Currently, Thunderbird, Firefox, etc. are released in single localized builds, one for each supported language. The current best options for multilingual support are either run two different localized full builds or to try to find the installable Language Pack (see Bug 352419) and manually upgrade that on every TB/FF/etc. install every time a new release is made. This is a bit of a pest, and I think it would be very helpful for many people if multilingual builds of Thunderbird, Firefox, etc. were made available.
Assignee: smontagu → kairo
Component: Internationalization → Localization
QA Contact: amyy → mmx_bugzilla
2.0 will have the maxVersion of langpacks set to 2.0.0.*, that's bug 351025, bug 331779 handles a good default language selection, but that's not going to happen for 2.0. I don't think that multilanguage releases is the way to go generically, we have about half a hundred working localizations on the MOZILLA_1_8_BRANCH as of now. I do think that we have a case to do regional builds, as I call them, for example for South Africa. Given that there seems to be trouble on the road on bug 331779, that's not too likely to happen soon. Maybe if we have a fix after 2.0 is out of panic, we can consider backporting parts of it.
Thanks, Axel, for your comments. I agree that it wouldn't be sensible to have a release which contains /all/ localizations. Regional builds sound like a good idea; what I had in mind as a "multilingual release" would be akin to an "international region" build which contains several localizations covering the most commonly written languages on the net. I think there is a reasonable case to be made for an "international" release. First, a significant minority of families and businesses need to use languages from different regions. Second, if the default OS and bundled app install supports 16 languages  and/or multilingual releases are the norm on your platform, it's reasonable for users to expect that our releases will support at lease a subset of those languages by default (given that we have localizations available for those languages).  A default install Mac OS X supports the following languages: English, Japanese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Brazilian and Portuguese.
It would be nice to at least bring the build system as far as supporting building multiple languages in one go, so one can at least do such builds himself. And I'd be much interested in being able to build my own builds for private use with en-US and de enabled, for example. Currently, the --enable-ui-locale switch allows only one single locale to be set though.
The problem is not primarily the build system, but various code which assumes there is only one locale installed. This is especially a problem for searchplugins and the default profile.
Doing South African l10n's I support the idea of regional builds. I think the issues raied in comment 4 about monolingual assumptions will actually only be found when we in fact allow multilingual builds in the build system as raised in comment 3. I think bug 331779 should not stop getting the infrastructure in place. People currently manually select their language anyway if they have more then one language pack installed. Obviously for Mozilla published regional builds in the future we would need to solve bug 331779. If we can build with a default fallback/install language, plus N number of locales, plus the locale switcher we are on the way to debugging issues with multlingual builds.
Yes, I would like to see the multilingual support in the Mozilla products. I expect the following from the user's point of view. Phase 1: * Per OS user granularity. * During product update all the languages are updated automatically as well, otherwise the not-updated ones are disabled. One-click update support. (like Add-Ons) * Selectively install of the language packs (support for both pre-downloaded standalone packages and checked in the product UI after the installation). * Simple (command-line) language reset (to the binary default language) in case of emergency (for example someone set Chinese version but you do not know it). * Help in the same language as the UI currently is. Phases 2: * Support for the "same as OS" option, especially if (for example) Windows MUI is installed. * Provide support/technology for plug-ins as well (in the first phase they are still monolingual). * Companies might welcome a possibility to create a custom standalone installer with their preselected languages.
Assignee: kairo → nobody
QA Contact: mmx_bugzilla → localization
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