Rtl border order

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This page an invitation to discuss whether borders should be reversed when running in RTL mode. Currently, Metacity (Gnome) does not reverse them, a consensus should be reached between users of RTL languages before closing | this bug, and should serve as a reference point when dealing with other similar issues such as placement of desktop icons.

This screenshot shows the current state:


This one shows what it would be like when reversed (GIMP job)


The problem is not simply of preference: the placement of buttons is a usability issue, in ltr languages they are usually on the opposite side of the File-Edit.. menus, making clicking on them mistakenly unlikely. The counter argument could be similarity and familiarity across RTL and LTR languages: users who are familiar with LTR modes may find it difficult to adjust to the new layout.

(This is a wiki, click the edit button above to discuss this).

Refoyl (language: Yiddish) says:

  1. It would look strange and lead to errors for borders on some windows to be reversed and not others. Consistency is important.
  2. I like the idea of reversing borders. The placement and appearance of the various buttons is chrome-dependent in any case, but it feels right to me that the button positions should also be reversed.

  3. The title itself, if ordinarily left-justified, should become right-justified in a reversed border.

Since this is an invitation to discuss, I will discuss here, feel free to move this to the discussion page if that is more adequate. I prefer discussing in English because the discussion should reach many language speakers. Among the broad reasons why I prefer to reverse the position of the close buttons:

  • Placing the button in the right implicates that the program icon is placed in the left, but in RTL layouts, drop menus appear to the left of the mouse cursor, if the windows is maximized the right button context menu on the icon will not be very reachable.
  • Windows and KDE already have it placed to the right, we should not force people that use these environments, KDE however allows to move the buttons as I saw in some Hebrew screenshots.
  • MacOS X has buttons placed in the left, and this doesn't make it unusable, I had need a few hours to get used to that

--الشهيبي ٠٨:٤٤, ٧ مارس ٢٠٠٧ (Chahibi)

I think it should be mirroed as in the screenshot above. Don't think about current users being confused by it. Think about your mom and dad using GNOME in an all-Arabic/Persian/Hebrew environment. Makes more sense to have the buttons on the far side and the application icon in the near side. Feels a lot more natural... --behdad

Corrected screenshot. --جهاد ٠١:٤٧, ٨ مارس ٢٠٠٧ (Djihed)

I believe the mirrored version is better. Though, from my experience with Arabic Microsoft Windows, the fact that Windows itself uses the RTL mode while most other programs use LTR mode, even Arabic ones like Mozilla Firefox, is a usability issue. My opinion: either have all of the window borders RTL, even for programs with an English interface, or leave everything the way it is. By the way, is there a way to toggle between RTL and LTR borders in the Gnome Configuration Editor? --فرغل ١١:٠٧, ٨ مارس ٢٠٠٧ (Farghal)