I have never thought one second that I would blog about two things I am really passionate about: Firefox and flying! What has Firefox got to do with flying anyway, one would be tempted to ask! My passion about aviation and flying dates back to the mid-seventies when I skipped classes to walk miles just to to see the only plane that landed in the area once a week (see my post about localization). And then BBC computers with Basic as a programming language when I studied in Scotland. And Windows 95 and the internet and my first (really) personal computer! Those were times when I spent a whole night trying to configure Windows NT without even having a network! And those times when I discovered online games and the famous Red Baron, the combat flight simulator that occupied most of my nights during those Compuserve (my internet service provider) times.More
Archive for the ‘Mozilla’ Category
The 6th Workshop on African Language Technology (AfLaT) is the first event focusing on African languages technology I ever attended. Actually it is a joint conference along with the 25th annual symposium of the Pattern Recognition Association of South Africa (PRASA) and the 7th Robotics and Mechatronics (RobMech) Conference of South Africa. Although I have already attended other conferences in South Africa, like ANLOC’s (African Network for Localization), this event was more of a research event focusing on language students in South African Universities. This is why it was important for me, as a Mozilla Rep from the continent to attend this event. And I was not disappointed although everything did not work out as I planned.More
The Airbus A319 was taxiing hastily to runway 24 of the W terminal of Orly airport, second busiest in Paris. We had a delay, exceptionally, like every flight to Lisbon I took recently. But you know aircraft are much faster than they have to be because they need to fit with schedule and other traffic. So the crew can make up the delay during flight and land exactly at ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival). Well I really didn’t care much when I would land in Lisbon; the only thing I know is that I am going to be flying to Bamako six hours after landing in Lisbon. If only we could loop in the air until about time to continue my trip, it would be great! Again, no, we cannot loop with that kind of aircraft because you might spill some coke on that lady’s dress and spoil the flight for all the passengers.More
Theme: “Empowering African Languages”
Venue: Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie
Hotel : Auberge Marie Lucienne, Point E, Dakar
I have been planning this event since 2012! And it is an old dream to gather people who are literate in non-English languages to show them what we can do with our languages. I wanted to show them that not knowing English or French does not condemn you to darkness forever and that Mozilla has open doors for us so we can do more for our languages and people and at the same time do better. My ambition was at first to gather speakers of Fulah from many countries along with Wolof speakers to train them in using Mozilla localization tools, specially the ones that I have been using which have proved to be really efficient. I am thinking of Translatehouse Translate Toolkit tools like Virtaal and the Pootle Server.More
When my father, a colonial army veteran, retired as a police officer, I was about 9! I remember the first time he announced that we were leaving the city forever to go back to our roots, the village of Thioubalel (meaning little fisherman in Fulah). But before anybody in the large family had time to cry because we were all born there, we were already gone. The day we left was one of the saddest days in my life!
But, I did not realize that day was also going to become the most important turning point in my own life. When I went to the village, I hardly spoke any Fulah because I always used the lingua-franca of the city, which was not Fulah. I even used to look down upon those who spoke Fulah as unsophisticated. That was precisely why my father was waiting impatiently to get us out of there since we were getting “lost”!
So I became a villager, and soon a fluent and proud speaker of this wonderful language. It was wonderful to see how easy it was to use Fulah to talk about life in the village. Everything seemed so natural when you spoke Fulah and amazingly there was a word for every single thing that you could see around.