When I want to look at the right side of a model I get the left side instead.
See this earlier discussion, which includes my opinion on the subject. I take it from fact that the view names in the 5.1 release stayed as they were in the WIP’s before that the people at McNeel share my my view (pun!) on this.
Well, from time immemorial, drawn views of objects have always been from the observer’s frame of reference, not from the object’s frame of reference. Therefore the way the views are set up in Rhino and virtually all other CAD programs is correct.
The standard “front view” of an object is when looking at it FROM the front, not looking towards the front when inside the object. And this applies in all areas including architecture and industrial design.
But choosing the image of a car as an icon for viewport selection is bound to bring up this subject again…
I think helvetosaurs has made it clear. the name “front, left, and right” indicates which “camera” to use to view the object. imagine setting 6 cameras pointing to a character on the center. left camera will show the character right’s arm.
most 3D software also use this method. the reason is because not all object can always have distinctive "right and left side"
an organic random splash geometry or heptahedron for instance. would not have distinctive left and right side. which would be very hard for the software to guess.
therefor, the standard has always been to use “camera point of view”
so next time when u click that icon just remember that it indicates “which” camera to use to view the object.