Instantbird 1.3 became available on November, 15, and it comes with new features (you can see them clicking here). The Instantbird team is interested in offering this IM client to everyone, so there’s a new language in this release: Brazilian Portuguese - Sim, nós falamos Português!. Now Brazilians users can enjoy Instantbird in their language.
Additionally, Instantbird brought back the Russian language in this release. This language was in Instantbird since version 0.2, but it was not present in version 1.2. Thanks go out to our Russian localization team for making this possible!
Since the 0.2 release, Instantbird has been available in 5 languages - English, Finnish, French, Polish and Russian. The 1.0 release brought six more languages and now Instantbird is available in 13 languages!
The Instantbird team has a goal: ”to redefine the way instant messaging is used, to work the way you want.” To reach this goal, it’s necessary that Instantbird can be used by as many people as possible, in every country. So we encourage interested people to translate it to their languages. If you’re interested in helping us achieve this goal by creating new translations or improving Instantbird, you can get more information here.
We have been contacted by lots of individuals who volunteered to translate Instantbird into their native language and were eager to start working on it. As we were not ready to host the translations, we asked people to wait before starting their work on localized versions of Instantbird.
As we plan to release the next beta of Instantbird 0.2 in several languages, we feel that now is a good time to start translating the UI of Instantbird. Please note that the development work is not finished yet, and that there will still be string changes before we are ready to release this next milestone.
You will find information on the translation process on our wiki at http://wiki.instantbird.org/Instantbird:Translation. As usual, if you have any question, feel free to ask them in #instantbird on irc.mozilla.org or to contact us at contact AT instantbird DOT org.
As you may (or may not) know, we previously wrote that Instantbird 0.1.* was not localizable. The reason evoked for this was the use of gettext by libpurple, which is not compatible with the way XUL applications are localized. I’m going to give more details about the issue, and explain how we solved it for Instantbird 0.2.
Comparison of translation systems used by Mozilla and libpurple:
Inside libpurple, localizable strings are just marked by
For example, you can find this in the code:
description = _("Unknown error");
During the compilation, _() is expanded by the C preprocessor to a call to a gettext function. Gettext tools can analyze the source code, find all strings enclosed in _() markers, and produce a translation template. This template (a .pot file) is then handed to translators, who translate the strings and then provide a .po file for their language.