Our L10n objective is to help you get a community formed in your country and launch as many new languages/locales as we can. This wiki page is meant to give you, as a new volunteer, an overview of what’s involved from start to finish of a new build and then ongoing releases. We try to keep it short and sweet, so what you'll find here is an overview and then links to more detail. This way if you're at the start you can jump to details about starting, same for the middle and end. (This page is about a 5 minute read, but the details are much longer). I am always looking for feedback to make this page better, so if you have something to say good or bad please post to the forum or file a bug [Question: what's best route for feedback?] .
End to End Firefox Localization Process Overview
The 5 step process to localizing Firefox. Click on the links to get the more detailed view:
There's no Firefox in the language of your choice and you volunteer to fix that. You want to get the word out, START to localize, and build a community around your work.
You're now in the MIDDLE of the process, this is where most of your initial work needs to happen. This early on, you want to release early and often, and not pay attention to Mozilla release schedules. Language packs are just Add-ons that offer a different language for the user interface. You can serve updates to your users on your own schedule, as with any other Add-on. Working on a language pack does come with a slightly worse user experience, though, so you want to work towards full localized builds.
Official releases stand out against language packs by having a full user experience. They're offered directly for download, the installer is in your language (if technically possible, thanks, windows), the migration wizard is localized. We're asking our localizers to provide localized versions of our in-product web pages for support links and the start page. You will have translated bookmarks and possibly different search engines. Mozilla creates up-to-date versions of Firefox for all official languages on our three major platforms and offers automatic security updates for these.
Mozilla evaluates newly emerging localizations to be included into the release process for official localized builds. We'll do this based on the difference an official build will make to our users. You can see from the differences noted above that this difference will be small for dialects or minority languages, but large for languages that are mostly spoken as possibly only language. We will do some technical checks on the completeness and maturity of your localization, too.
As users are having a localized build and only that, official localization teams should make all efforts to create an equally good localization for a new major version of Firefox as they did for the previous. We want to offer new versions of Firefox in all languages, or at least be able to do that within the first few minor updates.
Within this stage, we'll be working together to make sure that your localization is hooked up at the right places in our build and release process, and that the hooks within Firefox to external services (read search, web content handlers) are good for your localization, and set up right and in agreement with those service providers.
We should have resolved all technical issues together and everything should be ready to get you into an official release. Sadly, you never know until you test, so we're moving all our releases through a beta stage. This is the point to reach out to as many people in your community as possible, and grow a testing community. If you need help with testing your localization on particular platforms, Mozilla's QA people will help out.
All your testing reports came in, bugs that may have been found got fixed. Now it's time to take a step back and party.
The END is also the beginning. The Mozilla project gives you room to take Firefox in your region to new heights, to grow your community, get more contributors, and much more. And then there's always the next major release, so you want to follow the progress of the project. We would also like you to tell other people about your experience so that we can grow our Localizer and Developer community so we can do this all over again :-)