Re: OT (Kind of): Determining whether Locales are left-to-right or

From: John Cowan (
Date: Wed Dec 06 2000 - 16:26:13 EST

David Tooke wrote:

> I am assuming that the browser (and/or operating system)
> is going to render the actual text in the correct visual order as defined by
> the Unicode Bidi Algorithm.
> However I still need to indicate whether the page itself should be oriented
> in right-to-left format (i.e. with labels to form fields on the right not
> the left).

If the text is right-to-left, then widgets/controls embedded in the text
will be rendered to the right of the text they follow, so you shouldn't
need to do anything different at all.

> I think, for example, it would be appropriate to show a form oriented
> right-to-left to someone who has their browser set to 'ar-EG', even if the
> application has not been translated into arabic.

Ah, I see.

I think it would be very weird to render an English-language application with
labels on the right of their fields, just because the user also understands
Arabic. Overall directionality, like local directionality, is a property of
the script in which the current language is written, not a question of
cultural preference.

Would you expect a Hebrew-speaking person to want to start reading at the back
of a book written in English?

There is / one art                   || John Cowan <>
no more / no less                    ||
to do / all things                   ||
with art- / lessness                 \\ -- Piet Hein

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