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 packages.ubuntu.com (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

14 responses to “Why does Ubuntu puts Firefox transalation in gnome’s language pack ?

  1. I don’t get it. Ubuntu get alot of QA efforts, how it become so unstable for the first two weeks after every release? How come no one saw that mistake before the actual release?

  2. DoK

    Tomer – the vast majority of Ubuntu (and any other distro) Hebrew speaking users are… well… users and –
    1. Users ususaly don’t use the development version
    2. Most of the users that do get to the development version are not using Hebrew
    3. Even those usesr how use Hebrew in the development version usualy just check if things work and not if it works the right way.

  3. 1) I was under the impression that Ubuntu uses it launchpad system and that language translation were not ‘given back’. As other Debianites IIRC have noted this long ago.
    2) I thought they were using language packs for translations — all translations for a locale in one deb. And that Debian was going to implement T-debs similarly (translation deb). So this is news to me.
    3) I’d be curious how who made such a change just before release — sounds like a bad idea.

  4. Another bad example of Ubuntu QA is ‘pyslide’ package. I mailed maintainer, reopened the bug but alas they added crappy, not working version of pyslide in hardy release rush. You can see the story at my blog.

  5. Pizzaman

    You ask why?
    Because they’re just morons… they take good packages from debian and they get diry with the code and the packaging stuff, without being really able to do such stuff, and then things breaks.
    And they don’t know how to fix, and leaves broken stuff in their repository.

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  7. Colin Watson

    Lior: Firefox isn’t included in Kubuntu by default, which may be why this wound up in the GNOME language packs. At any rate, Arne Goetje and Martin Pitt are the people to ask about this.

    Pizzaman: Perhaps you should check out the names of the developers responsible for large chunks of the Debian base system who also work on Ubuntu.

  8. Martin Pitt

    Thanks for the comments. I fixed the package description in the scripts, so that the next full rebuild of language-pack-*-base will not mention “firefox” any more.

    For the upgrade path, I’m just discussing this with Alexander Sack. We’ll probably add dependencies to language-pack-gnome-XX to mozilla-firefox-locale-XX.

    The Firefox translations are in l-p-gnome-* because our Kubuntu mainainer did not want them to be on the KDE CDs/default installation. Kubuntu does not use Firefox by default, so it would be a waste of space.

  9. Lior Kaplan

    Marin -> Than just don’t put the mozilla locale packages in the Kubuntu CD. How’s that related to matching GNOME and Firefox together ?

    Doesn’t Uubuntu use popcon as Debian ? I’m sure you can also add the needed hints to include/exclude packages.

  10. tom

    @Martin Pitt:
    Great! now if one is using Kubuntu+Firefox must install GNOME components…
    Really, great idea… Just as Lior wrote – you can create separate locale packages for Firefox and just not include it on the Kubuntu CDs if the FF doesn’t come on them either. What’s the problem?

    One should remember that the GNU/Linux version of FF3’s GUI has been integrated with GTK+ and not with GNOME. GTK+ isn’t GNOME-dependent so neither Firefox 3 is!

  11. I searched the web after trying to install ff3 and getting gnome deps. WFT? I don’t want no gnome. I don’t need no bloat. I like dbl negatives. WTH is with the gnome deps? Cheese and rice man. It’s like a load a turd on hdd.

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