CSE498, Collaborative Design, Spring 2020
Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

Founded in March 1998, Mozilla Corporation is a free software community whose mission is to keep the internet open and accessible for all. They are best known for the popular internet browser, Firefox.

Over 250 million people use Firefox every month. To accommodate the 60% of users whose preferred language is not English, Firefox is available in over 100 languages. Localization is the term for supporting languages other than the default, which in Firefox’s case is American English. Localizing Firefox requires translating menus, buttons and many other parts of the browser.

Previously, to change from the default language, the user had to either download a separate version of Firefox or go through a labyrinth of configuration steps. Worse, even if the user managed to change their language, sometimes tiny translation mistakes would render Firefox unusable. This led to the Yellow Screen of Death (shown on the right). The only solution for the Yellow Screen of Death would be to uninstall and then reinstall Firefox.

Our No More Yellow Screen of Death in Firefox software eliminates the Yellow Screen of Death by integrating Fluent, a technology Mozilla specifically developed to help with localization, throughout Firefox.

Integrating Fluent throughout Firefox also simplifies the process of changing languages, allowing the user to quickly change languages with the click of a button.

Additionally, our system uses Python scripts to automatically update certain old files to Fluent. Specifically, programmers only need to integrate Fluent in one language, by convention American English, after which our software automatically updates the other 99+ with no additional work from the programmer.

The project is implemented using Fluent, JavaScript, Python, XHTML, XML, and XUL.