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lundi 12 janvier 2009

7 Things You May (Or May Not) Know About Me

7 Things You May (Or May Not) Know About Me

It eventually had to happen, I have been tagged by Stas so here is a few dirty little secrets about me :)

The rules:

  1. Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
  2. Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
  3. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  4. Let them know they’ve been tagged.

Seven things:

  1. I was a bee-keeper when I was a kid, with two hives in the garden. My record production was 20 kilos of honey (not great but I was just a kid ;) ).
  2. Before working professionnally for Mozilla I was running an office furniture business that I created in 2001 and was working with my little sister. She is now running the family business but I still give a hand for paperwork and everything computers.
  3. 2001 is also the year when I started my involvement in the Mozilla project, helping people in forums, being a nightly build tester and later doing community Tech Evangelism. That's how I met Tristan on Usenet, he was working for Netscape Europe Tech Evang team.
  4. I spent a semester in Wolverhampton as an ERASMUS student in 1995. It was one of the greatest periods of my life and I met amazing people. Some of these people have become close friends and I actually am going to have dinner with one of them tonight :)
  5. I spent a year working as a hall monitor in a ghetto school, this was an alternative to military service (yes, I am old enough to have known the last years of conscription in France :) ) and this was an interesting experience, especially since I have always been interested in education.
  6. I worked several years as a part-time translator during my studies for a company called Linguatech localizing software for companies like Microsoft or IBM. Few people know it, but I was part of the team that translated the help files for IE 4!
  7. To validate my master's degree in international business, I spent 7 months in Alcatel's competitive intelligence department working on quantitative analysis and building a small intranet. Professionnally I learned a lot from this experience, in large parts thanks to my mentor Alain Pradelle.

Ok, now my victims :) :

  • Juantomás García, famous Spanish open source hacker. Because he is a great guy and he helps Mozilla a lot with his contacts in the Spanish market. He is also an incredible source of funny stories!
  • Fabien Cazenave, AKA Kazé, the guy behind KompoZer. Because he has a blog that should be syndicated on planet but isn't :)
  • Nukeador, our relentless Spanish web localizer :)
  • Henrik Skupin our German Web localizer and now part of Mozilla QA team
  • Axel Hecht fellow Mozilla Europe board member, fellow l10n-driver and rum baba lover !
  • Delphine Lebédel who just joined the European Mozilla team to help on community events and other community related tasks, I know you have already been tagged by Stas so you can't escape!
  • and finally Kalman Kemenczy our Hungarian localizer who does not blog in English but maybe this could make him change his mind ;)

mercredi 31 décembre 2008

27 languages have their own download page on

This post is a follow up to a previous post last month anouncing our first work on localized home pages hosted on

We now have 26 languages (28 if we count en-US and pt-BR which we already had) with a localized download page for Firefox on our main portal. Several of these locales are 'beta locales', that is localized versions of Firefox which may still countain a few language bugs such as typos or inconsistencies in language. Of course, if you are a native speaker of one of these new locales, your feedback on the translation is very welcome!

I had targeted 37 locales under-represented on mozilla web properties as the first batch of prioritary locales for this project, out of the 11 remaining, 5 are still a short-term target (Bulgarian, Estonian, Esperanto, Welsh and Mongolian) since we have Firefox 3 versions available for them. The remaining 6 are more middle term targets as they are more likely targetting a first release when Firefox 3.1 is out.

Here is the list of languages done:

Great job from all of our localizers and a good start for better download pages in 2009!

NEW YEARS EVE UPDATE: Esperanto is done and published!

jeudi 20 novembre 2008

MAOW Madrid in December

Last week I met with Gregorio Robles, teacher from the university Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid and we have decided to see how his department (which is focused on FLOSS researches) and Mozilla could collaborate, even informally.

Gregorio has students studying the Free Software ecosystem, we have cool and fun products, mixing them sounded like a great idea. So we are organizing a MAOW (Mozilla Add-ons Workshop) in Madrid mid December: Details of MAOW

This will be the second MAOW this year after the one we organized in Paris last September (and we do plan to organize more MAOWs in Europe in 2009 now that Paul has joined the team!).

I am very happy to be able to organize this event with Gregorio and his team. BTW, he and his university come every year at FOSDEM and hang in the Research room, i am sure they will find some time to pop in the Mozilla room and talk a few minutes about how their students reacted to the MAOW.

mardi 18 novembre 2008 is getting translated download pages

As you may have learned recently on Seth's blog, we have been working lately on creating translated landing pages on for all of the locales that are not already supported on an official regional portal (that is those not on Mozilla Europe/China/Japan).

Now that I have a bit of time I can blog a bit about how this project is going.

We have created this week landing pages on for 7 of our locales (Afrikaans, Frisian, Irish, Indonesian, Georgian, Slovene, Swedish) which is a good start given that we (Laura and me) plan to have all of the 37 locales we are targeting done by the end of the year. By the way, the list of targeted locales is on the Web Dashboard, if your language is on the list of languages we are targeting, don't hesitate to come and help with the translation!

So what does it change for let's say a Slovene user compared to the previous situation? Until one week ago, a user with Internet Explorer in Slovene going to or was redirected to and was offered a link to download Firefox in Slovene but the page was all written in English. This is good enough for people speaking English as a second language, but our target audience is no longer the computer and English savvy advanced users. We were certainly losing potential users for one of these reasons:

  • The user gets to an English page and concludes that Firefox is not localized into his language.
  • The user just doesn't understand what the page is about and leaves.
  • We misdetect the visitor's locale and he downloads Firefox in the wrong language.

It is very clear to me that translating a whole portal like and keeping it up to date is not scalable. Maintaining a reduced version of a portal like we do on Mozilla Europe for 22 languages is already a very big task and could be seen as an ideal solution, but many of the locales we are speaking about have little human resources to keep and, more importantly, maintain an entire web site.

Another drawback of a multilingual portal is that any technical change in the reference language (English) may have an impact on localized pages. This is particularily true for stylesheet changes, I have already seen minor visual fixes on an English page impacting negatively the same page for other languages. So as to avoid that, updates on the English version have to be very carefully done and planned and lots of QA of localized pages has to be done when some files are updated in English. Definitely, this is not scalable or would be possible for a handful of languages only.

The solution chosen is one single landing page to propose the download of Firefox, give a few informations (among which a link to the locale's community portal) and also a link to Thunderbird pages in English. We have a separate stylesheet for that and we only share a cut-down version of the template. Our Hebrew localizer is also working on a Right-To-Left stylesheet, thanks Tomer for that!

Additionally, offering the right locale in a page written into the right language is not the only good news about it. This is also going to help promoting localized versions of Firefox more easily with a short url such as for Afrikaans. Great for printed material, banners or simply to give the url of the site verbally to a friend. This will also allow us to do real Search Engine Optimization in the user's language (as we did in the past on and one of the next things to do will be to evaluate the wording of this page for better result, I'll open bugs about it and we will work with our communities on optimizing the language for better search results. By the way, these pages are in Google results since this morning, which is a good start :)

One other good news is that we promote on this page community portals, which means that this will give more visibility to these portals and hopefully new contributors will join the Mozilla project.

Here is the list of current languages done (in the visitor's language so as to give it a small SEO boost ;) ):


One more locale done today, Galician: