Monthly Archives: April 2008

Why does Ubuntu puts Firefox transalation in gnome’s language pack ? (2)

A day after presenting the question, seems like a user got a problem I didn’t thought of. He didn’t like Firefox 3 and decided to install Firefox 2 instead.

The problem is that he now has Firefox 2 and the translation for Firefox 3 (from the GNOME package). Same problem occurs with the Hebrew interface… The solution is to manually delete the Firefox 3 files, and than install the mozilla-firefox-locale-he-il package.

Don’t forget that this should be done on every update of the language-pack-gnome-he-base package (or any other language than Hebrew)! So who’s in favor of splitting the Firefox 3 translation to another package ?


Filed under i18n & l10n, Mozilla, Ubuntu

Why does Ubuntu puts Firefox transalation in gnome’s language pack ?

The other day, Tomer from Mozilla Israel contacted me to update me that the Israeli Ubuntu community changes the Firefox translation and doesn’t contribute the changes back. We sorted out the translation process with the Ubuntu people who were very open for comments.

After that, Tomer mentioned he sees the changed translation in Hardy. I searched for the mozilla-firefox-locale-he-il with the right version, but it seems that package is still for Firefox 2.

I checked the firefox-3.0 package itself to make sure the translations aren’t there, and indeed it only contains the en_US locale. Tomer told me he still sees the Hebrew translation but “dpkg -l | grep firefox” doesn’t give up any other related packages.

Tomer started to search his file system for the missing files, and I started to check out packages’ contents trough (well, I don’t run Ubuntu…). The files were found, and it seems they are part of the language-pack-gnome-he-base package.

This sound very odd to me:

  1. Why link between GNOME and Firefox? (and while doing so, leaving out Tunderbird)
  2. What about people running Kubuntu? They probably won’t have GNOME installed.
  3. The package description says that it doesn’t include the Mozilla translations:

    Please note that you should install language-support-he to get full support for this language (spell checkers, OpenOffice and Mozilla locale packages, etc.).

  4. This change creates an broken upgrade path so it doesn’t support people upgrading from Firefox 2 to Firefox 3 in Ubuntu keeping their locale, as the firefox locale package doesn’t get updated, and doesn’t pull the new package.
  5. These packages were introduced about 1 week before the Hardy release. I would expect such a change be done in an earlier stage of the release…

I thought about starting to report bugs about a few of these issues, but it would be better to first hear what other people think about this.


Filed under i18n & l10n, Mozilla, Ubuntu

My GPG hall of shame

During FOSDEM’s key signing party I had a few people telling me they didn’t get my signatures on their key. It seems that although I already signed them, there was a problem with sending the signatures (probably my local mail settings or my ISP thinking I’m spamming).

After a few reminders from people, I finally got to do the signing of FOSDEM party (including some people who gave me slips). Seems like some people follow carefully who didn’t signed they key… I hope now everyone will be satisfied (:

If you didn’t get my signature yet, please let me know… I don’t want to hear the same complaints next year (that’s wasn’t fun ): ). For obvious reason I can only re-send you an existing signature I have.

The fun part of the signing party is to meet people and ask them questions according to their e-mail addresses. Even better is to thank them for the work on free software I use. This year I thanked Patrick Brunschwig, the enigmail author. But also like to thank Thijs Kinkhorst from squirrelmail and Eike Rathke from openoffice. It was fun to meet some fellow Debian Developer I didn’t know from DebConfs.

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Filed under FOSDEM

Continuing the 2nd Debian bug triage

Short version: 155 bugs processed, 130 bugs to go

Reminder: The target of this triage is to clean all bugs not relevant for version 2.4.0 in Debian. 2.4.0 entered Lenny (testing) two weeks ago, and last week Rene created a backport for Etch (stable). This means our users can test 2.4.0 on whatever (recent) Debian version the use. So it seems like a good time to revive the 2nd Debian bug triage.

The previous round ended with ~150 open bugs. After another manual scan of the bugs, the count is 130 open bugs. Seems that some people insist on replying my mails to the BTS alone and not CC me to their answers. Thank god for the “last modified X days ago” line in the BTS… otherwise I counldn’t have caught those so easily.

From the remaining 130 bugs, only 10 are marked against versions 2.3.x. Meaning we have much info to collect in this triage (or a lot of bugs to close if we fail to do so).

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Filed under Debian GNU/Linux,, QA stuff

How to describe free software involvement in a CV?

I’ve started to write an updated version of my CV. This is the first version which should mention my involvement in free software, and I’m not sure what exactly to write.

As I don’t know who would be the next employer, I don’t know how many term I can I is actually understandable. I could write I’m a Debian Developer. But how do people understand that? I added I do package building and maintenance. But I’m not sure a lot of people also understand that.

I’m also not sure how to describe involvement in project, like, which I’m not officially a member. Although I have a lot of interest in this project, and I invest time on Hebrew related bugs, I don’t think I can write much more that “a community member”. Remember this is a CV and I don’t think I can put a few passages to describe my work in each project.

The last thing I’m not sure about is how to mention integration work done based on experience. Most of them are too small to be mentioned by themselves, but I have a lot of them and that would be a waste not to mention them at all.

I’ll be happy to get examples from other people who had to deal with the same problem. Thanks.


Filed under Proud to use free software

A begining of an Israeli community ?

While issue #86811 is going to the right direction, I decided to try and use the momentum around it to unite people into an Israeli community.

The first thing was to start and do a little triage of RTL/CTL related bugs. A few were confirmed as existing in 2.4.0 and should be moved from UNCONFIRMED to NEW, and get re-target. I also published a list of other bugs that need confirmation and links to the complete RTL/CTL lists so other people could continue my work.

Maybe creating a meta issue to and get blocked by all other bugs will simplify the process ? I don’t know if that’s acceptable in the issuezilla. Although I think that is the case in Mozilla’s bugzilla.

The confirmed bugs already got some more votes, which is a good beginning, but I’d like people to do more. Next items on my todo list are documentation, and translation of version 3.0. The documentation is mostly thickening the existing Hebrew wikibook about openoffice. I’m not quite sure were to start with translation of version 3.0, although I saw quite a few translations for other languages.

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Filed under i18n & l10n,

Upload of ‘fribidi’ failed (who are you?)

To the person trying to upload fribidi to Please change the maintainer field.

I had enough with these error messages in the last few days:

I am sorry to tell you that your upload to failed. The maintainer mentioned in the “Maintainer:” field of the uploaded *.change files did not match the email address of an account known to us.


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Filed under Debian GNU/Linux Issue #86811: Arabic numbers instead of decimal numbers

Issue #86811 is still of my top priorities this week, as it causes a major problem for Hebrew speaking users of As I can’t fix the code myself, I’m focusing on explaining that this is a major problem and it should be fixed in the 2.4.1 release.

Before explaining more about the bug, let me clear a bit some terminologies: Arabic numbers are the numbers you know from English and most languages (including Hebrew). Hindu numbers are the one in use by the Arabic languages (Arabic, Persian, Urdu, etc). Notice that this is confusing as the numbers in the Arabic languages aren’t Arabic numbers but Hindu numbers.

Issue #86811 is about how does handles numbers during import of Microsoft Word documents. The current problem is that during the import, the numbers change from Arabic to Hindu. This makes it impossible for Hebrew speaking users to read Microsoft Word documents which include numbers. See screenshots attached to issue #87625 (dup of #86811).

As in Israel there is still a majority for Microsoft Office over, this makes users isolated from getting documents from other people. This is the real reason for changing the bug priority to a higher one.

Issue #86811 currently have 80 votes (and counting)… Some Linux users are even trying to convince their distributions to exclude version 2.4.0 from their coming release (See Ubuntu bug #210204 and Mandriva bug #38874). I personally think that this is wrong, as 2.4.0 should be included in the upcoming releases, but we should work hard to get 2.4.1 into those distributions when the fix for #86811 is ready.


Hello planet (:


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Where did the numbers go ? (major bug in 2.4.0)

About two months after the Israeli government stopped the support for localization, we hit a major bug (actaully – a regression) with version 2.4.0 effecting Hebrew users.

In version 2.4.0 numbers written in Microsoft Word documents are shown as Hindu numbers instead of Arabic numbers. There’s a big confusion in the terms, as the number used in Arabic are the Hindu numbers and the number used in Latin languages are the Arabic numbers.

Anyway, this means that, the facto, 2.4.0 can’t show properly Microsoft Word documents which were written in Hebrew. I can’t start to describe how much interoperability problems that causes in Israel.

Which such behavior I can’t recommend to people, and organizations already moved to previous versions of can’t upgrade to 2.4.0 and must stay with 2.3.1. This is also a problem as most Linux distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora) intend to include 2.4.0 for their stable release.

With all the RTL related bugs, was still usable. But this bug absolutely changes things. I hope it will be fixed for 2.4.1 and won’t be delayed for version 3.0.

I wish I could say this is an April’s fools post, but that bug is a reality… Please vote for this bug.


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