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Mot-clé - Transvision

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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 happy to say that Transvision is now a 6 people team and that we will all be at Brussels for the Summit (see my blog post in April). I like it, I like to create the small tools and scripts that make my life or localizers life better.

  • Two releases of Transvision (release notes) + some preparatory work for future l20n compatibility
  • Created a mini-dashboard for our team so as to help us follow FirefoxOS work
  • Wrote the conversion script to convert our Serbian Cyrillic string repository to Serbian Latin (see this blog post)
  • Turned my langchecker scripts (key part of the Web Dashboard) into a github project and worked with Flod on improving our management scripts for mozilla.org and fhr. A recent improvement is that we can now import automatically translations done on Locamotion You can see a list of the changes in the release notes.
  • Worked on scripts allowing to query bugzilla without using the official API (because the data I want is specific to the mozilla customizations we need for locales), that will probably be part of the Webdashboard soon so as to be able to extract Web localization bugs from multiple components (gist here). Basically I had the idea to use the CSV export feature for advanced search in Bugzilla as a public read-only API :)
  • Several python patches to mozilla.org to fix l10n bugs or improve our tools to ship localized pages (Bug 891835, Bug 905165, Bug 904703).

Mozilla.org localization

Since we merged all of our major websites (mozilla.org, mozilla.com, mozilla-europe.org, mozillamessaging.com) under the single mozilla.org domain name two years ago with a new framework based on Django, we have gained in consistency but localization of several backends under one single domain and a new framework slowed us down for a while. I'd say that we are now mostly back to the old mozilla.com speed of localization, lots of bugs and features were added to Bedrok (nickname of our Django-powered site), we have a very good collaboration with the webdev/webprod teams on the site and we are more people working on it. I think this quarter localizer felt that a lot more work was asked from them on mozilla.org, I'll try to make sure we don't loose locales on the road, this is a website that hosts content for 90 locales, but we are back to speed with tons of new people!

  • Main Firefox download page (and all the download buttons across the site) finally migrated to Bedrock, our Django instance.  Two major updates to that page this quarter (+50 locales), more to come next quarter, this is part of a bigger effort to simplify our download process, stop maintaining so many different specialized download pages and SEO improvements.
  • Mozilla.org home page is now l10n-friendly and we just shipped it in 28 languages. Depending on your locale, visitor see custom content (news items, calls for contribution or translation...)
  • Several key high traffic pages (about products updade) are now localized and maintained at large scale (50+ locales)
  • Newsletter center and newsletter subscription process largely migrated to Bedrock and additional locales supported (but there is still work to do there)
  • The plugincheck web application is also largely migrated to Bedrock (61 locales on bedrock, about 30 more to migrate before we can delete the older backend and maintain only one version)
  • The contribute page scaled up tp 28 locales with local teams of volunteers behind answering people that contact us
  • Firefox OS consumer and industry sub-sites released/updated for +10 locales, with some geoIP in addition to locale detection for tailored content!
  • Many small updates to other existing pages and templates

Community growth

This quarter, I tried to spend some time looking for localizers to work on web content as well as acompanying volunteers that contact us. I know that I am good at finding volunteers that share our values and are achievers, unfortunately I don't have that much time to spend on that. Hopefully I will be able to spend a few days on that every quarter because we need to grow and we need to grow with the best open source contributors! :)

  • About 20 people got involved for the folowing locales: French, Czech, Catalan, Slovenian, Tamil, Bengali, Greek, Spanish (Spain variant), Swedish. Several became key localizers and will be at the Mozilla summit
  • A couple of localizers moved from mozilla.org localization to product localization where their help was more needed, I helped them by finding new people to replace them on web localization and/or empowering existing community members to avoid any burn-out
  • I spent several days in a row specifically helping the Catalan community as it needed help to scale since they now also do all the mobile stuff. I opened a #mozilla-cat IRC channel and found 9 brand new volunteers, some of them professional translators, some of them respected localizers from other open source projects. I'll probably spend some more time to help them next quarter to consolidate this growth. I may keep this strategy every quarter since it seems to be efficient (look for localizers in general and also help one specific team to grow and organize itself to scale up)

Other

  • Significant localization work for Firefox Health Report, both Desktop (shipped) and Mobile versions (soon to be shipped)
  • Lots of meetings for lots of different projects for next quarter :)
  • Two work weeks, one focused on tooling in Berlin, one focused on training my new colleagues Peying and Francesco (but to be honest, Francesco didn't need much of it thanks to his 10 years of involvement in Mozilla as a contributor :) )
  • A lot of work to adjust my processes to work with my new colleague Francesco Lodolo (also an old-timer in the community, he is the Italian Firefox localizer). Kudos to Francesco for helping me with all of the projects! Now I can go on holidays knowing that i have a good backup :)

French community involvement

  • In the new Mozilla paris office I organized a meeting with the LinuxFR admins, because I think it's important to work with the rest of the Open Source ecosystem
  • With Julien Wajsberg (Gaia developer) we organized a one day meeting with the Dotclear community, a popular blogging platform alternative to  Wordpress in France (purely not-for-profit), because we think it's important to work with project that build software that allows people to create content on the Web
  • Preparation of more open source events in the Paris office
  • We migrated our server (hosting Transvision, womoz.org, mozfr.org...) to the latest Debian Stable, which finally brings us a decent modern version of PHP (5.4). We grew our admin community to 2 more people with Ludo and Geb :). Our server flies!

In a nutshell, a very busy quarter! If you want to speak about some of it with me, I will be at the Mozilla Summit in Brussels this week :)

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 popping in our IRC channel asking for ways to get involved in the French Mozilla community.

As a result, Kaze decided to organize the first ever community meetup for the French-speaking community in the Paris office (and we will repeat this meetup in June in the brand new Paris office!) .

IMG_0151

This resulted in a major and successful community reboot. Leaving contributors passed on the torch to other members of the community, newer contributors were meeting in real life for the first time. This is how Clarista officially became our events organizer, this is how Théo replaced Cédric as the main Firefox localizer and this is how I became the new developer for Transvision! :)

What is Transvision? Transvision is a web application created by Philippe Dessantes which was helping the French team finding localized/localizable strings in Mozilla repositories.

Summarized like that, it doesn't sound that great, but believe me, it is! Mozilla applications have big gigantic repos, there are tens of thousands of strings in our mercurial repositories, some of them we have translated like a decade ago, when you decide to change a verb for a better one for example, it is important to be able to find all occurrences of this verb you have used in the past to see if they need update too. When somebody spots a typo or a clumsy wording, it's good to be able to check if you didn't make the same translation mistakes in other parts of the Mozilla applications several years ago and of course, it's good to be able to check that in just a few seconds. Basically, Phillippe had built the QA/assistive technology for our localization process that best fitted our team needs and we just couldn't let it die.

During the MozFR meetup, Philippe showed to me how the application worked and we created a github repository where we put the currently running version of the code. I tagged that code as version 1.0.

Over the summer, I familiarized myself with the code which was mostly procedural PHP, several Bash scripts to maintain copies of our mercurial repos and a Python script used to extract the strings. Quickly, I decided that I would follow the old Open Source strategy of Release early, release often. Since I was doing that on the sidelines of my job at Mozilla,  I needed the changes to be small but frequent incremental steps as I didn't know how much time I could devote to this project. Basically, having frequent releases means that I always have the codebase in mind which is good since I can implement an idea quickly, without having to dive into the code to remember it.

One year and 15 releases later, we are now at version 2.5, so here are the features and achievements I am most proud of:

  1. Transvision is alive and kicking :)
  2. We are now a team! Jesús Perez has been contributing code since last December, a couple more people have shown interest in contributing and Philippe is interested in helping again too. We have also a dynamic community of localizers giving feedback, reporting bugs are asking for immrovements
  3. The project is now organized and if some day I need to step down and pass the torch to another maintainer, he should not have difficulties setting the project up and maintaining it. We have a github repo, release notes, bugs, tagged releases, a beta server, unit testing, basic stats to understand what is used in the app and a mostly cleaned up codebase using much more modern PHP and tools (Atoum, Composer). It's not perfect, but I think that for amateur developers, it's not bad at all and the most important thing is that the code keeps on improving!
  4. There are now more than 3000 searches per week done by localizers on Transvision. That was more like 30 per week a year ago. There are searches in more than 70 languages, although 30 locales are doing the bulk of searches and French is still the biggest consumer with 40% of requests.
  5. Some people are using Transvision in ways I hadn't anticipated, for example our documentation localizers use it to find the translation of UI mentioned in help articles they translate for support.mozilla.org, people in QA use it to point to localized strings in Bugzilla

A quick recap of what we have done, feature-wise, in the last 12 months:

  • Completely redesigned the application to look and feel good
  • Locale to Locale searches, English is not necessarily the locale you want to use as the source (very useful to check differences from languages of the same family, for example Occitan/French/Catalan/Spanish...).
  • Hints and warnings for strings that look too long or too short compare to English, potentially bad typography, access keys that don't match your translation...
  • Possibility for anybody to file a bug in Bugzilla with a pointer to the badly translated string (yes we will use it for QA test days within the French community!)
  • Firefox OS strings are now there
  • Search results are a lot more complete and accurate
  • We now have a stable Json/JsonP API, I know that Pontoon uses it to provide translation suggestions, I heard that the Moses project uses it too. (if you use the Transvision API, ping me, I'd like to know!)
  • We can point any string to the right revision controled file in the source and target repos
  • We have a companion add-on called MozTran for heavy users of the tool provided by Goofy, from our Babelzilla friends.

The above list is of course just a highlight of the main features, you can get more details on the changelog.

If you use Transvision, I hope you enjoy it and that it is useful oo you. If you don't use Transvision (yet), give it a try, it may help you in your translation process, especially if your localization process is similar to the French one (targets Firefox Nighty builds first, work directly on the mercurial repo, focus on QA).

This was the first year of the rebirth of Transvision, I hope that the year to come will be just as good as this one. I learnt a lot with this project and I am happy to see it grow both in terms of usage and community, I am also happy that one tool that was created by a specific localization team is now used by so many other teams in the world :)