December 13, 2009

Thunderbird 3.0 released in 49 languages

In case you didn't notice, five days ago we finally released Thunderbird 3.0 into the wild. This is a huge achievement for everyone involved. I want to focus particularly on the localization aspect as we've come a long way since our last major release (Thunderbird 2) two and a half years ago.

Back then we had a pretty small l10n community (38 locales) which was mostly centered around Europe. With Thunderbird 3 we've expanded that community significantly to 49 locales and we've picked up a lot of languages, mostly from the Asian continent along the way. Overall we've added 14 languages (Arabian, Bengali, Estonian, Frisian, Galician, Indonesian, Icelandic, Georgian, Romanian, Sinhala, Albanian, Serbian, Tamil, and Vietnamese) but unfortunately we also lost three languages since TB2 (Danish, Macedonian and Slovenian).

This is a significant achievement because at the time we were releasing Thunderbird 3, localizers also had to work on the translations for the upcoming Firefox 3.6 and Mobile Firefox 1.0 releases. So my hat goes off to the all our localizers who put who put in a awesome amount of effort to make a localized Thunderbird 3 release in their language a reality.

As for the languages that didn't make it for Thunderbird 3.0, the Danish folks are already playing catch-up and we will start some outreach actions towards the Macedonian and Slovenian communities as well to try to find some localizers there again. If you're interested in contributing to these efforts, please leave me a note here on the blog.

For Thunderbird 3.1 we'll have to see what comes next. I've already been in contact with a few localization teams who are thinking hard about starting a Thunderbird translation into their language. Hopefully I can say more about this soon.