Hacking on my own
Four years ago I started translating the Mozilla suite into Galician, and from that point on I managed to keep the translation completely up-to-date, even being one of the fastest ones to create translations (when Mozilla 1.0 was released, three translations for it were released at the same time: Chinese, Asturian and Galician), and later expanding my efforts into Firefox and Thunderbird.
However, after two years, things started to go wrong: support for translations was starting to fail without warning, there were some undocumented changes to the language pack format and there was a movement to integrate translations officially into the Mozilla organization that would make it extremely inconvenient for me to go on working in Mozilla, so in July 2004 I resigned from the effort and stopped updating the translations.
Well, it was not exactly a thing of “oh, now it is not worth the effort", but “those SOBs are taking all my past hard work down the crapper and they were supposed to stop updating the suite so why are they releasing a fucking new version?". And also “I’m here translating this shit and nobody appreciates it so fuck it all” Much angst and stuff, and I not only stopped with Mozilla: I stopped translating pretty much anything else and almost vowed not to translate again. And I made the T-shirt and all (some of you saw it in DebConf 5).
During the Christmas break I didn’t have much to do, and it had been very long since I had last programmed for pleasure, so I decided to create a set of scripts for converting Mozilla XPI language packs into a huge PO file and back (days later I was told about translation-tools, but I was in the mood to hack and it worked with a lot of small PO files, which I didn’t want). Then, I imported my old Firefox 0.8 translation, created a POT for 1.0.7 and updated the translation.
I may well start making Galician Firefox translations again – but unofficially. There’s already an official Galician team, which intended to start after my resignation but is, apparently, stuck in bureaucratland. Also, some horror stories I’ve heard about make me want not to work officially with Mozilla. Plus, some of the things that made me angry back in the days are still there. For example, the documents about translating Mozilla all newbies are referred to are badly outdated. And there are no new, unified documents. But I intend to take it easy. I will not invest emotionally on this again, because I don’t want to go back to spending a couple of months playing Frozen Bubble while I think bad thoughts about Mozilla developers.
Anyway, I’m moderately happy now. I’ve hacked on my own, for pleasure, for the first time in months; I achieved a goal and I’m slowly regaining my motivation to do other stuff. I hope.
That was all.