lundi 30 juin 2014

My Q2-2014 report

Summary of what I did last quarter (regular l10n-drivers work such as patch reviews, pushes to production, meetings and past projects maintenance excluded) .

Australis release

At the end of April, we shipped Firefox 29 which was our first major redesign of the Firefox user interface since Firefox 4 (released in 2011). The code name for that was Australis and that meant replacing a lot of content on to introduce this new UI and the new features that go with it. That also means that we were able to delete a lot of old content that now had become really obsolete or that was now duplicated on our support site.

Since this was a major UI change, we decided to show an interactive tour of the new UI to both new users and existing users upgrading to the new version. That tour was fully localized in a few weeks time in close to 70 languages, which represents 97.5% of our user base. For the last locales not ready on time, we either decided to show them a partially translated site (some locales had translated almost everything or some of the non-translated strings were not very visible to most users, such as alternative content to images for screen readers) or to let the page fall back to the best language available (like Occitan falling back to French for example). was also updated with 6 new product pages replacing a lot of old content as well as updates to several existing pages. The whole site was fully ready for the launch with 60 languages 100% ready and 20 partially ready, all that done in a bit less than 4 weeks, parallel to the webdev integration work.

I am happy to say that thanks to our webdev team, our amazing l10n community and with the help of my colleagues Francesco Lodolo (also Italian localizer) and my intern Théo Chevalier (also French localizer), we were able to not only offer a great upgrading experience for the quasi totality of our user base, we were also able to clean up a lot of old content, fix many bugs and prepare the site from an l10n perspective for the upcoming releases of our products.

Today, for a big locale spanning all of our products and activities, is about 2,000 strings to translate and maintain (+500 since Q1), for a smaller locale, this is about 800 strings (+200 since Q1). This quarter was a significant bump in terms of strings added across all locales but this was closely related to the Australis launch, we shouldn't have such a rise in strings impacting all locales in the next quarters.

Transvision releases

Last quarter we did 2 releases of Transvision with several features targeting out 3 audiences: localizers, localization tools, current and potential Transvision developers.

For our localizers, I worked on a couple of features, one is quick filtering of search results per component for Desktop repositories (you search for 'home' and with one click, you can filter the results for the browser, for mail or for calendar for example). The other one is providing search suggestions when your search yields no results with the best similar matches ("your search for 'lookmark' yielded no result, maybe you were searching for 'Bookmark'?").

For the localization tools community (software or web apps like Pontoon, Mozilla translator, Babelzilla, OmegaT plugins...), I rewrote entirely our old Json API and extended it to provide more services. Our old API was initially created for our own purposes and basically was just giving the possibility to get our search results as a Json feed on our most popular views. Tools started using it a couple of years ago and we also got requests for API changes from those tool makers, therefore it was time to rewrite it entirely to make it scalable. Since we don't want to break anybody's workflow, we now redirect all the old API calls to the new API ones. One of the significant new service to the API is a translation memory query that gives you results and a quality index based on the Levenshtein distance with the searched terms. You can get more information on the new API in our documentation.

I also worked on improving our internal workflow and make it easier for potential developers wanting to hack on Transvision to install and run it locally. That meant that now we do continuous integration with Travis CI (all of our unit tests are ran on each commit and pull request on PHP 5.4 and 5.5 environments), we have made a lot of improvements to our unit tests suite and coverage, we expose to developers peak memory usage and time per request on all views so as to catch performance problems early, and we also now have a "dev" mode that allows getting Transvision installed and running on the PHP development server in a matter of minutes instead of hours for a real production mode. One of the blockers for new developers was the time required to install Transvision locally. Since it is a spidering tool looking for localized strings in Mozilla source repositories, it needed to first clone all the repositories it indexes (mercurial/git/svn) which is about 20GB of data and takes hours even with a fast connection. We are now providing a snapshot of the final extracted data (still 400MB ;)) every 6 hours that is used by the dev install mode.

Check the release notes for 3.3 and 3.4 to see what other features were added by the team (/ex: on demand TMX generation or dynamic Gaia comparison view added by Théo, my intern).

Web dashboard / Langchecker

The main improvement I brought to the web dashboard is probably this quarter the deadline field to all of our .lang files, which allows to better communicate the urgency of projects and for localizers are an extra parameter allowing them to prioritize their work.

Theo's first project for his internship was to build a 'project' view on the web dashboard that we can use to get an overview of the translation of a set of pages/files, this was used for the Australis release (ex: but can be used to any other project we want to define , here is an example for the localization of two Android Add-ons I did for the World Cup that we did and tracked with .lang files.

We brought other improvements to our maintenance scripts for example to be able to "bulk activate" a page for all the locales ready, we improved our locamotion import scripts, started adding unit tests etc. Generally speaking, the Web dashboard keeps improving regularly since I rewrote it last quarter and we regularly experiment using it for more projects, especially for projects which don't fit in the usual web/product categories and that also need tracking. I am pretty happy too that now I co-own the dashboard with Francesco who brings his own ideas and code to streamline our processes.

Théo's internship

I mentionned it before, our main French localizer Théo Chevalier, is doing an internship with me and Delphine Lebédel as mentors, this is the internship that ends his 3rd year of engineering (in a 5 years curriculum). He is based in Montain View, started early April and will be with us until late July.

He is basically working on almost all of the projects I, Delphine and Flod work on.

So far, apart from regular work as an l10n-driver, he has worked for me on 3 projects, the Web Dashboard projects view, building TMX files on demand on Transvision and the Firefox Nightly localized page on This last project I haven't talked about yet and he blogged about it recently, in short, the first page that is shown to users of localized builds of Firefox Nightly can now be localized, and by localized we don't just mean translated, we mean that we have a community block managed by the local community proposing Nightly users to join their local team "on the ground". So far, we have this page in French, Italian, German and Czech, if your locale workflow is to translate mozilla-central first, this is a good tooll for you to reach a potential technical audience to grow your community .


This quarter, I found 7 new localizers (2 French, 1 Marahati, 2 Portuguese/Portugal, 1 Greek, 1 Albanian) to work with me essentially on content. One of them, Nicolas Delebeque, took the lead on the Australis launch and coordinated the French l10n team since Théo, our locale leader for French, was starting his internship at Mozilla.

For Transvision, 4 people in the French community (after all, Transvision was created initially by them ;)) expressed interest or small patches to the project, maybe all the efforts we did in making the application easy to install and hack are starting to pay, we'll probably see in Q3/Q4 :)

I spent some time trying to help rebuild the Portugal community which is now 5 people (instead of 2 before), we recently resurrected the domain name to actually point to a server, the MozFR one already hosting the French community and WoMoz (having the French community help the Portuguese one is cool BTW). A mailing list for Portugal was created (accessible also as nntp and via google groups) and the #mozilla-portugal IRC channel was created. This is a start, I hope to have time in Q3 to help launch a real Portugal site and help them grow beyond localization because I think that communities focused on only one activity have no room to grow or renew themselves (you also need coding, QA, events, marketing...).

I also started looking at Babelzilla new platform rewrite project to replace the current aging platform ( to see if I can help Jürgen, the only Babelzilla dev, with building a community around his project. Maybe some of the experience I gained through Transvision will be transferable to Babelzilla (was a one man effort, now 4 people commit regularly out of 10 committers). We'll see in the next quarters if I can help somehow, I only had time to far to install the app locally.

In terms of events, this was a quiet quarter, apart from our l10n-drivers work week, the only localization event I was in was the localization sprint over a whole weekend in the Paris office. Clarista, the main organizer blogged about it in French, many thanks to her and the whole community that came over, it was very productive, we will definitely do it again and maybe make it a recurring event.


This quarter was a good balance between shipping, tooling and community building. The beginning of the quarter was really focused on shipping Australis and as usual with big releases, we created scripts and tools that will help us ship better and faster in the future. Tooling and in particular Transvision work which is probably now my main project, took most of my time in the second part of the quarter.

Community building was as usual a constant in my work, the one thing that I find more difficult now in this area is finding time for it in the evening/week end (when most potential volunteers are available for synchronous communication) basically because it conflicts with my family life a bit. I am trying to be more efficient recruiting using asynchronous communication tools (email, forums…) but as long as I can get 5 to 10 additional people per quarter to work with me, it should be fine with scaling our projects.

lundi 7 avril 2014

My Q1-2014 report

Here is what I did in Q1 Tools and code This quarter we have made 2 releases of Transvision (3.1 and 3.2). For 3.1, most of the credit goes to my colleague (and Italian localizer) Francesco Lodolo who integrated his productization scripts into the app and worked on redesigning the menus and making

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jeudi 19 décembre 2013

My Q4-2013 report

It's the end of the quarter, just list last quarter I wrote down a summary of what I did this quarter for Mozilla for posterity, here it is Tools and code Once again, I spent significant time working on tools this quarter. My activity was focused on Transvision, Langchecker and my FirefoxOS

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lundi 4 novembre 2013

PHP: détecter si l'encodage d'un fichier est en utf8

Dans mon boulot on travaille uniquement avec des fichiers source en UTF8, notre site principal est en python mais j'ai des outils de maintenance extérieurs au site qui sont en PHP, étant donné que l'on travaille avec une bonne centaine de bénévoles qui ont accès au svn où nous stockons les fichiers

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mardi 1 octobre 2013

What I did in Q3

A quick recap of what I did in Q3  so as that people know what kind of work we do in the l10n-drivers team and because as a service team to other department, a lot of what we do is not necessarily visible.Tools and code I spent significantly more time on tool this quarter than in the past, I am also

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lundi 9 septembre 2013

Événements chez Mozilla Paris en Septembre !

Depuis la récente ouverture des nouveaux locaux de Mozilla à Paris, nous organisons régulièrement des réunions et des événements avec la communauté Mozilla bien sûr, mais aussi avec les communautés du libre et du web francophones. Nous organisons aussi de nombreuses autres rencontres et séminaires

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mardi 13 août 2013

Dotclear a 10 ans, mon blog aussi !

Aujourd'hui 13 juillet 2013, Dotclear fête ses 10 ans ! De mon côté, j'ai ouvert mon blog sous Blogger il y a a un peu plus de 10 ans et je l'ouvrais avec ces mots : Ok, voici donc mon carnet web, à force de lire ceux des autres, ça m'a donné envie d'avoir le mien J'y mettrai essentiellement mes

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mercredi 31 juillet 2013

Transliterating Serbian Cyrillic to Serbian Latin on Linux with PHP

Mozilla has beeen shipping Firefox in Serbian for many years and we ship it in cyrillic script, that means that our software, our sites, our documentation is all in cyrillic for Serbian. You may not know it (especially if you are not European), but Serbian can be written in both Cyrillic and Latin

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jeudi 18 avril 2013

MozFR Transvision Reloaded: 1 year later

Just one year ago, the French Mozilla community was living times of major changes: several key historical contributors were leaving the project, our various community portals were no longer updates or broken, our tools were no longer maintained. At the same time a few new contributors were also

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vendredi 7 décembre 2012

Parser des fichiers properties en PHP, ma lib pour composer

En début de semaine, mes copains de Mozilla Hispano ont lancé un projet qu'ils préparaient depuis quelques temps déjà, une petite application d'assitance aux utilisateurs pour leur page Facebook. Cette application interroge l'API du site d'assistance officiel de Mozilla (alias SUMO, pour

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mardi 4 décembre 2012

Compiler Firefox OS en version desktop sur une Ubuntu

Firefox OS sur Ubuntu

J'ai installé hier Firefox OS en version Desktop sur mon Ubuntu (12.04) afin de jouer avec. Voici les étapes qui marchent chez moi : Tout d'abord, il vous faut installer les paquets nécessaire à la compilation et bien sûr les outils de gestionnaire de version nécessaires : sudo apt-get install

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vendredi 30 novembre 2012

Quelques nouvelles Mozilla

Tiens, ce matin j'ai envie d'utiliser mon blog Alors voilà quelques nouvelles intéressantes cette semaine liées à Mozilla : Mozilla ces deux dernières années s'est beaucoup impliqué techniquement dans les groupes de travail de l'IETF qui crée les normes Internet (protocoles par exemple) et dépend

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jeudi 13 septembre 2012

Vidéo de démo du serveur intégré à PHP 5.4

J'ai fait une petite vidéo de démo de l'utilisation du serveur web intégré dans PHP 5.4, vous la trouverez ici :

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mercredi 6 juin 2012

Fonctionnement en parallèle de deux versions de Firefox

Une petite astuce que j'ai apprise récemment sur IRC et qui est bien pratique. J'utilise en permanence deux versions de Firefox (celle proposée par les dépôts Ubuntu et Firefox Nightly). Jusque là, tout va bien, j'ai un lanceur spécifique qui me permet de les lancer en parallèle avec des profils

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samedi 17 mars 2012

Nouvelle page d'accueil pour Firefox + nouvelle page sur ouverture d'onglet

Depuis quelques jours, la page d'accueil de Firefox (about:home) a connu sa première modification majeure depuis Firefox 4. Désormais, de larges icônes permettent d'accéder aux marque-pages, à l'historique, aux extensions, aux paramètres de Firefox, au gestionnaire de téléchargements et à l'outil de

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jeudi 1 mars 2012

Toshiba L735-116 et reconnaissance de la batterie sous Linux

La batterie de mon portable n'est pas reconnue par Linux, ce qui veut dire que linux ne me donne pas d'indicateur de charge quand je suis débranché. Jusqu'à présent je devais à chaque changement de noyau le recompiler avec un patch spécial. J'ai trouvé hier une méthode complémentaire sur un blog qui

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lundi 21 novembre 2011

Thanks for the patch René-Luc

Last week, at Mozilla Camp Europe, René-Luc D'hont a developper and community member showed us a regression on Mozilla Nightly builds that were breaking the mozilla-based application he is working on. We helped René-Luc file a bug and provide a patch and this has just landed in time for the next

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lundi 17 octobre 2011

How I got involved in Mozilla

Following David Boswell's suggestion to share our Mozilla stories, here is mine I think my first community involvement was early 2000 when I started helping people on usenet having technical problems creating web pages for Netscape 4. I was not a very technical person at that time (I had studied

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vendredi 4 février 2011

Ce soir c'est Fosdem, venez rencontrer Mozilla !

Comme tous les ans depuis 2004,  je vais à FOSDEM ce soir pour y passer le week end entre développeurs libristes à boire des bières refaire le monde et partager l'expérience de nos différents projets. Si vous avez envie de participer à un projet international et populaire (utilisé par 400 millions

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jeudi 3 février 2011

J'ai un patch dans Firefox 4 beta 10, pourquoi pas vous ?

Depuis aujourd'hui, dans la version Linux de Firefox,  l'icône symbolisant un document vide ou une page qui n'a pas d'icône envoyée par le serveur ont un nouvel aspect un peu plus intégré dans Gnome puisque la vieille icône en png a été remplacée par un appel à l'icône système équivalente sous

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