Twice per year, Mozillians from around the world are invited to attend the All Hands work week. All Hands is an opportunity for both paid and volunteer staff from all functional areas to meet together to solve problems, brainstorm new goals, and find ways to make the Mozilla mission a reality. For the localization functional area, All Hands gives us a chance to collaborate on resolving challenges in the l10n process, discuss community needs, and start new programs within the functional area. Below is an overview of the highlights and l10n-specific sessions that were held in London. More information about many of these sessions will be made available in the coming weeks.
Review of l10n release gates
MozLondon l10n started with a bang in this session! We primarily discussed the value of the sign-off process for Firefox and Firefox for Android localizations. We reviewed the past, present, and future (both short-term and long-term) of this process. An approved sign-off meant that the changeset reviewed was both technically stable (determined by l10n-drivers) and linguistically stable (determined by the l10n community). The sign-off process would be initiated by a localizer and reviewed by a l10n-driver. We’ve learned over time that sign-offs have lost this meaning and that localizers aren’t interested in performing this task. We’re happy to announce that localizers no longer need to sign-off on changesets in the dashboard to ship l10n updates for their products! L10n-drivers will take on the responsibility of initiating and performing sign-off reviews for all locales on mozilla-aurora and mozilla-beta. Flod, Delphine, and Jeff will be responsible for performing those reviews a few times per week (exact schedule to be determined).
In this session, Axel Hecht (Pike) gave us an update on his efforts surrounding the consolidation of repositories within each locale repo. We’re calling this effort, “cross-channel localization.” As it stands, each l10n repo actually consists of at least three directories/repos: (sometimes l10n-central) mozilla-aurora, mozilla-beta, and mozilla-release. The idea here is that by consolidating the l10n-central, mozilla-aurora, mozilla-beta, and mozilla-release directories within each locale repo to one, we can empower localizers to have more control over updating localizations across multiple channels, including release, outside of the regular release schedule. L10n bug fixes on release channel will be a reality! This effort is working together with the implementation of l20n in Firefox. We’ll have more info about this in a future blog post.
Localization quality planning
The quality planning session focused on bringing everyone up-to-date with the current status of the project. Together we discussed our reasons for implementing a standard method for performing translation reviews and measuring translation quality, community efforts to create localization style guides (15 new guides created this year), and how we hope to empower localizers to perform translation reviews and both give & receive feedback within our translation environments (Pootle and Pontoon). We unanimously decided that style guides need to continue to be our focus throughout the remainder of this year. At the beginning of 2017, we’ll begin discussions and spec work for implementing review and feedback features in our tools.
Localization hack-a-thon planning
Hack-a-thons in 2016 have been a large success! We’ve been able to meet with 86 localizers across 32 locales in the first half of the year. In Pootle alone, localizers translated and reviewed 18,524 words during their own hackathons. At least 15 l10n communities created new style guides during their hackathon and 6 communities began localizing new projects. For the remainder of the year, we’ve had to make some changes to the hack-a-thon schedule we published earlier this year. If your community has not yet been involved in a hack-a-thon, have a look at this schedule to see when it is scheduled:
Balkans (8-11) – bg, bs, el, hr, hu, hy-AM, mk, ro, sl, sr
L10n-driver(s): Matjaz, Flod, Stas, & Delphine
Asia (26-29) – ja, ko, zh-CN, zh-TW, id, km, ms, th, tl, vi
L10n-driver(s): Jeff, Pei, flod, Gary, David
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Indic (23-26) – bn(2), hi, kn, mai, ml, mr, np, pa, si, ta, te
L10n-driver(s): Axel, Jeff
Istanbul (16-19) – ar, az, fa, he, ka, kk, tr, uz, ur
L10n-driver(s): Flod, Delphine, & Stas
Paris (4-7) – an, ast, ach, af, ca, eu, ff, gl, es-ES, fr, it, lij, pt-PT, rm, son, wo
L10n-driver(s): Delphine, Flod, Gandalf
Improving the l10n bootstrapping process
We’re working to change the process by which we ship new localizations of Firefox, Firefox for Android, Firefox for iOS, mozilla.org, etc. Each member of the PM group has realized that we have a different set of criteria for determining when a new locale should ship for any project. This session was about describing each of our individualized criteria and finding common ground upon which to build standard criteria for shipping new locales across all projects. This will be a continuing conversation after London All-Hands.
Localization Pootle Development
Dwayne Bailey from Translate House gave us an overview of Pootle’s development focus for the last six months and what he plans to implement over the course of the next six months. These include:
- Pootle FS (automatic source & target repository sync)
- Exposing user stats
- Pootle version migration
- Translation unity retrieval optimization
- L20n implementation
- Editor improvements (single quote, double quote, escapes)
- Deadline comms & generic notification system
- Mobile UI improvements
- In-context l10n
- Robust review workflows/cycles
Localization Pontoon Development
Matjaz Horvat gave us an overview of Pontoon’s development focus for the last six months and what he plans to implement over the course of the next six months. These include:
- Batch actions (e.g., batch suggestion approval/rejection)
- String status filtering optimization
- Pontoon sync (automatic source & target repository sync)
- Filter by author/translation date
- User-prioritized suggested locales
- L20n implementation
- New dashboards
- Privatizing emails
- ELMO & Pontoon merger
Future of Firefox l10n/i18n
The future of Firefox l10n/i18n is bright! L20n is on the verge of full implementation in Firefox desktop. In brief, this means that localizers will be able to utilize fully natural expression as part of their more challenging translations (in both Pontoon & Pootle), ship localization updates to users outside of the regular release cycle, and not break localization builds (i.e., no more yellow screen of death). With L20n, cross-channel localization, and automatic source & target repository sync from both Pootle and Pontoon, decisions about what tool to use will become based on an individual’s preference or the task-at-hand (i.e., no lockdown on tool chains). We’ll follow up with a blog post to provide more details on all of this.
Questions about any of these topics are very welcome. We’re looking forward to rolling out these changes and improving the l10n experience for everyone involved!