RAP 3.1 Supports Right-to-Left Orientation

October 13, 2015 | 2 min Read

Some languages, such as Arabic and Hebrew, are written from right to left. The different reading direction not only affects texts, but most UI elements. Preparing software for use in those languages obviously requires a lot more work than just translating texts. We’re currently adding right-to-left (a.k.a. “RTL”) support in RAP.

For example, if you check the Wikipedia in Hebrew, you’ll find the globe logo and the table of contents at the right, the tabs start on the right, while the search box moved to the left side. In short, the entire UI is mirrored:

You may notice that the scrollbar is still on the right. That’s because my browser is English. On an Arabic system, the scrollbar would also be on the left.

The mirroring not only affects layouts, also the widgets need to be drawn differently–like the search box in the screenshot above that has the search icon on the left. SWT supports right-to-left orientation using the SWT.RIGHT_TO_LEFT style flag. To support this style flag in RAP, we need to adjust all widgets. The most challenging widget is Tree, where not only the columns are reversed, but also the collapse and expand symbols are moved to the right edge:

Right-to-left support will be complete in the next milestone, RAP 3.1 M3. Large parts are already available in M2, including the Tree.

Update: RAP 3.1 M3 with full right-to-left support is now available. (New & Noteworthy)

Ralf Sternberg

Ralf Sternberg

Ralf is a software engineer with a history as Eclipse committer and project lead.

In recent years, he devoted himself to JavaScript technologies and helped pulling off …