Goals and vision for Mozilla l10n 2016

A lot of improvements to Mozilla l10n tools and process have come throughout 2016. We’ve deeply enjoyed connecting with members of the community to learn what other improvements you would like to see in l10n. For the rest of the year, the l10n team has a number of goals we’re working toward accomplishing by 1 January 2017:


  • Land L20n in Firefox desktop,
  • Implement cross-channel localization for Firefox and Firefox for Android,
  • Track all project statuses in GitHub Projects and report frequently,
  • Recreate our documentation,
  • Mozilla.org as first project for new communities,
  • Define goals and format for hackathons in 2017.

Land L20n in Firefox desktop on mozilla-central

We’ve been talking about l20n for a long time now and it’s finally coming to Firefox desktop. Changing this infrastructure has a number of benefits (that we’ve mentioned in other blog posts) as well as a number of dependencies. The aim is to land l20n in mozilla-central soon after merge day in November, meaning that Firefox 53 will be the first version of Firefox to use the new framework. There are a number of dependencies to accomplishing this and making the transition smooth for everyone. These are the dependencies that are most relevant to the localization work you do:


  1. Pontoon & Pootle need a UI that allow localizers to use the robust l20n features easily and without requiring a steep learning curve.
  2. Documentation & en-US style guide needs to be updated to reflect the change to the FTL file format and l20n syntax.
  3. Dashboards (i.e., compare-locales) need to be able to scan and report stats on l20n strings.
  4. Migrating your translations into the new format needs to be seamless.


Implement cross-channel localization for Firefox and Firefox for Android

This is another one that we’ve mentioned once or twice in previous blog posts. Last December, Axel developed the idea to unify all of a locale’s Mercurial repository channels into one repository. This means that each locale will only have one Mercurial repository for Firefox and Firefox for Android rather than three separate ones for aurora, beta, and release (and nightly for some). Thunderbird and SeaMonkey will use the same process. This will lay the foundation for a couple of changes that affect you in the future:


  1. You’ll be able to make corrections once and they’ll show up in Aurora and Nightly immediately. We’ll be working to extend this to Beta and Release in 2017.
  2. We will have more freedom to determine when localization updates happen across multiple channels and outside of the normal release cycle.
  3. Those wanting to translate more often will easily be able to do so while those wanting to translate only once per cycle can continue with that frequency.


Track all l10n-driver project statuses in GitHub Projects and report frequently.

Transparency has been a high priority for us over the last several months. We even spent a week together in Reykjavík to discuss, explore, and create a way to improve our transparency. Coming out of that work week, Stas created an IRC bot in #l10n-drivers that allows us to tell it to-do items to add to a list and organize at a later time. Once organized into categories like struggles, accomplishments, current goals, etc., they are copied and pasted into our weekly planning meeting wiki pages for anyone to read.


Another decision made from that work week was that we need to have a central place to track projects that we’re working on, such as cross-channel l10n, landing l20n, hackathons, etc. We explored a few different solutions (including Trello) and settled on using GitHub Projects ( https://github.com/mozilla-l10n/roadmap/projects/ & https://github.com/mozilla-l10n/pm-projects/projects ) to track these projects. If you want to follow along with these projects and stay up-to-date with what the l10n-drivers are working on, you’re welcome to watch these projects with your GitHub account.


Recreate our documentation.

It’s been 5 years since our documentation was last re-written. Localization at Mozilla has changed dramatically since that time. The documentation is terribly outdated, difficult to find, and hard to navigate. The plan for the rest of the years is to inventory our current documentation, get rid of everything in MDN and WikiMo, and migrate anything that is still useful to GitHub markdown files. Once all of the documentation is written, we’ll begin creating tutorial-like, task-based, screencasts and add them to the Mozilla L10n YouTube channel.

A lot of this sounds like work just for the l10n-drivers, but I know that there have been many members of the global community working on creating their own training documentation for localization. If you’re interested in getting involved now, help us find information gaps in our existing documentation on MDN and WikiMo and file the request as an issue in GitHub ( https://github.com/mozilla-l10n/ ). You can also help us to create screencast videos once the documentation is complete. We’ll create a process for creating and submitting these videos, most likely in 2017.


Mozilla.org as first project for new communities.

Historically when communities approached us about localizing Firefox, we directed them to Firefox desktop first. Gradually, we learned that Firefox for Android or Firefox for iOS were more appropriate first projects for specific regions. With this product-specific focus, mozilla.org is often left behind as an afterthought by most new communities. Product localization usually is more technical, requires more time, are bigger projects to tackle, and aren’t the first point of interaction a potential user has with Mozilla. As a result, many new communities start, but don’t finish. Starting this quarter, we’ll begin funneling new communities toward completing mozilla.org. We hope that this will provide a quicker turnaround for new communities to see the impact of their contributions by being less technical, updating very frequently, and by being the second smallest project in the list of primary Mozilla l10n projects

Define goals and format for 2017 hackathons.

We’re looking forward to closing out this year strong to set us up to do some really fun and innovative things in 2017.

One comment on “Goals and vision for Mozilla l10n 2016”

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  1. Michal Stanke wrote on

    I like these goals and wonder, if it’s really possible to achieve them all in two months. Not sure I can help you with coding now, but if you need any help with the documentation, I will be really happy to help you. Just ping me in that case!


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