[Mediawiki-i18n] RTL-lang messages in a multilingual wiki

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Mon Mar 5 12:16:47 UTC 2007

Rotem Liss schreef:
> Hash: SHA1
> Brianna Laugher wrote:
>> Hello,
>> Please compare
>> http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Userlogin&uselang=he&type=signup
>> to
>> http://he.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Userlogin&uselang=he&type=signup
>> On Commons, the messages appear RTL text direction which is correct,
>> but on the left, which I imagine is as unnatural as right-aligning for
>> English.
>> Evidently there is some sitewide setting for he.wp that tells it to
>> display messages right aligned. Commons default language is English
>> which is left aligned. I guess that using uselang=he is not enough for
>> it to display messages right aligned?
>> Should we (Commons) go and insert <span align="right"> around every /he message?
>> Would this solve it?
>> (Would this be a *good way* to solve it?)
>> thanks,
>> Brianna
>> user:pfctdayelise
> First, not all the messages can use HTML, and even Wikitext, so this may fail.
> Second, several messages don't need this. Third, this won't fix the interface as
> the whole page is LTR-aligned. Fourth, the problem is not "align" but
> "direction": direction means the general direction of the paragraph, and the
> default align if not set. If you just set <span align="right">, this will make
> the points (".") appear in the right instead of the left. It should be <span
> dir="rtl">, but this won't work either, from the above reasons.
> Actually, *there is* a setting of direction: the variable $rtl in the messages
> file. If it is set to true, the wiki is RTL; if not, the wiki is LTR. This works
> very good in RTL wikis. RTL languages set "$rtl = true", and LTR languages set
> "$rtl = false" (or let it fall back to the English default, which is false).
> "$rtl" is read *from the content language files*, i.e. the default language of
> the site. Since the default language of Commons is English, the setting is LTR.
> This is good for most pages, because it also sets the directions of pages.
> If the interface language (the user-selected language) direction is different
> than the content language (the site default language) direction, *the content
> language direction is used* for everything. This can and should be changed - the
> interface direction should be used for the interface, and Bug 6100 (
> http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=6100 ) is about it.
> This has nothing to do with Multilingual MediaWiki.
It is solved in Multilingual MediaWiki.

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