Flock first l10n meeting summary

Last Saturday the first community-wide Flock l10n meeting was held in irc.flock.com/#l10n, and I wanted to write a quick summary of it and share my thoughts about. Thanks to everybody who attended!

First of all, Grouse, Flock 1.2 codename, is about 2 weeks away from being released! We’ll announce a public beta in the site very soon and… we might be able to provide localized betas in 15 different languages too! At least, this is the plan. We’re aiming to release all Grouse locales together with en-US version simultaneuslly. That’s ever been one of the most wanted things in our wishlist. Congrats!

Robin, one of Flock’s sysadmins, is chomping through the build proccess to let l10n teams include local feeds and favorites and change the default search engine. I think we need to write some policy guidelines about that just to be fair and avoid the conffusion of including personal blogs. 馃槢

We’re doing some budgetting to allocate more money to our build infrastructures, i.e. more machines to serve as tinderboxes and faster build cycles.

Ibis, aka Flock 2.0, which is be based on Firefox 3, will likely be the next big Flock release, with a real public beta available in June and a full release in the summer.

We’re always looking for volunteers who want to help to localize Flock into their language, specially Portuguese, Japanase and Korean. If you’re interested, just comment this post or send a mail to my-nickname at flock.com. Thanks!

Currently, Flock has several locales in the queue that doesn’t have a Fx official locale in the Mozilla CVS repo. We need to investigate how can we hack tinderboxes to let the l10n teams override part or all Fx strings easily. That would solve two problems in one go: locales without Fx support would be possible, and we could simply override parts of Fx l10n that doesn’t fit Flock jargon properly. Really interesting.

We’re working to make Flock website localizable, and we discussed about localized support. As the number of people using localizations grow, Flock is starting to get feedback from them, and we need to find tools to allow volunteers to give localized support to users. As Stef pointed out, some communities already have independent support forums for all Gecko apps, so I think it’s better to provide links to these community sites and help to create new ones (provide servers, domain registering, etc.) rather than creating a confusing international centralized Flock forum.

Knoweldge Base is different. IMO, KB articles don’t differ very much among different community sites: profile issues, techie howtos, list of accesskeys… different languages but almost same content. I think providing a central KB site like SUMO for Fx would be the best option.

Some time ago, thinking about “Flock 2 International Development Team”, we talked about designing special t-shirts to thank volunteer l10n teams for their work. You rock! Tim the Enchanter, Flock’s art designer, is working on that, and we expect to have a RC design in about 2 weeks. If somebody has any design to suggest, please send it to the Flock l10n mailing list.

We need a magic tool to allow the users report l10n bugs easily. Currently, they need to find the L10N Teams list at developer wiki or file a bug in Bugzilla, but I think providing a Hendrix-type form and links from default favs and Help menu could help a lot.

More on l10n QA, I’d like to use Litmus to provide tests to be run by l10n teams to ensure everything’s ok before releasing the builds into flock.com/versions, like Mozilla does. I’m sure it will help us to avoid too late regrets.

Finally, I’m evaluating web-based l10n tools like Narro to help the teams to make their work easier. IMO, there’s a significant tech barrier to start participating in l10n, in general. Some people thinks that using a web-based tool will result in lower quality translations becuse of occasional people contributing, but last-generation tools like Pootle and Narro have a suggestions workflow system that needs a reviewer to approve suggested translations before they’re pushed into the locale. Narro even has import/export features, so people can localize offline and upload their work later. Good work, Alexandru!

Well, I think that’s more or less all the meeting main topics. I hope to have another one soon. I’m off to do some footing, seeya guys!

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