Working Group for Adding Bidirectional Text Support

NextCloud works only in Left-to-Right direction even if the user sets the language to some of the Right-to-Left ones (like Persian, Arabic, Urdy, Hebru,…). Moreover, NextCloud users might need to use and create new content on both LTR and RTL languages.

There are two solutions for this:

  • Add a feature to support RTL (like adding rtl.css)
  • Add bidirectional text support

The first approach is not ideal. It is actually not fixing the issue. It only works if all the content is in RTL. But the second approach (if applied properly) can give the app enough flexibility to adapt itself based on the content.

I, along with some other developers am working on adding bidirectional text support to NextCloud ecosystem. As of now, there are some improvement merged into nextcloud-vue and nextcloud-notes projects, and there is an open WIP PR for NextCloud-server.

I do understand the challenge of reviewing such changes for those who have only written and read in LTR. Adding bidi text support is not just a technical matter but also a PM issue. There are some edge cases and also some UX issues to take into consideration. Beyond that, we need to make a roadmap that helps the ecosystem transition into a fully compatible phase with bidirectional text support.

I would like to propose the formation of a “Bidirectional Text Support Working Group” that includes designers, PM, developers, and in particular, developers/testers who actively use RTL languages . This working group will be responsible for defining the roadmap and strategy and supervising the UI changes till we reach a stable stage.

I have already thought about the challenges, but I prefer to discuss them within such a group.

Since each commit in the NextCloud server includes built assets, it becomes harder and harder to maintain the bidi PR. The sooner we can work on this issue and make a clear decision, the faster and more effective bidi support we get.

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Hi Mostafa. Thanks for your efforts on pushing the bidirectional support in Nextcloud.

I also read and write a couple of RTL scripts, and have personal interest to use Nextcloud web interface in those languages. I have also consulted the project about RTL issues in the past.

I am happy to help with testing, planning, and occasionally also programming to implement proper bidirectional support in Nextcloud. I think forming a Bidirectional Text Support Working Group is a great idea. I would gladly join it to help.

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Hey Mostafa,

I have previous experience with RTL and BiDi, serving as the Coordinator of Localization in Free Software platforms such as GNOME, Ubuntu, Debian, F-Droid, etc.

I am enthusiastic about contributing to the work group and would be delighted to be a part of it.

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RTL and BiDi support for Nextcloud is a long-waited step. Despite the huge demand and the frequent raising of this issue, I feel that Nextcloud AG is not encouraged enough to consider this as a priority and to include BiDi in the core of Nexctcloud.

Anyway, I’m so glad with this repetitive demand and the persistent interest in adding this significant feature to Nextcloud.

So, As an Arabic language speaker, I’d like to join the “Bidirectional Text Support Working Group”.

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