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Get a Nightly that speaks your language!

Over the last months, Kohei Yoshino and myself worked on improving the discoverability of Firefox Nightly desktop builds and in particular localized builds.

Until recently, the only way to get Firefox Nightly for desktop was to download it in English from nightly.mozilla.org or, if you wanted a build in say Japanese, Arabic or French, look for the right FTP sub-folder in ftp.mozilla.org. Nightly.mozilla.org is itself a static HTML page based on a script that scraps the FTP site for builds periodically.

Of course, as a result, about 90% of our Nightly users use an en-US build. The few thousand users using a localized build are Mozilla localizers and long term contributors that knew where to search for them. We were clearly limiting ourselves to a subset of the population that could be using Firefox Nightly which is not a good thing when you want to actually grow the number of nightly users so as to get more feedback (direct and anonymous). The situation was so frustrating to some of our community members that they created their own download pages for Nightly in their language over time.

Then why didn’t we have a proper download page on www.mozilla.org as we do for all Firefox channels (release, beta, dev edition) ? Why are nightly builds available only from a separate sub-domain? One of the reasons was technical, www.mozilla.org uses data provided by the Release Management team through a public JSON API called product-details and that API didn’t provide any information about Nightly. Actually, this API was a typical legacy piece of code that had been doing the job well for a decade but was meant to be rewritten and replaced by another tool year after year. Until the switch to a new compatible API and the addition of Nightly data there, mozilla.org just didn’t know anything about Nightly.

So first we had to actually end the work on the migration from the old to the new API and mozilla.org switched to this new API in August.

Now that the data about Desktop Nightly was available to mozilla.org (and to any django-based Mozilla site that includes the django-product-details library), the front-end work could be started by Kohei so as to create a page that would list all platforms and localized builds and that would reuse as much code and existing assets as possible. And here is the result at mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/nightly/all:

Nightly multilocale download page

We are working on making that page linked from the nightly site in bug 1302728. That’s only a start of course, we still have a lot of work to make it easier for advanced testers to find our pre-release builds, but now when somebody will ask you for a comprehensive list of Desktop Nightly builds, you’ll know what address to share!

Many thanks to Kohei and the mozilla.org Webdev team for their help on making that happen!

4 comments on “Get a Nightly that speaks your language!”

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  1. Vangelis wrote on

    Hello Pascal

    I guess this is all very good news for international Nightly Testers like myself,
    however I continue to feel extremely frustrated because my native language
    GREEK (el or el-GR) is NOT included in the available l10ns!
    The opposite was true maybe 4 years ago, but then an obscure bug removed Greek
    from the available locales.

    Greek is spoken/read by over 10 millions in the main land, plus maybe by 5 more
    millions of the diaspora worldwide…. Yet Nightly is currently available in, say,
    Frisian or Asturian, which are less known languages/dialects…
    There exist currently Greek locales for all other Firefox channels, so
    Nightly is the only odd one out…

    Can you please convey the message to the powers that be at Mozilla that
    a Greek localisation of Nightly is urgently needed!

    Many thanks and regards…

    Reply

    1. Pascal Chevrel wrote on

      Hi Vangelis,

      Mozilla doesn’t decide which channel should be localized although the l10n-drivers team does favor the Aurora (dev edition) channel. In the last years, the historic Greek localization team (mostly Kostas Papadimas and George Fiotakis) left the Mozilla project and were replaced by new localizers. These localizers decided to move their l10n effort from mozilla-central to the Aurora channel (dev edition) so as to use translation tools that only work with this channel. Other teams did the same but backport their work regularly to mozilla-central so as to have localized nightlies. The backporting part requires technical knowledge (mostly knowning how to apply patches, edit text files and send them to the mercurial repository) and can be a bit of a tedious work. I don’t know if the current Greek l10n team has these skills or simply doesn’t care about Nightly but maybe you could contact them and see if they would be interested in maintaining Nightly as well, or, if you have the technical skills I mentionned and they don’t, propose them your help? Their team wiki page is https://wiki.mozilla.org/L10n:Teams:el

      Another person you could contact is Francesco Lodolo (flodolo@mozilla.com), he manages localization for Firefox.

      Regards

      Pascal

      Reply

      1. Vangelis wrote on

        @Pascal Chevrel

        Many thanks indeed for your comprehensive reply/explanation;
        it most certainly clear up many things for me…

        I was under the false impression the language packs were
        created in an automated fashion by a dedicated Mozilla tool;
        your post made it clear that in fact quite a bit of manual effort
        is involved, especially for the Nightly channel.

        Thanks for the link to the Greek l10n team; it would appear
        they are currently “under restructuring”; sadly I have zero
        coding skills myself, but I will pursue further my query with them
        (i.e. kindly explore their willingness/ability to support m-c),
        once they are back in fool steam in November…

        Thanks again for your time,

        Vangelis

        Reply

  2. Nicolas Bourdais wrote on

    It would be great to be able to download firefox for Android too from this page.

    Reply

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