It has been obvious for many years that an on-line text with an apparatus criticus should put it to the right of the text, since the bottom of the page may be hundreds of lines away, and a line-by-line apparatus is of highly-variable width – we would not want to put the entire text to the right of the longest list of variants and conjectures. What then of a text that also has a facing translation? I see no other place for it than the left side of the text, as in my three-column Sphaera Archimedis (link – the translation has no literary pretensions whatever). The fact that Loeb and other facing texts normally put the translation to the right makes me expect to find it there. How easy will it be to get used to seeing them the other way around?
Putting the translation to the right of the text seems more natural in a language written left-to-right, since the text is of course primary. Putting the text in the middle, between translation and apparatus criticus, also seems psychologically right, centering the primary thing, while separating the parts that are related to the text, but not to each other. Similarly, I use colors to differentiate, making the text visually primary (black), the apparatus (dark blue) and translation (dark green) secondary. I am curious what others think about my sample page, and my reasoning.