10 years after its launch, Mozilla keeps impressing me day after day, in many different ways. Let me give you two very different examples:
Localizing something in 44 languages in less than four days
We have decided recently to trigger the major update from Firefox 2 to Firefox 3 for people who have not yet manually installed Firefox 3. One "detail" remained to be fixed: the 15 words message displayed to Firefox 2 users was not localized... Well, translating 15 words sounds like a pretty easy task. Do this into 44 different languages is a bigger challenge! Our community, wonderfully led by the ever amazing Pascal Chevrel has managed to achieve this in less than 4 days. Fernando, a Spanish localizer, managed to do the work and post the result in just 34 minutes after Pascal asked for it on a mailing list, around 3AM his time . The work was also done for Georgian, which is quite an achievement when one knows what is happening there. Now, to better understand how much of an achievement this is, we can ask ourselves if a commercial software vendor could be able to do the same thing with such a short notice. The answer is of course that it's not, even with big financial resources to help... I think this episode is a great demonstration of the agility in a global context that the community is bringing to the Mozilla project.
More details on this:
- Seth: 44 locales in 4 days ;
- Bugzilla: Bug 451128 – Translation needed for strings on the new Firefox 2 to Firefox 3 Major Update box ;
In a nutshell, this means that the Open Web as a platform is going to get a speed boost that will make proprietary alternatives jealous (yeah, I'm looking at you, Silverlight and Flash!)
This was made possible by the collaboration of many different people, including folks from Adobe (Tamarin project), UC Irvine and other Mozilla developers. It's a testament that the Open-Source approach enables practical, real-world innovation.
More details on this:
- Schrep: What can you do when your browser is 7 times faster? ;
- Mike Shaver: the birth of a faster monkey ;
- Andreas Gal: Tracing the Web ;
- David Anderson’: SpiderMonkey + Tracing = TraceMonkey ;