Since more than one year, I discussed with Joomlart's CEO (Hung) about the necessity to do a native RTL template. Actually, I was unhappy to see all these automaticlly mirrored templates with a global code: "direction: rtl" that send the vertical scroll to the left side of the screen and cause more issues than solutions. Yes, I read from right to left but I use my right hand to scroll pages and I have the same visual logic as readers of Left-to-Right scripts.
JA Erio template RTLized
A language is described as right-to-left (or RTL) if writing starts from the right of the page, and continues to the left. Right to left scripts are:
- Arabic alphabet - used for Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Kurdish, Bashto, Old Malay and many other languages.
- Hebrew alphabet - used for Hebrew, Yiddish and some other Jewish languages.
- Syriac alphabet - used for varieties of the Syriac language.
- Thaana - used for Dhivehi.
- N'Ko script - used for several languages of Africa.
Having a stimulating opportunity to do a portal for "Aratypo: Arabic Typography" for my team of Arabic typeface creators and graphic designers, I decided to use JA Erio in this strategic project and I started to "rtlize" the template as would be naturally read by native Arabic visitors.
This was a quite amazing project that I shared with some of JA mods, I would like to thank them firstly, Pavit, Khoand, TomC, Jooservices (Viet Vu) for their answers and solutions to all of my interrogations.
I think now that I put the very most of the RTLizing solutions for this template in the forum JA Erio and I hope that all the RTL languages developers will use the right coding for their language.
What makes a good RTL template?
- Mandatory: Vertical scroll stays in the right side of the screen. IE is the browser that tell you the real place of the vertical scroll.
- Menu items are aligned to the right side.
- Images are mostly in the right side of the article.
- Breadcrumbs starts from the right side of the screen and it is oriented from right to left.
- Articles, sections, categories wordings are aligned to right. Direction of the text is rtl.
The great news for the original script lovers!
Monotype released a plug-in for Joomla 1.5-17 to implement webfonts. This is very important in order to show exceptional scripts in RtL languages. Monotype propose a free/payed subscriptions that can be tested/used.
You can download this plug-in from the link: https://github.com/webfonts/Web-Fonts
you can use this technology and have a subscription from the link: www.fonts.com/webfonts
What is next step?
Every time I watch the window of JoomlArt fans on Facebook I can recognize 30% of RTL Script people! Is it interesting enough percentage in order to start doing a native RTL template? The experience showed that it is not a big dev investment and I hope that we start to do other templates in this pathway. All RTLizers are invited!
How could template designers place this in the new multi-language function in Joomla 1.7?
This is quite interesting question for the perspective of Joomla development.
The website: www.aratypo.net is published in beta version and we continue to RTLize it and to implement articles till the end of this year. In January 2012 we will be fully operational for the Arabic script and graphic design professionals; be tuned...
Personally, I will answer to every question regarding the RTLizing possibility; please do not hesitate to contact me.