of which were indigenous languages:

  • Spanish from Mexico
  • Triqui
  • Purépecha
  • Mozilla Nativo
  • Mixteco de suroeste
  • Mixteco de oeste central
  • Maya kaqchiquel
  • Zapoteco

As Jeff has already explained in a previous blog post this year’s l10n hackathons have a slightly different format than last year’s. Communities are more in control of their own agenda and need to determine specific and detailed goals beforehand. They are then expected to tackle those, mostly on their own, during the two days. L10n-drivers present (Jeff and I) gave summaries and presentations concerning the current status of Mozilla projects on Saturday morning – but the rest of the time we played mostly the role of observers and facilitators while the localizers took control of the event.
Exciting, right? 🙂
Here’s a recap of what happened:


The morning was dedicated to updates of the current active Mozilla projects relevant to localizers, which were mostly part of the Mozlando All-Hands discussions we had in November. Jeff and I covered topics such as FirefoxOS changes, updating our communication channels, Translation Quality & Style Guides, the future of l10n hackathons, changes in the way we handle repositories, and much more.

Each community learned the importance of testing their work with Transvision, specifically using the new “unlocalized“, “consistency” and “unchanged” views. These are great steps in our path to continuously improve the quality of the localizations and ensure they are state–of-the-art!
We then had a quick and fun spectrogram session with all the participants. It’s always a great way to learn where we stand and how localizers handle their work. I won’t talk too much about this session since it has to stay somewhat a surprise for the upcoming hackathons 😉 So, suspense!

Spectrogram Session

Spectrogram Session

After a delicious typical Oaxacan lunch (thanks again to Surco Oaxaca for hosting us and providing lunch!) we went back to work and it was now time for communities to drive the event forwards.

Chapulines! Yummy!

Chapulines! Yummy!

Each team introduced themselves one by one, and presented their:

  • Active projects
  • Work flows
  • Successes since last year’s hackathon
  • Challenges since last year’s hackathon
Team presentations

Team presentations

It was interesting to hear how much progress teams had made and how the previous year’s hackathons had helped them grow. Also, some of the presentations helped other teams gather knowledge and insight into how they might work around their own challenges and find solutions to issues they were encountering.
Once this was done, the localizers split up into their teams and started working on the goals they had set for themselves beforehand. Some of those goals were: catching up with pending l10n work, coming up with recruiting strategies, review current tooling needs, testing their work, and much, much more! More details on goals can be found here: https://wiki.mozilla.org/L10n:Meetings/2016_Oaxaca_hackathon


Sunday was mostly community-driven, and probably one of the most productive days as it was fully dedicated to break-out sessions and getting caught up with tasks and goals.
To start the day, Rodrigo from the Zapoteco community gave an excellent presentation on his guide to localization for under-resourced languages. After that, all participants got their hands dirty with localization tasks 😛
We also went over style guides with each and every community, gathering feedback on the English Style Guide template that the “Translation Quality Team” has recently created. Some communities started writing their own style guides, which is an important step towards ensuring consistency and quality in their translations.
At the end, we talked about the future of hackathons and what next year might look like. Some people have volunteered to lead that discussion and organization (thanks!). Things to take into account in order to plan these are for example visa needs, general cost of the city the event will be held in, if a Rep is present and can help in that city, flight costs, etc.
In all, this event was full of work and fun, which we believe are the necessary ingredients to creating the best localized products in the world.

Thank you to all that participated! As chofmann once put, “I love this community!” (and if you haven’t seen this video before, you MUST watch it NOW:)

"Oaxacathon" Participants

“Oaxacathon” Participants

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