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
There were 2 releases of Transvision, 2.9 and 3.0, adding many new features and additional support for Gaia repositories. I also created a #transvision IRC channel on Mozilla IRC server. You can now search strings for 3 locales simultaneaously, check all existing translations for an entity, list all potentially wrong varables in your repo or quickly check all strings that need some extra QA for Firefox OS.
There were also many improvements to langchecker, the tool that I now maintain with my colleague Francesco Lodolo to track and manage progress of translations for projects using our .lang format. Many views were improved and we added features specific to the metadata used on mozilla.org (page activation and home page promos). We also added checks for UTF8 validity of the source files as well as checks for broken or missing python-style replacement variables in translations. We can also know how much of our l10n user base we cover not only per page but also per string on a page, which allows us to decide when we can activate a minor but visible text change on our pages (recently for example, html meta description and title tag changed for SEO reasons on the Firefox download pages).
As for my FirefoxOS mini dashboard (which syndicates data from the l10n dashboard, the langchecker and also contains some manually maintained data sources), it followed Gaia progresses and now tracks Gaia 1.1 and 1.2 in addition to the master branch.
This quarter I found 8 new localizers for mozilla.org and key Firefox web parts for the following locales: Afrikaans, Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Czech, Slovak and Spanish (Mexico). As usual I tried to focus on helping teams that lack manpower and / or maintain Firefox for a minor language.
If we can find 5 to 10 localizers working on key content every quarter, we shouldn't have any problem growing with all of our locales together in the years to come, the thing is that we have to be proactive and look for these people and not wait for them to come to us :),
The only event I went to was the Mozilla Summit, it was great and very productive from a localization point of view, I worked with Dwayne who maintains Locamotion, the Pootle instance focused on Mozilla projects for minor locales (Firefox, mozilla.org content, Firefox OS, Firefox health report) and we worked on improving our collaboration. One of the immediate results this quarter is that now we automate imports of strings for mozilla.org from Locamotion, which takes us a few minutes of work per week and is faster for both Dwayne and ourselves. We are working on how to make it easier for locales on Locamotion to also follow mozilla.org work as this happens at a much quicker pace than product localization.
I also talked and worked with many localizers either on their specific issues (for example Brano and Wlado from the Slovak team asked me for help finding new localizers) or to check what problems a locale has and how to fix them.
A lot of work happened on mozilla.org this quarter. The most visible one is that we now have the home page available in 55 languages, versus 28 at the end of the last quarter. This is a steadily growing number, I hope that we can get the page in 70 locales, the most important is of course maintenance over time. The home page received also several updates promoting various topics and we scaled out l10n work to cover that (end of year donation promo, lightbeam, webmaker, addons). The webdev team implemented a way for us (l10n-drivers) to manage the activation of promos on the home page without code changes thanks to metadata in our lang files, that allowed us to never show mixed language content on the home page and activate these promos for locales as they get done.
Key pages in the main menu (products, mission, about, contribute) are all localizable and localized to about the same scale as the main page. Other key download pages (firefox/channels and firefox/installer-help) pages are also now translated anf maintained at large scale. Lightbeam and State of Mozilla sections were proposed as opt-in projects and have many translations (between 15 and 20 languages). I am happy that we were able to scale the localization of mozilla.org in terms of content (more pages, more content for products), number of locales and locale-specific improvements on the mozilla.org platform (better rtl support, better fonts, l10n friendly templates..), and our management tools to allow us to grow.
Another cool l10n feature that happened on the site was the creation of a 'translation bar' proposing you a mozilla.org page in your language if it exists. This was entirely done by a volunteer Mozillian, Kohei Yoshino, many thanks to him for this cool feature that may expand to other Mozilla sites ! Kohei wrote about it on the webdev blog. It is really cool to see improvements brought by volunteers and it is also cool to see that many people in the webdev team are also acquiring an l10n culture and often spot potential problems before myself or flod get to them !
That's all for this quarter, overall an excellent quarter for mozilla.org and tools which improve steadily. On a side note, it is also an excellent quarter for me at a personal level as my daughter was born last month (which explains why I am less often connected these days ;) )