[Project_owners] Anyone interested? Extension Minimizer Tool

Onno Ekker o.e.ekker at gmail.com
Sun May 18 00:17:56 PDT 2008

Hi Eric,

This time I am hijacking your bug....

Your extension has 26 locales, all in the same xpi. The Mozilla apps are
distributed in English or a single other localization. Users can download
other localizations manually from

The problem with this, is that the extra localizations don't get updated
automatically. I have installed English (en-US) Firefox and Thunderbird with
added Dutch (nl) language pack.

Every time I upgrade Firefox or Thunderbird I have to go to above URL,
download the right language pack, install it and restart the application
again. On all the computers I work on. And keeping track of it. Did I do it
here or not yet?

I think it's a bug (or it would be an enhancement) if those extra locales
could also be updated, and will probably one day file my own bug for that (I
won't really hijack yours. If anyone else feels like adding the bug, be my
guest, the idea is open source...)

Anyway, I was also planning on writing an extension that would update the
locales for Firefox or Thunderbird for me. This would still require an extra
restart for the users, but it would make things better already.

Maybe this Locale Updater Extension could also be made suitable for updating
locales from add-ons. I am not sure if this would work. It may depend on the
order in which things are installed and executed, maybe Mozilla gives you an
error before being able to download the new locale because it already needs
a string new to the updated version before getting to the Updater Extension.
These problems could probably also turn up when updating the application
itself, so ideally it should all go in one stroke.

No idea when I'll file that bug or start working on such an extension, but
I've been bugged by this issue for a long time now and maybe now is the
time. Problem is I'm a bit pressed for time. So, again: if anyone things
this is a good idea, has the time for it, feel free to pick it up :-)


On Sat, May 17, 2008 at 11:49 PM, Onno Ekker <o.e.ekker at gmail.com> wrote:

> Eric H. Jung wrote:
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Onno Ekker <o.e.ekker at gmail.com> <o.e.ekker at gmail.com>
> To: Mozdev Project Owners List <project_owners at mozdev.org><project_owners at mozdev.org>
> Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2008 2:04:20 AM
> Subject: Re: [Project_owners] Anyone interested? Extension Minimizer Tool
> I don't think size is the problem, but unused strings will cause
> unnecessary work and delay for existing and new localizations.
> Size is a problem, but I'd forgotten and the unnecessary work and delay for
> translators. Thanks for pointing that out!
> Still I think size is no problem. Even with the numbers you give your
> extension won't get 100K bigger from unused compressed strings, but even so:
> what's the problem? Storage? Download time? Are you afraid people won't
> download it, because of the size?
> If so, you could consider leaving out the localizations and offer them as
> separate downloads. It seems like Enigmail does that too, when you look at
> the Thunderbird tags on mozdev:
> http://www.mozdev.org/projects/applications/Thunderbird.html
> Also a tool which checks for unused variables or variables used only once
> could help preventing bugs in your extension (or in firefox, thunderbird,
> etc... itself). Perl does this, and it helps to catch tpyos...
> Yes, this would be valuable but is outside the scope of my current
> proposal. Please file a new bug if you'd like to see such a tool instead of
> trying to hijack mine :)
> I was just trying to help, but now that you mention hijacking: that's a
> thought. What was the URL of your bug again? :o)
> Onno
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