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Hebrew Output

Joel:

I noticed that in Internet Explorer, City Desk's HTML output in Hebrew places the scroll-bar on the left-side. See here:

http://hebrew.joelonsoftware.com/

As a web-developer in Israel, I 've seen Hebrew sites set the scroll bar on the left, and others on the right. Honestly, I still don't know what the Hebrew-speaking majority prefers!

Did you do any research on this, or have a strong opinion on this subject as it would be very interesting to me.

Thanks

Yoav
Monday, March 24, 2003

I didn't even know there was a way to control this in HTML. CityDesk just sets dir=rtl in the body tag.

But in general... the standard for right-to-left languages is that everything on the screen is in mirror image. So the Windows start menu is on the right along with the icons, etc. I would guess that scrollbars on the left are pretty much standard and if they aren't, they should be.

Joel Spolsky
Monday, March 24, 2003

Joel:

For your information Israel's top two most popular websites (homegrown), Walla and yNet,  have the scroll-bar on the right-side:

http://www.walla.co.il/
http://www.ynet.co.il/

Ironically, Israel's two largest non-homegrown websites, MSN and Google, put the scroll-bar on the left-side:

http://www.msn.co.il/
http://www.google.co.il/

Yoav
Thursday, March 27, 2003

It's a clash between the ideal of localization and the simple demand of consistency in user interfaces.

Because most sites Hebrew users visit are not in Hebrew, just as many applications they use on their desktop aren't localized, many Israeli users (and site builders) prefer to limit the Right-to-Left to the text and page layout, and keep the elements of the browser UI in the default state.

You can bring back the Right-side scrollbar by nesting your content in a DIV tag with a DIR=RTL attribute, instead of setting it directly on the BODY.

BTW, nice to see you can change the text direction in the Citydesk WYSIWYG view to RTL with Control + right shift. I hope this makes it into the visible user interface some day.

Dotan Dimet
Monday, March 31, 2003

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