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Is it correct to show RTL content in RTL display mode alongside LTR content in LTR display mode?
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Description

RTL languages are always displayed right-justified, which looks a bit weird when mixed with other languages. See image:

Event Timeline

Restricted Application added a project: Multimedia. · View Herald TranscriptNov 8 2018, 1:33 AM
Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald Transcript
Ramsey-WMF triaged this task as Low priority.Nov 8 2018, 1:34 AM
Ramsey-WMF moved this task from Untriaged to Triaged on the Multimedia board.
Ramsey-WMF added subscribers: Jdforrester-WMF, Cparle.
Cparle added a subscriber: Amire80.Nov 8 2018, 9:24 AM

You sure we want to change that? From my own perspective I'd probably prefer English to be left-justified on an RTL page. @Amire80 any thoughts on this?

Amire80 added subscribers: Mooeypoo, Huji, eranroz, Pginer-WMF.

Thanks for asking!

My TLDR: It's OK to align each language according to its direction in this context.

First of all, as long as the direction is correct, it's just a matter of visual elegance, and it's not the highest priority. To verify that the direction is correct I recommend adding a full stop in the end of the description:

חתול, לשבת, קערה.

(In Phab it will appear incorrectly, with the full stop on the right-hand end. If the direction is set correctly in the software, it will appear on the left-hand end.)

It doesn't look bad to me. We should also remember the following:

  • Description may be much longer than three words, and then the justification won't be so important because there will be big walls of text. (We may actually think of hiding some less necessary languages by default, similarly to how it's done with Compact Language Links.)
  • Most languages are left to right, so an RTL reader will see a lot of somewhat weirdly aligned languages. Even if they don't actually read them, it will look a bit off.

These descriptions are comparable, but different from interlanguage links on mobile. At the moment each language is aligned according to its direction, and it doesn't look so nice to me. Article titles are usually short, so it shows a lot of strange empty space. See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Givatayim#/languages for an example. It used to be aligned to the same side, and I believe it was better.

I really shouldn't decide alone, however—it's worth asking other users, both experienced and inexperienced.

(Also adding @Mooeypoo, @Huji, and @eranroz, who have a lot of RTL experience, and @Pginer-WMF, who has a lot of multilingual UI design experience.)

Restricted Application added a project: I18n. · View Herald TranscriptNov 8 2018, 9:40 AM

Yeah, the current behaviour is how we generally handle this situation in Wikimedia products. I think we should remain consistent with the wider practice rather than go it alone. Maybe a bigger-scale task for reviewing the behaviour in general?

This is low priority for us now, so I'm fine with putting on the back burner. But I do think there's some room to find a design solution overall that looks better. This is the current situation on mobile and it just looks jarring at first glance.

For the RTL languages on file captions for mobile only... one possible option would be to left-align the language label, and to right-align the caption, regardless of what language it is.

This is how we usually handle it in wiki sites.
BTW what is the order of the languages/does it have any logical order? would it be nicer to align by language dir and then by language name? (so we will have one block of LTR langs, and one block of RTL langs)

The picture in the task description is really confusing. Label of language is the local name in some cases (like "español" instead of "Spanish") but for Hebrew is "Hebrew" and not "עברית"). As a person who speaks one RTL language (I mean I write it in RTL), it matters a lot. If the name being shown is local name, it should follow the directionality of the language (so "فارسی" for Persian should be RTL) but if it shows name of the language in language of the user UI (so "Persian" for Persian if the interface is set to English and "انگلیسی" for English when user interface is set to Persian), the it should follow the directionality of the user interface and not the language itself.

The picture in the task description is really confusing. Label of language is the local name in some cases (like "español" instead of "Spanish") but for Hebrew is "Hebrew" and not "עברית").

Ignore that, it's from months ago where a bug meant sometimes the language was labelled in the interface language rather than the autonym.

As a person who speaks one RTL language (I mean I write it in RTL), it matters a lot. If the name being shown is local name, it should follow the directionality of the language (so "فارسی" for Persian should be RTL) but if it shows name of the language in language of the user UI (so "Persian" for Persian if the interface is set to English and "انگلیسی" for English when user interface is set to Persian), the it should follow the directionality of the user interface and not the language itself.

We don't.

In wikidata the language name follows the direction of the the UI (https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q7251):

I really think you should make English words like "Hebrew" and "Arabic" and "Persian" LTR.

I really think you should make English words like "Hebrew" and "Arabic" and "Persian" LTR.

Of course. But we should ever show the English version of a language name. Can you explain how / where you think we are?

This is https://commons.wikimedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/File:Foo.jpg (taken yesterday)


The language name is in English ("Persian" and not "فارسی") but it's RTL. This doesn't make any sense to me.

Jdforrester-WMF added a comment.EditedJan 10 2019, 8:19 PM

This is https://commons.wikimedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/File:Foo.jpg (taken yesterday)


The language name is in English ("Persian" and not "فارسی") but it's RTL. This doesn't make any sense to me.

Oh! That's very odd, sorry. I've filed this as T213477: Caption language name is displayed in page language, rather than as autonym, for filled-in captions; all of your reports are asking for the reverse of this task. :-)

This is https://commons.wikimedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/File:Foo.jpg (taken yesterday)


The language name is in English ("Persian" and not "فارسی") but it's RTL. This doesn't make any sense to me.

Oh! That's very odd, sorry. I'll file a task; all of your reports are asking for the reverse of this task. :-)

I already filed T213241 and was told by @Ramsey-WMF it's duplicate of this task.

Jdforrester-WMF renamed this task from Beta Commons: Text alignment for RTL languages on file captions is suboptimal to Is it correct to show RTL content in RTL display mode alongside LTR content in LTR display mode?.Jan 10 2019, 8:22 PM

I've re-titled this task to be what is actually the question (which, to repeat my view, is "yes").