Localizing Firefox

I ended up volunteering to architect the localization of Firefox 1.0 and beyond into the new toolkit. This is not a small undertaking, but it looks to be relatively manageable on the aviary branch, since I don’t need to worry about breaking seamonkey on the branch.

The consensus between developers is that we need to get the localizations into the CVS repository. This will help with quality control and openness, and perhaps help companies that base products from the mozilla codebase to benefit from localization efforts. In addition, we need to collect all the en-US locale files that are scattered throughout the tree into a small set of locations. These will be:


“pseudo-extensions” (xmlextras) that are actually part of the toolkit will be moving into the toolkit directory. “Real extensions” (DOM inspector) will be localized in their own tree (extensions/inspector/locales/ab-CD).

I hope to blog regularly with updates, as I make progress and make decisions. There are still some leftover issues with how the installers are going to be shipped. We want to strike a balance between not forcing leaf to build 10-20 releases, and not having a single release with all localizations in it, which has the possibility to be quite bloated.

To facilitate the transition, I am adding support for preprocessing jar.mn files. Please do not use this feature unless you are aware of the issues (in particular, don’t use platform-specific #ifdefs in jar.mn files… it causes havoc when you start to ship language packs).

Atom Feed for Comments 8 Responses to “Localizing Firefox”

  1. Henrik Lynggaard Says:

    As written in my latest blog entry, many thanx for taking this huge task

  2. lynggaard.blog-city.com Says:

    Localization and other stuff
    It seems my prayers (and many others too) have been heard with regards to localization of FireFox as Benjamin D. Smedberg has volunteered to head up the localization of those fine products.Thanx Benjamin!!, I hope you will continue your good start an

  3. Brant Gurganus Says:

    Why would you need to build 10-20 releases. If I recall, none of the binaries change. The only difference is in packaging. This, if done properly, should not have a significant impact on the build process.

  4. christian biesinger Says:

    what are you going to do with .properties files in necko, content, etc? you can’t really move them into toolkit, can you?

  5. inside aebrahim's head Says:

    firefox localisations
    Benjamin Smedberg has posted on netscape.public.mozilla.l10n regarding how localisation is going to work for Firefox 1.0. Hopefully this should allay a lot of the concerns that people have been having about the current state of localisation in Firefox….

  6. Axel Hecht Says:

    Does the move of extensions like xmlextras into toolkit mean that you just move the locale subdir or the complete code? If so, this will require that SeaMonkey builds toolkit, unless of course you just do this on the aviary branch. But then you will have an additional hurdle to get extensions fixed over there. Which may be an argument, at least when it comes down to webservices and xmlextras, as update.m.o relies on them and may require additional fixes.

  7. Benjamin Smedberg Says:

    As a long-term solution on the trunk, the complete code of xmlextras/tranformiix/whathaveyou will move to the toolkit/ directory. Seamonkey builders are going to have to pull the toolkit/ directory and build parts of it (not the entire thing, of course).

  8. Rajith Says:

    I would like to know more about the localization of the firefox. If any body can help please give me a reply.


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