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10 Years of Work on Mozilla

(I know I'm very late for a Weekly Status Update, I still need to write up the one for last week, hope to come to it soon.)

I wanted to write this post on the day of the actual anniversary, but I got caught in a few other things... In any case, On December 17th, 1999, which happens to be just two days more than 10 years today, I wrote a small, innocent newsgroup message:

Quote of Robert Kaiser:
Newsgroups: netscape.public.mozilla.l10n
Subject: how to contribute?

Hi!

I'd like to help with German translation of Mozilla. How can I do that?
Is there somebody already working on that?
How to contribute so that I don't work hours and be rejected then? (I
already tried some work & I've read all I could find about localization
of Moz with DTDs...)

KaiRo

And I got an instant reply from the back-then L10n coordinator at Netscape/Mozilla, containing among other things those two sentences:

Quote of Tao Cheng:
If you have no objection, I'll put you as the German translation
contributor. The upcoming release is M12.

That was "fatal" in the sense that it pointed to my fate in the upcoming years. What has started with trying what that technology could do was turning into a major mission.
In the hours or days before, I had (out of interest what new things would come out of my beloved Netscape side of the "browser wars") downloaded a new milestone version of this "Mozilla" development software, whose downloadable test binaries were provided under the "project Seamonkey". I was intrigued by the open philosophy but also the technology, as it looked like I would understand those UI files in the "chrome" directory, and they were even easier than the Visual Basic stuff I knew! Among other things like playing with the CSS and what I could screw there (birth of the LCARStrek theme), I tried if replacing the strings in those *.dtd files would really have an influence on the screen by putting German words instead of English ones in there - and it worked! I tried a few more things, read up on all kinds of info about this L10n effort with DTD files, and decided I could help this open-minded project by contributing to the German localization.
And after that reply from Tao, I was suddenly leading the German efforts (note that he's talking of "THE German translation contributor") and saw myself in the mission of providing a full translation of that early development piece of software.

10 years later, I can't believe how long it's been, where it has led to and what a fun ride it turned out to be. I've seen lots of things here with Mozilla in those years, I've got to know a huge number of very bright and incredibly cool people in all parts of the project, and I lived with it through seeing Netscape slowly go down, being an enthusiastic player on the sidelines of the game the Internet world played, up to the rise of Firefox, its incredible success, contributing to the installation of a new Mozilla Foundation Executive Director, and the funding and stabilization of the SeaMonkey project, and I hope I'll still have many more years to be with that project, do something for the greater world and our community, leave my footprints here and there, and above all, have fun working with all those cool people we have in the Mozilla community.

I would have never imagined that this small newsgroup message would change my life in such a large way, but 10 years later I couldn't be happier about actually having taken that step and get this ball rolling by offering my help.

I encourage everyone to not think twice in similar situations and try to help a cool project like Mozilla if they have the chance to - the rewards are much higher than the effort you invest in it!

Entry written by KaiRo and posted on December 19th, 2009 18:54 | Tags: German, history, L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey | 4 comments | TrackBack

Comments

AuthorEntry

ThomasLendo

quote
Gratulation
Gratulation, Robert, für deine ersten 10 Jahre!
Viel Erfolg und Durchhaltevermügen für deine nächsten 10!
2009-12-20 18:56

Tristan

from Paris, France

quote
Congrats!
Robert,

It's great to have you with us after all thee years! Keep up the good work,


--Tristan
2009-12-21 17:08

lustig

quote
gammel
ChatZilla ..8.6 mal in ordnung bringen ..bitteeeee
2010-01-11 06:52

KaiRo

Webmaster

quote
lustig: Was hat das mit meiner Arbeit zu tun? Und was ist nicht in Ordnung?
2010-01-11 19:54

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