Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
July 19th, 2005
Google Summer of Code


Making the switch

For those few of you who’ve been following my project page for the Google Summer of Code, I’m no longer translating Mozilla Firefox; instead I’ll translate its much-neglected younger sibling Thunderbird. Just to be on the safe side, I switched because there are already three projects to localize Firefox into Vietnamese. Even if those projects never come to fruition, it puts my project at risk of being redundant, and I don’t want to present a redundant project to Google and expect a large payout.

Thunderbird is a great program that handles e-mail, newsgroups, contacts, and weblogs, but it sure will give me a ton of work: I’ll still have to translate everything that I would’ve translated for Firefox, but Thunderbird also contains as much as three times the number of things to translate; since the program does a lot more than Firefox, it also has a lot more in the way of windows, menus, and dialogs.

I’ve always been disappointed that Thunderbird’s developers never fully stripped down the program to rebuild it from scratch, the way that Firefox’s developers did. It’s always meant that Thunderbird has been slower, clunkier, and harder to use than its leaner sibling Firefox. Nevertheless, it’s still a lot better at e-mail and weblogs than any of its competitors, in my opinion.

I’m looking forward to translating Thunderbird, even if it means that I’ll be racing against time to finish my project. Just 312 more files to go…


  1. Good for you. Translating free software so that people can use computers in their own language is a really useful and admirable thing to spend time on.