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scroll bar

i saw the new hebrew and farsi pages of joelonsoftware and something struck me. the scroll bar has been positioned on the left, i was wondering, isn't that position more of a convenience for right handed people than a result of the direction the language is written in? wouldn't most people reading those languages, rather prefer to have the scroll bar on the right than the left? any farsi/hebrew readers out there willing to clarify?

ubaid dhiyan
Monday, March 24, 2003

It's the same in Arabic. And it's general throughout all programs.

The reason presumably is that you want the scroll bar at the end of the line and not the beginning. You will want to see the begining of the line and not be distracted by the moving scroll bar and have the mouse in the way.

All English language programs have it on the other side, so you can check the effect by imagining it reversed.

Stephen Jones
Monday, March 24, 2003

On a tangential note:

Odd little things like this would never occur to me.

Is there a list anywhere of UI considerations that goes into the odd, non-obvious things? Joel's book is damned good, but what about going beyond his useful generalities to specific items to consider that you'd never think of?

Mike Swieton
Monday, March 24, 2003

Specifically for globalization issues in software and UI, a good source of information is Microsoft's site:
http://www.microsoft.com/globaldev/default.mspx
For example, read the "Globalization Step-by-Step" article.

The position of UI elements for right-to-left languages is discussed at: http://www.microsoft.com/globaldev/getwr/steps/WRG_mirror.mspx
"For Right-To-Left (RTL) languages, not only does the text alignment and text reading order go from right to left, but also the UI elements layout should follow this natural direction of going from right to left."

Philip Dickerson
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

A similar discussion on this subject went on over at the City Desk forum:

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/CityDesk/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=6029

Yoav
Thursday, March 27, 2003

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