As part of August Penguin 2009, Mozilla Israel members Tomer Cohen and Tsahi Asher had a stand for promoting Firefox, web standards and other free software from Mozilla.
Mozilla Israel stand @ August Penguin 2009
The stand was crowded during most of the conference with people coming to talk or ask questions. The visitors enjoyed getting Firefox stickers/pins and web standards bracelets thanks to a shipment of the giveaways from abroad.
The party hats were used to make the August Penguin key signing party to look like a party (:
August Penguin 2009 Key Party
I’ll be happy to see more support for the local Israeli chapter of other projects, so we could have more stands like that in the next August Penguin.
In a letter to the chairman of the Knesset (the Israeli parliament), Ilan Gilon asks why the Knesset’s computing unit refuses to install free software (mainly Firefox). I’m quite interested to see the answer… (:
The question already started to be published in the media by Calcalist (in Hebrew). The letter was also published (in Hebrew) by a blogger at room404.
I got my hands on a laptop with Windows XP installed, and can do whatever I want with it, except deleting the windows. I decided not to have a dual boot on it, but to try and make it free software only (well, except the windows itself).
The main uses for the computer are surfing the web (browser only, not email), editting documents, watching videoes and being able to burn files.
The results for now:
- Mozilla Firefox (browser) – set to be the default browser, and I also removed Internet Explorer (well, windows only removes the links to the software and not the software itself).
- OpenOffice.org (productivity suite) – set the be the default application to the doc, xls and ppt files. Can also read OOXML format.
- ClamWin (anti virus)
- InfraRecoder (CD/DVS recorder)
- VLC (video player)- set to be the default video player (including Microsoft’s file formats).
- Sumatra PDF (PDF reader).
See “open source as alternative” if you want to find an alternative for a specific closed software.
It took half a year (including a long pause), and the Firefox triage is finally over. The last part, reviewing 120 bug reports took about a month. Starting with 324 bugs, the triage ended with 10 open bugs which I left for the maintainer to handle himself.
Although I didn’t keep record about the exact numbers about how many bugs were found to be fixed, it seems that ~250 bugs were closed (fixed, not relevant any more, whatever…). This leaves ~70 bugs to be valid (all reassigned to Iceweasel and got the right version info).
As I see it, the biggest problem of the large package maintainers have is to figure out if the bug is Debian specific or upstream only. The latter should be reported upstream by the users (when possible) to lower the pressure on the maintainers.
I my recent triages I saw a lot of upstream only bugs reported only in Debian, since the maintainers can’t be just “bugs forwarders”. It might work well in small packages, but this doesn’t scale up. So when possible, please try and report bugs upstream…
Anyway, I’ll probably initiate another triage for Iceweasel when version 3.0 will enter testing (probably post Lenny).
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 ?
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:
- Why link between GNOME and Firefox? (and while doing so, leaving out Tunderbird)
- What about people running Kubuntu? They probably won’t have GNOME installed.
- 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.).
- 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.
- 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.
Back in October I ran a Firefox/Iceweasel bug triage which resulted in handling 60% of the bugs. 5 months later, this leaves ~130 bugs which I’d like to close as the submitters aren’t responsive (2/3 pings as usual).
It will probably take me some time to manually review the reminding bugs before closing them. The reason for manually reviewing the bugs is to try and lower the false positives. Although I don’t see too much of them anyway as there were enough chances to verify them.
The list of the old bugs is at http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/pkgreport.cgi?src=firefox. Help reviewing them will be appreciated.