Bye Bye Status Bar, Welcome Tilføjelseslinje

Volunteer translators on BabelZilla have a kind of niche activity but their work is pretty much exposed, at least for most popular extensions.
So they do their best to achieve quality (which is endless pursuit) and consistency with the interface of the application the extension should mingle with.
As you probably noticed, recently Firefox UI switched from Status Bar to Addon Bar (for more or less valid or controversial reasons, but that is not my point here) so your translations should match this new name!
Open your brand new Firefox, right-click on any bar and see how Add-on Bar is now translated.
French version

Else, you are welcome to use Transvision tool: pick your own language on this page, search for “Add-on Bar”, see how Mozilla l10n team (mmmh some of you are part of it 😉 ) has already translated it and change accordingly.

Danish translation for Add-on bar

Danish translation for Add-on Bar

And by the way, developers should change labels as well 🙂

Status bar label

Bye bye Status Bar!

Posted in Extensions around the world | 1 Comment

Quick URL for Smart Devs – Part II

Because of a comment of Wladimir Palant in this post, we’ve  changed the first parameter of the download URL.

From now on a valid language code may be used instead of ‘selected’ and ‘all’.
If the language code is invalid or there is no translation available, an error message appears.


This will download the “de” (German)  locale and skip all missing strings.



Posted in Tech Room!, WTS (Web Translation System) | 1 Comment

Quick URL for Smart Devs

Hello dear extension developers!
We know you have other priorities. And not so much time to spend on BabelZilla: login, find your way to your extension locales, click on some buttons and links, wait for download, read silly bug reports by translators…
So why not ease your job and grab your locale files with an easy download link you can adjust to your need with one of your smart scripts?

You can now use this default URL:

The download requires 3 parameters:

The first parameter: Type of the download. You can download all or the selected locales

Allowed values:

  • selected
  • all

The second parameter: Handling of untranslated strings

Allowed values:

  • replaced
  • skipped
  • blank

Last but not least, third parameter is:

  • The id of the extension
  • as set by the WTS on submission



Please tell us if you find it useful and if you need more things of this kind.

Posted in Tech Room!, WTS (Web Translation System) | 3 Comments

Translators deserve dashboard too

Step by step, we are changing the WTS and its interface.

This time we changed the startpage of the WTS.

The first new thing is the Infocenter.

Continue reading

Posted in Extensions around the world, WTS (Web Translation System) | 2 Comments

New WTS Features for extension developers

New WTS Features for extension developers

The WTS interface for translators has now been reshaped and handy features are added as announced some weeks ago. It probably needs some finetuning but it is quite usable and we received no major complaints about it up to now.
It is time now to offer our developer friends a couple of new features, some of them being old requests.

  • Download selected locales:
  • When you wish to grab some specific locales, just check and click to download.

pick and click desired locales

  • Delete translations:
  • Unwanted locales, wrong move, wrong language code, starting again from scratch? Just delete.

  • Lock translations:
  • This is intended to avoid problems generated by crowdsourcing translations. Once a stable trusted translation is released, it can be good to keep it safe. It is up to you to decide.

lock translation

  • Remove/add translators:
  • Sometimes translators are missing in action, sometimes new translators are eager to be registered for an “orphan” locale…
    This allows you to choose translators and should be used with care. It is recommended to always keep translators informed about your moves, whenever appropriate.

managing translators

  • Open up locales for other translators to join:
  • Need more task force in the translation team? Open the translation and the “join the team” button can be clicked by volunteers.

  • Check activities on your extension

activites board

  • Edit metadata of your extension

metadata edition

  • Finegrain messages to your translators

As usual you are welcome to test, enjoy and report what could be better 🙂

Posted in Extensions around the world, WTS (Web Translation System) | Comments Off on New WTS Features for extension developers

WTS: New Edit interface & other new features

New Edit interface preview

In the near future there will be some changes in the edit interface of the WTS.
It’s not ready yet, but almost ready to use.

I want to take the chance to introduce the new features even if there are some things to fix before it goes online, because I need your feedback and suggestions.

Continue reading

Posted in WTS (Web Translation System) | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Cool features and Localization

Cool features and localization

Thanks to Mozilla Labs awesome hackers, we can now enjoy restartless extensions à la Jetpack, and sure this is a cool feature.
One of the most recent extensions of this kind from the Prospector series, is Query Stats. I noticed there are some interface strings bundled in an innerHTML to be found in the bootstrap.js file

strings nested in .js file

Some strings nested in JavaScript code

Now my question is: how are we supposed to localize such an addon?

Is it worth doing it?

Yes, I know: Jetpacks and restartless addons have a very limited number of interface strings or no interface string at all, and Prospector series are mostly experimental, targeting the power user (though I suppose the more mainstream they are, the more useful data they can bring), so i18n may not seem necessary.
I would simply object that restartless addons will probably have a growing success in addons developers community, which is good. But restartless addons with important interface will surface (to me even limited interface is important, but this is another question).

No JavaScript, thanks

Here in BabelZilla we are processing typically .dtd and .properties files, html and xhtml too. But we are definitely not willing to have javascript files uploaded. Moreover we want to lower the entry barrier to translation and we don’t want to ask translators to slalom between javascript functions and variables and translate only strings in code without affecting the syntax.

The right moment?

One little flaw in development makes things more difficult afterwards: localization issues almost always came second as an annoying appendix for real core dev. Localization rises technical issues that should be taken into account right from the beginning of the devlopment process, otherwise it makes things much more complicated (think of the smart and tremendous localization efforts on Ubiquity in the past).

Who can help?

So I would suggest it is due time to think about i18n (hey l20n welcome too!) for this new and promising generation of addons.
Fortunately, and that is why I really love the Mozilla community, there are always brilliant minds who are one step ahead in development and conceive projects that tend to answer questions even before anyone think of asking them 😉

-Please let us know.

Posted in Extensions around the world, Localization | 4 Comments

Web Translation System recovered

Web Translation System recovered

Dear translators and extension developers, we are glad to give you back access to BabelZilla services and want to apologize for the terribly long downtime.  Reason is: our server was hit by a DoS attack and unfortunately also used to attack other servers. Our provider reacted very fast and stopped all traffic from and to our main IP. During the next days we tried to find the hole and checked the server logs. We found the attack in the logs and removed the vulnerable script. (No, it was not the WTS 😉 )
To be on the safe side, we decided to set up the server from scratch.
Currently we still have problems with tar.gz files. The created files are OK, but the downloaded files are corrupt.

Our Tech Admin tried his best to restore everything as soon as possible,  so BabelZilla is available again. You are welcome to use it again, please let us know if some unusual behavior occurs when using the WTS — I mean anything else than the usual familiar limitations 😉
Sorry again for this major failure and thank you for your patience.

Posted in Tech Room!, WTS (Web Translation System) | Comments Off on Web Translation System recovered

One extension for extension addicts

One extension for extension addicts

Why is there an ad on BabelZilla?

You may have noticed we have recently added two images promoting this addon on the board and on the WTS. This may be quite a surprise for most of our contributors, since up to now we have discarded numerous commercial offers.
Why did we make an exception this time?
For one thing because this is an ad for an extension, so it is closely related to our activity on BabelZilla.
And because the developer of this extension is well-known on our site, having all his extensions being translated by volunteers on BabelZilla.
A little amount of money will be given to BabelZilla for every install. We don’t expect heaps of money to flow down in our pockets. If anything comes out of this experience, we shall probably buy some goodies to promote BabelZilla.
These sponsored links are a test run we can interrupt anytime if there are strong objections. Just tell us.

Posted in Extensions around the world | 1 Comment

How to maintain extension translations on the long term?

How to maintain extension translations on the long term?

Our good friend Davide Ficano, a top but too modest developer who also contributed to our site and system (not to mention the awesone Externalize strings extension), recently explained on his blog why he could not afford maintaining numerous locales for his extensions.
Dear Davide, I know the efforts you have been doing for some years in order to maintain as many localizations as possible, so I cannot blame your decision.
Are extension translators lazy?
Not necessarily, but yes, it is very difficult to have them involved on the long term.
Very sad but very true, I fear.

Now the challenge is : what can be done to have a more permanent engagement among the ever so friendly but also so “temporary” translator community
What kind of incentive can be used to have volunteer contributors become so to say permanent allies to the developer and its extensions?
What kind of link or symbolic reward can be used?
We already have an awesome world community with enthusiast and dedicated individuals, but it is a transient community.

We would appreciate very much whatever comes to your mind about this issue. Whether you are a translator, an extension developer or interested in community motivation, please use open comments below. TIA

Posted in Extensions around the world | 5 Comments