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localization kits

Contact: Rick Elliott
Last Updated: 05-May-98


This page details the localization kits that are being made publicly available as part of the universal localization program. As the program's FAQ stated, there are two dimensions to this program: what is permitted versus what is facilitated. Localization kits are the primary way in which the universal localization program facilitates translation of the branded Netscape Communicator Standard Edition and Netscape Navigator products, as well as the Mozilla product and its derivatives.

A localization kit contains the tools, instructions and resources necessary to produce a localized version of the target software. Currently, these kits are derived from the Netscape Communicator Standard Edition and Netscape Navigator version 4.x products. By following the instructions in the kits, you will be able to produce a localized client product in any supported language. By extension, you may be able to apply the tools and information provided in the localization kits to localize the Mozilla client. Finally, following this model, we anticipate developers publishing their own localization kits based on their derivatives of the source code.

kit contents

While the exact contents of each localization kit differs according to the platform and product it is intended for, each kit is composed of the following general pieces:

  • The English language resources (in exportable, binary form)
  • Localization notes
  • Kit documentation
  • Tools

The English language resources are provided as the base for your localization work. These resources will match the version used to generate the localization notes. For Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh platforms, the English language resources are provided as binaries. (You may also download a later version of the product by visiting Netscape's download pages. Be sure you only localize the export version! Otherwise, you will not be able to legally distribute your localized product.) Netscape's experience with localization has convinced us that localizing resource binaries is more efficient than working on source files (at least on Windows and Macintosh).

Localization notes
Localization notes are the heart of the kits: this is where you will find detailed information on the exact way in which particularly sensitive resources must be handled. For example, the localization notes tell you which resources must not be changed from their original values; they will also identify resources that appear as HTML or Javascript, or that must match other resources in order for the product to function properly.

The localization kit documentation is a series of HTML files which give you an overview of the localization process, as well as generic instructions on localizing the different data types found in the product.

We have attempted to make our Localization Kits "tools agnostic," meaning you are free to use whichever localization tools you desire to accomplish your aims. At the same time, we have chosen to release some of our internally developed localization tools; these are provided "as is", with no support (but we use them daily with great success).

next steps

To download an available localization kit or kit component, click here.

[Program Terms]
[L10n Library]
[Links & Resources]

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