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

Re: Scrollbar CSS representation [Re: Proposal]

From: James Aylard <webmaster@pixelwright.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 00:51:50 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <000c01c14afd$ea6abe90$baa7fea9@xpsr400>
To: <www-style@w3.org>
Cc: "Etan Wexler" <ewexler@stickdog.com>

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

    He makes a decent argument, although not necessarily a compelling one.
With little imagination, this argument could be extended to oppose virtually
any form of designer-initiated interface modification.

> 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.

    If usability is the concern, a select element and a button element are
no less parts of the user interface than is a scrollbar -- and perhaps many
users have become accustomed to the Stalinist gray typical of these
elements, and will be confused by anything else. Usability is often (though
not always) a balancing act between the aesthetic and the utilitarian.
    Whether scrollbars are part of the document interface or the application
interface is debatable. I can "turn off" scrollbars by tinkering with an
element's overflow property (including that of the document as a whole); or
I can create them, on a div, for instance. It seems that it's a little late
to declare scrollbars outside the sphere of CSS's influence.
    As for the elements of the browser chrome, those are part of the
application UI, not the document UI, and as such should clearly be (and are
clearly) outside the scope of CSS. But scrollbars are in, shall we say, a
gray area, IMO -- and their coloration is a reasonable subject for

James Aylard
Received on Tuesday, 2 October 2001 09:36:58 UTC

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