Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 10th Dec 2009 19:52 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces For as long as I can remember, I've been having issues with scrolling in Windows and its applications. When scrolling via dragging the scroll blob, it seemed as if Windows had the annoying habit of randomly resetting your scroll blob to its starting position, which irritated me to no end. It took me a while to figure out, but I finally know when this behaviour occurs - now I just need to know: why?!
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RISC OS scrolling behaviour
by Dave_K on Fri 11th Dec 2009 17:40 UTC
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I always liked the way scrollbars worked in RISC OS. Especially as I also had to use Apple's far less advanced Mac UI, which didn't even offer proportional scrollbars and live scrolling back then.

Click the RISC OS scroll blob and the mouse pointer becomes stuck to it, only able to move up and down, and not able to leave the scroll blob area. There's no problem of overshooting the end of the scrollbar because the mouse pointer stops when it hits it.

It had single scroll arrows at each end of the bar, but right-clicking on a scroll arrow reversed its direction, allowing you to scroll a window either way without moving the mouse pointer.

Uniquely, it has something similar with the scroll blobs, allowing for 2D scrolling. If you right-click a vertical scrollbar and drag to the left or right, it'll move the horizontal scrollbar (or vice versa with the horizontal scrollbar clicked), allowing you to scroll the document in any direction. Quite useful for panning around a large image on a low res screen, back in the days before scrollwheels.

RISC OS usually maintained a great balance between protecting the user from accidental annoyances, while offering a lot of UI power, flexibility and elegance.

Clicking on the RISC OS scollbar scrolled one windowfull of content, just like with Windows and Mac, but I don't see the usability problem with that. It just makes the scrollbar act like the Page Up/Down buttons; it's not exactly an arbitrary and unpredictable behavior.

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