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Bug 72540 - Web pages should have persistent scrollbars.

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netdragon

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Post Posted June 9th, 2004, 1:40 pm

http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=72540

I decided to create this thread to move the discussion about persistent scrollbars off of Bugzilla. If you want to know when replies are made, you can click a checkbox when you reply to be notified when people add comments to the thread.

I'd like to simply mention that overflow-x and overflow-y are in the specs for CSS3 as David Baron pointed out: http://www.w3.org/TR/2002/WD-css3-ui-20 ... overflow-x

Therefore, the only thing that is up for debate, it seems, is what the value of those two properties are by default. That is off-topic for a Bug report. Bug description:
We could eliminate at least one reflow per page load on big pages if we always
showed the vertical scroll bar (like Windows IE).

There was some talk about this recently. This might therefore be a dup.


To add more information... The bars would probably be greyed when there is no need to scroll.

Are you for or against persistent scrollbars, and why?
Last edited by netdragon on June 16th, 2004, 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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mw22
 
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Post Posted June 9th, 2004, 4:40 pm

Well, I definitely like the IE way, so I'm for persistent scrollbars (which you can as a web developer alwasy turn off).
I also like the way IE shows disabled scrollbars (the slider is invisible). I think that's a better solution than what Mozilla has.

What I find more important is persistent scrollbars for textarea's (like IE does). It makes it more distinguishable as a textarea and you won't get any weird and disturbing reflowing when a scrollbar has to be added because you're typing at the end of the textarea.

netdragon

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Post Posted June 15th, 2004, 7:25 pm

I'm for the way IE does it, and think its a clearner interface. I consider breaking of standards a good thing when its done for good reasons. With IE and Mozilla both breaking the standard, that'll be like 95% of market share breaking the standard. IMHO, it merits throwing up an errata to change it as it'll be de-facto.

We have done this kinda thing in other cases, like innerHTML, which was eventually replaced with DOM text methods. If it warrents breaking the standard, I consider it worth it. Unecessary reflows are an eyesore.

There were mentions of Microsoft Office not doing it, but how often does an Office document reflow. You start writing and when you get to the point you need scrollbars, you keep on writing. It only changes once.
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old jasonb
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Post Posted June 15th, 2004, 7:46 pm

Personally, I'm totally against it. (It's one of the many reasons I dislike IE.) I think it takes up real estate for no reason when it's not needed. If there's a scrollbar there, it should do something. Leaving it there but greyed out is just annoying. Not to mention the fact - if we must have permanent vertical scrollbars (which I'm hoping we don't) I'd pretty much hope that we'd have permanant horizontal scrollbars for consistency sake. I'd hate them even more but to not have them would simply be strange. All arguments for / against permanent vertical scrollbars apply equally to permanent horizontal scrollbars. Does that change anybody's opinion?

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Post Posted June 15th, 2004, 10:09 pm

-1 for this. I prefer the way it is now.

netdragon

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Post Posted June 15th, 2004, 11:11 pm

jasonb wrote:All arguments for / against permanent vertical scrollbars apply equally to permanent horizontal scrollbars. Does that change anybody's opinion?


Not really, but I would like if they were also in textareas cause scrollbars appearing can do nasty stuff.
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mw22
 
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Post Posted June 16th, 2004, 1:52 am

netdragon wrote:Not really, but I would like if they were also in textareas cause scrollbars appearing can do nasty stuff.

Yes, indeed! The way it goes nowadays in Mozilla in textareas is totally weird. Also I like the scrollbar widget in IE more: not showing a scrollbar thumb when there is nothing to scroll. This is much clearer than Mozilla.

jasonb wrote:Personally, I'm totally against it. (It's one of the many reasons I dislike IE.) I think it takes up real estate for no reason when it's not needed. If there's a scrollbar there, it should do something. Leaving it there but greyed out is just annoying. Not to mention the fact - if we must have permanent vertical scrollbars (which I'm hoping we don't) I'd pretty much hope that we'd have permanant horizontal scrollbars for consistency sake. I'd hate them even more but to not have them would simply be strange. All arguments for / against permanent vertical scrollbars apply equally to permanent horizontal scrollbars. Does that change anybody's opinion?

Fair enough, but I don't see any reason why you should have also horizontal scrollbars when you have vertical scrollbars. I don't think that has got anything to do with consistency.

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Post Posted June 16th, 2004, 3:20 am

If you believe the arguments for vertical scrollbars - then you should also believe the same arguments for horizontal scrollbars (and vice-versa). I don't see how you can argue for (or against) one and feel the opposite about the other. Break down all of your points in favour of permanent scrollbars and tell me why, point by point, they only apply to vertical scrollbars...

mw22
 
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Post Posted June 16th, 2004, 3:36 am

I'm seeing this more as a user-friendliness problem.
I don't like horizontal scrollbars at all, but vertical scrollbars I know and got accustomed to.

The problem with textareas in Mozilla is that when you reach the end of a textarea (at the bottom) with typing some really wacky wrapping can occur, because suddenly a scrollbar appears.
Also, I don't see much of a difference between a white div with borders and a textarea in Mozilla.

I know, I can't speak for the user in general, but I think (with extra emphasizen on 'think') that a majority of users would agree with me.

emherman
 
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Post Posted June 16th, 2004, 6:49 am

I'm hopping over from the bugzilla that has semed to become a discussion thread. Here is my main point. I would invite thoughts on this being the solution. From bugzilla:

"Here's a suggestion: why not have the scrollbar enabled/disabled by a simple checkbox in
the browser options. Personally, I would leave it on for myself and my clients,
but those who live by browser compliance can turn off the checkbox to allow the
bar to have the scrollbar come and go. Now everybody can be happy."

mw22
 
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Post Posted June 16th, 2004, 7:40 am

emherman wrote:"Here's a suggestion: why not have the scrollbar enabled/disabled by a simple checkbox in
the browser options. Personally, I would leave it on for myself and my clients,
but those who live by browser compliance can turn off the checkbox to allow the
bar to have the scrollbar come and go. Now everybody can be happy."

Well, it's quite easy to turn it on, just by setting something like
textarea{overflow:-moz-scrollbars-vertical;} or something like that in your userContent.css.

But this has nothing to do with browser compliance by the way.
Afaik, the w3c has not defined whether viewport should always have a scrolling widget or not.
The same goes for form controls (which a textarea is).
So I don't think Mozilla would break any standards, if they would do it.

wjbell
 
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Post Posted June 16th, 2004, 8:16 am

jasonb wrote:If you believe the arguments for vertical scrollbars - then you should also believe the same arguments for horizontal scrollbars (and vice-versa). I don't see how you can argue for (or against) one and feel the opposite about the other. Break down all of your points in favour of permanent scrollbars and tell me why, point by point, they only apply to vertical scrollbars...


No, your assumption that if we want vertical scrollbars then we should have horazontal ones as well is false.

A horazontal scrollbar only effects the length of the page. It only changes the amount of length you see. That's is somthing that everyone is use to because pages are designed to scroll up and down in a normal situation.

Also, when a horazontal scrollbar appears, it doesn't shift the layout of the page and break a consistant look. (like a centered, fixed-width page of content)

netdragon

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Post Posted June 16th, 2004, 9:57 am

I think Jasonb is talking about horizontal scrollbars when you have vertical text, but I don't really see that as something very common.

mw wrote:textarea{overflow:-moz-scrollbars-vertical;} or something like that in your userContent.css.


This functionality is apparently broken.

mw wrote:Afaik, the w3c has not defined whether viewport should always have a scrolling widget or not.
The same goes for form controls (which a textarea is).
So I don't think Mozilla would break any standards, if they would do it.


Yes, it would be breaking "standards" (from my first comment: http://www.w3.org/TR/2002/WD-css3-ui-20 ... overflow-x ), but Mozilla can break standards in this case because the browser with 85% of the market shows permanent scrollbars and that ISN'T going to change because that's part of their Windows UI standard. Therefore, the logical thing for W3C to do is to change their standard because they weren't thinking when they wrote that part of it.

IMHO, standards are worthless if no one follows them. The W3C is in many cases out of touch with the web community and it should take what we say into consideration more. What IE does is the de-facto standard in this case because it both makes sense, and is what 85% of the market does.
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mw22
 
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Post Posted June 16th, 2004, 2:51 pm

I still don't think it is against the w3c standards. The w3c talks about scrolling mechanism, but they haven't defined what a scrolling mechanism is. It could be anything, so, imho, it could be an invisible scrolling mechanism horizontal and it could be a scrollbar vertical.

Form widgets, they haven't defined either in their standards, so Mozilla can choose whatever they want to choose.

Maybe it is true that the w3c is in many cases out of touch with the web community, but I don't think that's the case with the css work they are doing, although they take a bit long to get the recommendations out of the door.

netdragon

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Post Posted June 16th, 2004, 3:10 pm

On the CSS3 link I just gave:

8.1.2. 'overflow-x' property
Name: overflow-x
Value: visible | hidden | scroll | auto | inherit
Initial: visible
Applies to: block-level and replaced elements
Inherited: no
Percentages: N/A
Media: visual

Initial (though I wonder why they use that wording) seems to pertain to default value. Therefore, by default, content is not clipped... Though I do agree that since the viewport, selection boxes and form elements are special cases where you'd never have an overflow out of the containing box in the same way as you can with a div, they should mention something explicit for these cases. Something for web developers to think about though, is no matter what browsers do by default, users could be overriding the default CSS settings, so they need to make pages that won't be horribly broken in these cases.
Free yourself from the illusion. The heart of a dragon is pure love, honor and truth. The dragon's power is meant to protect the weak and uphold love and honor.

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