Moving right-to-left locale detection into locale definition

Behdad Esfahbod
Wed Mar 10 08:06:00 GMT 2004

Hi all and Happy new list,

As everybody these days knows, there are languages that are
written from right-to-left, instead of the common left-to-right
direction.  Major scripts that are written rtl (right-to-left)
are Arabic and Hebrew, which results in languages Arabic,
Persian, and Hebrew, etc.

rtl languages need extra attention in software i18n, specially
in layout design.  Currently Gtk+ detects rtl languages, by
leaving it to the translator to translate the special string
"default:LTR" to either "default:LTR" or "default:RTL".

As any display oriented tool set needs to detect rtl languages, I
wish to propose addition of a proper tag in the locale
definition, so tool sets can simply look it up in the locale,
instead of adding higher protocols to define rtl languages.

This feature can be defined as something like LC_DIRECTION, or
simply as a "direction" tag under LC_MESSAGES, as you typically
want a rtl layout when using LC_MESSAGES from a rtl language.

Any ideas or guidelines about which way is better/accepted?


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