Mozilla Boot 2 Gecko

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Localizing FirefoxOS / Boot2Gecko / Gaia Apps with Lingohub

When Mozilla, makers of Firefox and Thunderbird, announced they would be getting into the mobile business, I personally found that a very interesting move. What Firefox did to the browser market in terms of market competition and user choice, I think Mozilla can also do to the mobile market. Enter FirefoxOS (aka Boot to Gecko / B2G), which is Mozilla’s mobile operating system to be launched early 2013 in cooperation (initially) with Telefonica and ZTE, but more partners are already gearing up (the promise of emancipating themselves from Apple and Google is very attractive for telecoms).

FirefoxOS, its UX platform is called Gaia, is largely an HTML5-powered user interface. Being completely open source, and using standard technologies, it promises a previously unseen degree of freedom and expandability for both developers as well as users. Being Mozilla, FirefoxOS will probably ship with dozens of languages out of the box (on launch date in Brazilian Portuguese and Latin-American Spanish). But what about your apps? Gaia apps are HTML5 apps, so you won’t have to relearn everything to get started. lingohub fully supports FirefoxOS app properties files, so a quick import (or if you’ve got them on Github, just sync it up, lingohub integrates with it!) should do the trick and you’re set localizing for FirefoxOS.

Let’s have a look at a sample resource file (en_US) from a Gaia app, a properties file that should look familiar to you and has a very simple structure:

settings-about-section=About
settings-general-section=General settings
settings-check-mail=Check mail
settings-show-images=Always show images
settings-download-attachments=Download attachments
settings-notify-mail=Notify of new mail

More on localization for B2G under this link at Mozilla. Screencast on checking Gaia system apps for localization.