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Re: scrollbars [was: Re: really attracting developers]

From: Sašo Kiselkov
Subject: Re: scrollbars [was: Re: really attracting developers]
Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2006 13:48:58 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20060728)

Pete French wrote:
to scroll down without a scrollwheel and without the keyboard I've to
cross half of the screen to reach the scrollbar on the left side of the

hmmm - whats your mouse doing on the right hand side for you to need to move
it that far ? all the menus of a *step are on the left after all, so usually
thats where your mouse is isn't it ? whats needed here is for people to
desiign apps to that the controls are placed well - you'd get the same
problem with right hand scrollbars if everything else was on the left.

window. This is not nice for right handers. Its nice for left handers.

this I do not understand either - it's the same amount of mouse movement
no matter what hand you are holding the rodent with. I'm also right handed,
but thats less important to me than the fact that I read text from left to
right - so I want my scrollbars at the start of the line, and hence the left.
I always wondered if the best solution would be for a text view to look at
how the text is arranged and position the scroillbar accordingly (i.e. on the
right if it's full of chinese or arabic, on the left for latin and cyrillic)
but that might just be annoyingly inconsistent

Actually I would love a NSGlobalDomain for that.

well, configurability is always a good thing :-) I'm a developer so I spend
almost 100% of my working day inside xterm, which has scrollabrs to the left
and always has done as far as I know (for the usual "reading text left to
right" reason as far as I know). am now off to see if theres a way to make
it put them on the rght though, just for curiosities sake! :-)

As Pete pointed it out correctly, the reason why the NeXT GUI is designed with left-hand scroll bars is because all important objects on the screen tend to aggregate on the upper left window margin. That's where the menu bar is even on M$ Windows. That's where all the toolbar buttons are on Thunderbird. That's where you start typing text in OpenOffice. Most of the user's focus on the left side of the window, which makes scrolling using left-hand scrollbars easier to track with peripheral viewing, rather than having to fly with the eyes across the entire window in order to move a document to a new offset.

I agree with the default thing though - it would be very useful for right-to-left environments, where all of the user's focus is on the opposing side of the window.


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