Mozilla Webmaker in Thai and Russian

Making popular software available to non-English speaking users is a challenge for computer program developers.

To get help with localization of their software Webmaker, Mozilla came to Seneca College’s Centre for Development of Open Technology (CDOT). Seneca’s open technology researchers have worked with Mozilla on many projects that extend the functionality of the web. The college’s diverse student body became an important asset in this development project. Students come from all over the world to study at Seneca College, bringing their knowledge of other languages and cultures.

The CDOT research team put students to work on the internationalization and localization of Webmaker, Mozilla’s web literacy platform, to make it accessible to non-English speaking users, in languages such as Thai, Arabic, Ukrainian, and Russian. Localization is a process that adapts software for use in other languages, especially those with foreign characters (such as Thai or Russian). Internationalization involves enabling software to be easily translated and maintained after localization.

Ali Al Dallal, a developer at the Mozilla Foundation and Seneca ICT graduate, has been at the forefront of Seneca CDOT’s localization and internationalization efforts, and has worked on several Mozilla sub-projects including Popcornmaker, Appmaker and X-Ray Goggles.

“The localization and internationalization of software is extremely important – it means that people around the world get to experience the same high level of quality with different software. Seneca CDOT and Mozilla gave me the chance to be a big part of that and it’s been a great experience,” says Al Dallal.

To build on its new-found strength, Seneca is exploring how to provide global leadership in localization for Mozilla as well as other industry partners. What was learned during the work with Mozilla can be replicated to help other partners bring their products to the global market.

Partner(s): Mozilla Foundation
Funded by: Innovation Enhancement (IE) Grant

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