The first of the 2016 l10n hackathons took place in beautiful Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Our very generous hosts were our friends at ThoughtWorks. Take a look at the amazing view they have outside of their office!
Twice per year, Mozillians from around the world meet together for a week to work closely on projects that have a high-level impact. We also learn about new directions in the Mozilla vision and the roles that we play in that vision.
We (the l10n-drivers) have the pleasure of selecting Mozillians in the l10n community to join us for specific projects at each of these All Hands work weeks. The way it works is like this:
- The Platform group (l10n is part of Platform) is given a budget and a number of Mozillians we can select to come to All Hands to collaborate on specific projects with us about 3-4 months in advance.
- We determine which projects we will focus on during our time together and make goals for what we’ll accomplish in those projects during the week.
- Once the projects are decided, we identify Mozillians who are actively contributing to those projects we want to tackle at All Hands.
- We then follow a similar process to the process we use to invite Mozillians to the l10n hackathons we organize by asking ourselves this series of questions about those Mozillians we’ve identified:
- Who is most engaged in the specific l10n infrastructure projects we’ll be working on at All Hands (for example, Transvision, Pootle dev, etc.)?
- Who will be able to represent a particular l10n perspective when involved in cross-functional area meetings (for example, who can contribute code to implementing RTL support in Fennec)?
- Who is tuned into the global l10n community and can represent their viewpoints in l10n conversations?
- Who is currently working in l10n and other functional areas of Mozilla and would benefit from meeting with multiple teams in a Work Week?
- Who can participate best within the l10n agenda and goals that we hope to accomplish during this specific Work Week?
How can I apply or be nominated to go to All Hands for l10n?
There is no self-nomination or application process. We support the Participation Team’s “open nominations” program, which engages with global community leaders to nominate members of their community who seek to deepend their participation within the Mozilla project. We will be part of the nomination review process here. During that process, we’ll apply our selection criteria (mentioned above) for All-Hands Work Weeks to those of you who apply for the program.
We look forward to seeing a many localizer nominations to this “open nominations” program. If any of you have questions about this, please feel free to ask. We’re always interested in improving our selection criteria for these opportunities and we attempt to improve and iterate where we’re falling short. Feel free to reach out to us if you have ideas on how we can iterate and improve here.
In 2015 the l10n-drivers sought out to re-unite localization communities that hadn’t had an opportunity to gather and hack on localization challenges in person in years. We created a three year plan to bring back a sense of community and collaboration that is critical to Mozilla’s ability to deliver quality localizations of Firefox and other products to users worldwide. The plan is as follows:
2015: L10n-drivers organized and led these hackathons, including most (if not all) logistics and a templated agenda for each hackathon.
2016: L10n-drivers create a hackathon schedule and plan parts of the hackathon, leaving most of the agenda and some logistics to be collaboratively planned by the l10n communities participating in each. L10n communities lead the hackathons during the event.
2017: L10n communities organize and lead l10n hackathons for their community or for multiple communities, including logistics and agenda. L10n communities invite l10n-drivers to attend the hackathons in which their presence is needed.
Thank you all for your great work with Firefox 45 and 46. Here’s an outline of what is currently in Aurora this cycle (47) and what we accomplished together last cycle:
This cycle (Fx47)
- Beta (46) sign offs for *already shipping locales* must be completed before 6 April.
- Aurora (47) sign offs must be completed before 18 April.
- Approximately 177 new strings landed in Firefox desktop and 13 for Fennec (unshared).
- About 59% of the new strings in desktop are in devtools and DOM. 10% are for a Synced tabs sidebar. 10% are related to rewording the phishing warning message in Safe Browsing. 5% are for the Narrate feature in Reader Mode. Please see the Aurora release notes for Firefox desktop for more info (to be available soon).
- 23% of the new strings in Fennec are related to rewording the phishing warning message in Safe Browsing. 23% are concerning the phasing out of Gingerbread support. Please see the Aurora release notes for Fennec for more info (to be available soon).
Noteworthy events (45):
- 63% of all locales signed off on updates of Firefox 45 on desktop. Congratulations to everyone who signed off and shipped this last cycle! Sadly, this is an 11% decrease in locale coverage between Firefox 44 and Firefox 45.
- 62% of all locales shipped signed off updates of Fennec 45 on Android. Congratulations to everyone who signed off and shipped this last cycle! Sadly, this is an 12% decrease in locale coverage between Fennec 44 and Fennec 45.
- Despite the lower number of sign-offs, about 96% of all l10n communities contributed to making Firefox & Fennec 45 available in their native languages. Thank you for your time and effort!
- The Guaraní localization team launched their first localization of Firefox desktop in Fx45! This is the first indigenous Latin American language community to ship a Mozilla localization.
- The Romansh and Maya Kaqchikel localization team will launch their first Mozilla localizations in Firefox for Android in Fennec 46!
Thank you to everyone for all of your dedication and hard work this last sprint. As always, if you note anything missing in these reports, please let us know.
When French Mozillians join in Paris Office to translate all over a week-end, they call it locasprint: French contributors are working and have fun together in the same place to improve French user experience of every Mozilla product. Here is a quick report of our recent #4 Locasprint.
Twice per year, Mozillians from around the world are invited to attend 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 Orlando. More information about many of these sessions will be made available in the coming weeks.
This cycle (Fx45)
- Beta (44) sign offs for *already shipping locales* must be completed before 13 January.
- Aurora (45) sign offs must be completed before 25 January.
- Approximately 186 new strings landed in Firefox Aurora desktop and 64 for Fennec Aurora (unshared).
- devtools is now in its own root directory within l10n repos – https://bugzil.la/1182722
- 40% of the new strings in desktop are in devtools and DOM. 17% are for the Firefox Hello client. Please see https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/45.0a2/auroranotes/ for more info.
- 19% of the new strings in Fennec are related to content blocking. 41% are for Fennec preferences. 8% are for the home screen. We’ll see a couple of Firefox Account strings land today (see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1220904 ). Please see https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/android/45.0a2/auroranotes/ for more information.
Last 2 cycles
- 84% of all locales shipped signed off updates of Firefox 42 on desktop. This is a massive 17% increase in locale coverage between Firefox 41 and Firefox 42!
- 80% of all locales shipped signed off updates of Fennec 42 on Android. This is a 6% increase in locale coverage between Fennec 41 and Fennec 42!
- 66% of all locales shipped signed off updates of Firefox 43 on desktop. This is an 18% decrease in locale coverage between Firefox 42 and Firefox 43.
- 62% of all locales shipped signed off updates of Fennec 43 on Android. This is an 18% decrease in locale coverage between Fennec 42 and Fennec 43.
- We’re also looking forward to seeing the Lao and Romansh localization teams launch their first Mozilla localizations in Firefox for Android soon.
At the beginning of October, Axel and I took a trip to Istanbul to organize a new l10n hackathon. Is there a more iconic place than a city extending over two continents, with such diversity of culture, to host a localization event?
The target for these meetings is to gather key l10n contributors in the region, bring them up to speed on the latest updates regarding Mozilla, and understand their team’s health and perspectives.
At this event, hosted by a local hacking space named Iskele47, we had representatives from five languages: Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Russian, Turkish, and Uzbek.
(Blog post by Théo Chevalier)
Firefox OS is distributed across several countries and quickly expands throughout Africa. For many people, Firefox OS devices will be their first phone. This was an opportunity for Mozilla to provide phones in languages that are too often ignored or not well supported by other companies.
For many people, it will also be the first time they can get a phone that speaks their language. We are excited about it, localizers are excited about it, everyone is excited about it. With the recent addition of new African languages, Firefox OS 2.2 supports up to 97 languages – 40 of which are complete translation-wise!
From our own experience, we learned that building communities of localizers in Africa is extremely hard, and we failed many times. Even running on-ground events cannot guarantee people will be able to work together on the long term. We realized that connectivity is a major issue, though not the only one.
So during the summer we reached out to several people – most of them come from an Open Source background and have contributed already to other projects – explaining to them what we were trying to achieve with Firefox OS in Africa. We provided them communication channels and general support to start localization activities and get them up and running. We’ve been amazed to see communities growing up, especially around three languages: Bambara, Malagasy and Wolof.
Arky, Delphine, Peiying, and I have just returned from spending a spectacular week at an event that is a first for the Mozilla Localization community: a gathering for Right-to-Left (RTL) localization communities! This was a very unique event, not only because it was the first hackathon dedicated to RTL issues, but it was also one of the few hackathons we’ve arranged outside of any of the RTL localization communities’ home countries. The Sinhala localization team hosted the event and were very welcome LTR participants within an otherwise RTL event.
A unique event
Never before have we been able to organize an event specifically for RTL. Being gathered together in Sri Lanka created a very unique opportunity to hear about RTL issues from a variety of perspectives. Additionally, being that half of the Persian l10n community is based in Iran, none of us had previously had the chance to meet and spend time with them. We were very fortunate to bring our Iranian Mozillian friends to this event and learn of their efforts to localize Firefox into their native language. Finally, we were pleased to organize the first meeting of the complete Urdu l10n community. I use the term “complete” because the Urdu l10n community is spread across India and Pakistan. They had made attempts to gather together in the past, but had been unsuccessful. Meeting in Sri Lanka gave us this opportunity and the full team was happy to be together for the first time.
RTL l10n communities at Mozilla
Firefox desktop is the only Mozilla product that has RTL support explicitly developed into it. Over the years, RTL support has been a desired feature in Mozilla’s mobile products, but our expertise and sustainable plans for it have not been able to culminate in fully supported RTL Fennec or Firefox OS products. Firefox OS has inched closer and closer to this reality and many within the Arabic and Urdu communities have dedicated time to testing RTL bugs and improving the support within that platform. We organized this hackathon for two reasons: 1) to include these locales in the list of teams we aimed to meet with in person during 2015; 2) to bring RTL localizers/users together in a room to triage bugs, learn how to test RTL issues, and establish a taskforce to be more involved in RTL across multiple Mozilla projects.
RTL hackathon activities
The agenda for this hackathon can be found in the Mozilla wiki. Within the wiki, you’ll find the agenda, as well as all of the etherpad notes that were taken during the event. These notes not only covered the morning discussions, but also provide an overview of the Arabic, Urdu, Persian, and Sinhala l10n community status as of October 2015. The agenda covered many of the same topics that (if you’ve been following along throughout the year) can also be found on the agendas of other hackathons. The key difference between this hackathon and others was how the free time in the afternoon was spent. Nearly all of the l10n teams participating in the hackathon were up-to-date on their product l10n projects for the 42 release. During their free time, they localized web parts content, initiated new l10n projects (e.g., the Persian team started localizing Firefox OS 2.5), and formed an RTL taskforce.
It has become obvious to the various RTL communities that the creation of an RTL task force is needed in order to drive the RTL effort onwards.Participants (mostly developers) from Arabic, Persian and Urdu teams have agreed that the RTL task force needs to be first and foremost a global task force – and that they can then address the possible RTL differences from one language to another as they come.
We have started to form a couple goals for this task force:
- Planning and working on creating a seamless RTL experience across Mozilla products
- Identify and study possible differences in RTL across languages
- Fixing bugs in Fennec: RTL tracker bug for RTL Fennec for Android — https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=702845
- Finding and filing bugs in Fennec
- Fixing bugs in Firefox OS current master- Meta bug: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1179459
- Finding and filing bugs in FirefoxOS (under FirefoxOS > Gaia:component)
In order to get everyone on the same page and start working actual dev work, we have agreed that an RTL hackathon should take place soon, in order to have presentations on best coding practices and then do some hands-on bug fixing. This will also be the opportunity to define and prioritize the RTL task force’s goals.
With the creation of this task force, our next action items are to create tools to support this community (irc channel, wiki pages, mailing list, etc). Please stay tuned for progress on this great initiative!
Our host country & community
The Sinhala localization team in Sri Lanka was an amazing host community. They helped to select our accommodations, introduced us to delicious Sri Lankan food, and even took us site seeing and shopping. They introduced us to their culture, their home, and even brought us out to witness a large, 4-hour long Buddhist parade through Colombo which included Asiatic elephants! Peiying even got to pet one 😉 We had a great time and look forward to the Sri Lanka community inviting us back.