Nightly updates for localized builds on mozilla-central

Posted 5 years, 9 months ago at 17:22. 4 comments

We’ve reached another milestone in our ongoing effort to elevate localized (l10n) builds to first class citizens within the Mozilla release engineering framework.

Last week, Armen flipped the configuration switch to turn on nightly updates for l10n builds on mozilla-central. After a few downtime-related hiccups last week that tanked nightly builds across the board, this morning we were finally able to serve partial updates to l10n nightly users on all platforms.

This is another huge step forward. Nightly testers who use localized builds no longer have to download an entirely new localized browser every day, but can instead rely on the Firefox update service to automatically download a much smaller binary partial update for them. Aside from allowing us to make sure l10n nightly testers are always testing the most recent code and string changes, this may also allow us to recruit a new batch of nightly l10n testers who were previously worried about the bandwidth involved in helping us test on an ongoing basis.

Over the coming weeks we’re hoping to enable l10n nightly updates on the newly-cut 1.92 branch as well. We are dealing with many more builds passing through the staging server to the update generation machinery now, so there’s some housekeeping to be done first to make sure that no builds, mars, or snippets are piling up in dark dusty corners anywhere.

Thanks to Armen for daring to touch the update code at all, to Nick for his update support, and to Axel for his tireless l10n work.

Current Tunes: Moby - Alice | Filed under Build/Release, l10n, Mozilla |

4 Replies

  1. As a Japanese nightly tester who’s using an en-US build, I’m curious about the achievement you’ve made. What can I actually get by automatic update? For example, when I use the latest nightly l10n build, after update, will it be equal to the latest en-US build plus the latest l10n strings and settings?

    How about newly added but unlocalized strings? Are they shown in English with other strings localized?

  2. Archaeopteryx Aug 18th 2009

    Thank you for this helpful development. Is it possible to get a language pack for the nightlies which gets updated? Because I also use en-US and installing the same nightly will give a very bad uninstalling experience in Windows (iirc, only one item in the “Software” list and it won’t show you which directory/locale this is).

  3. @Rockridge: Yes, if you start using a nightly l10n build (say “ja”), the nightly update will include all the fixes from the en-US nightly, along with any new localized strings that were added since the previous nightly. Axel has blogged previously about how all l10n builds are now “l10n-merged”, meaning that if new en-US strings are added in a nightly build, they are automatically included in any corresponding l10n nightly builds as placeholders until the localization teams can catch up. This prevents l10n nightly build bustage (as happened previously) and allows nightly l10n testers to receive the benefits of any new code quickly.

    @Archaeopteryx: Are you asking for a similar update mechanism for the .xpi files? New .xpi files are generated for each locale every night, but I don’t think the Mozilla update system (or at least the part that is built into the browser) is setup to handle them. I’m not sure whether it even can or whether no one has bothered simply because the .xpi tend to be fairly small, at least in relation to an entire browser package. My advice would be to file a bug about it, and we can figure those details out in bugzilla.

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