W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > October 2001

Re: Scrollbar CSS representation [Re: Proposal]

From: Etan Wexler <ewexler@stickdog.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 23:32:24 -0500
To: Web style list <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20011002032523.85AD22BDF3@server5.safepages.com>
James Aylard quoted me and wrote:

>> The scrollbar should always and ever be a product of the user agent.
> 
>    Why? Usability concerns might be a valid argument against it -- 
although
> you didn't attempt to make that case.

Sampo Syreeni makes the case for me (<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Pub
lic/www-style/2001Sep/0058.html>).

> But if Mozilla, say, allows you to
> completely customize the interface of the browser, why not be able to
> separately customize the coloration of the scrollbar?

The *user* should have every customization of the user interface 
available.  The document author should have little to no influence 
over the user interface.

>> Both the original suggestion (the painfully ignorant "Internet
>> Explorer accepts it so why not make it legal.") and the ostensible
>> improvement are needless and baseless.
> 
>    Is it really necessary to belittle someone with whom you disagree 
as a
> means of discrediting his argument?

I was attempting not to belittle, although I made no secret of my 
distaste for the idea presented.

> Although you may think it painfully
> ignorant, there is an argument to be made in favor of common 
practice as a
> basis for standardization.

I agree that one can make such an argument, but no coherent argument 
was advanced.

> It might or might not be a compelling argument in
> this case, but it is a valid one.

In this case, as Vadim Plessky has noted 
(<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2001Sep/0046.html>), 
the common practice as implemented by Microsoft is undesirable.  
Widespread implementation is insufficient cause to adopt half-baked 
ideas.

> Why shouldn't the scrollbars be colored? What is so
> sanctified about them that they should remain beyond the influence 
of CSS?

As Sampo Syreeni wrote (<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-styl
e/2001Sep/0058.html>), scrollbars are inherent in the user interface 
but not in the document.

> And if they are so sanctified, why should I be able to color the 
background
> of a select element? Or the border of a button element? Or of any 
other
> element of the browser, for that matter?

Select elements and button elements in the document must be under the 
influence of CSS, like any other element in the document.  Parts of 
the user agent (such as navigational buttons, control menus, and so 
forth) should not be open to the influence of document authors.

So the crux of the distinction is user agent versus document.

-- 
Etan Wexler

-- 
Etan Wexler
Received on Monday, 1 October 2001 23:25:45 GMT

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