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Scroll buttons facing extinction?

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  • User profile image
    Ray7

    You remember them: the small arrows at each end of the scroll bar. The ones you look at but probably never touch.

    I just installed IntelliJ IDEA X (the greatest IDE ever, and I'm not even prepared to argue about it) and noticed something a little odd: the buttons are missing from the scroll bars. The interface gods at Jetbrains have decided to remove them. What's more, there doesn't appear to be an option to put them back. Now this has caused a smidgen of dissent amongst the users, but not as much as I thought it would. 

    When was the last time you saw a mouse without a scroll wheel, or laptop pad that didn't have a scroll area? Seems to me that as long as you don't actually have to click on a window to scroll it (just place the mouse pointer over it) then the buttons are pretty much redundant.

    One of the complaints from Windows users going to Mac was that both scroll buttons were at the end of the scroll bar. Apple did have an option to place one at each end (just like Windows) and even put both buttons at both ends (which looks odd on small windows which is why it can only be set through a terminal command). I reckon that in the next UI upgrade for MacOSX, they'll remove the scroll buttons altogether (and allow folk to resize from any corner).

     

     

     

     

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Unfortunately I come across wheel-less mice a fair bit. Scrollbar buttons are things that are now only used by a minority of users, but because there is no hardware mandate for wheel-mice it means it's simply impossible to safely scroll a region anymore.

    The space taken up by the buttons is negligible, and Aero theme design shows that the buttons can still be there and yet be totally unobstrusive. I don't believe there is anything to gain by removing them from the standard control library on Windows.

    Now, on Mac OS X, that's different. Apple controls the hardware and has ensured that bar-less scroling with the mouse (or multi-touch gestures) is possible, but I don't see anything coming from Microsoft (or the *nix crowd) in a while.

    In other news, Google Maps has now added '45degree mode' to their aerial photography, which is basically their answer to Bing's Birds' Eye mode. Microsoft needs to keep on visibly innovating.

  • User profile image
    Bas

    , W3bbo wrote

    Unfortunately I come across wheel-less mice a fair bit. Scrollbar buttons are things that are now only used by a minority of users, but because there is no hardware mandate for wheel-mice it means it's simply impossible to safely scroll a region anymore.

    You could simply drag the bar.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    Iirc 3dsmax has used draggable panels in place of scroll bars since version 4 (or around that time).

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    , Bas wrote

    *snip*

    You could simply drag the bar.

    That doesn't work on long documents where a 1px move in the scrollbar represents a scrolling of more than 1 screen length; think multi-thousand-page Word documents, for example (only exacerbated by Aero's larger minimum scrollbar handle size and the proliferation of laptops with insultingly low vertical screen space).

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    @W3bbo:

    How about the arrow keys?

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    @W3bbo:You write multi-thousand page documents in Word? Surely that's asking for trouble in any word processor (except Framemaker).

     

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    , Ray7 wrote

    @W3bbo:You write multi-thousand page documents in Word? Surely that's asking for trouble in any word processor (except Framemaker).

    No; I just get to read them.

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