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Re: Scrollbar CSS representation [Re: Proposal]

From: James Aylard <webmaster@pixelwright.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 23:58:40 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <000c01c14bbf$b9acf080$42235142@xpsr400>
To: <www-style@w3.org>
fantasai,

> The scrollbars are under the influence of CSS, but they are not under
> its control. There is nothing in the description of the 'overflow'
> property to require scrollbars as the scrolling mechanism. It doesn't
> even require that the scrolling mechanism be one visible on the screen.
> "overflow: scroll" is not guaranteed to create scrollbars, even in a
> graphical UA.

    If I can completely eliminate scrollbars from a document using CSS, is
that influence, or control?
    While there may be nothing in the description of the overflow property
that requires that visible scrollbars be the scrolling mechanism, most
graphical user agents (aside from perhaps WebTV, with which I have had
minimal experience) use scrollbars in this way. And it would hardly seem
fair to complain that coloring the scrollbars would be a bigger usability
issue than altogether eliminating them as the scrolling mechanism, for most
users and in most graphical UAs.
    A UA that does rely on scrollbars to display overflow content *should*
display scrollbars even when there is not enough content to overflow the
container, if the overflow property is set to "scroll" [1]. IE, for
instance, will create disabled scrollbars in such a case.
    So, if I can create scrollbars on an element whose content does not
overflow it, and eliminate them from a container whose content *does*
overflow it, it would seem reasonable to argue that CSS does give the
developer substantial (though not complete) control over scrollbars, and not
simply influence. And if we instead discuss UAs that don't use scrollbars as
their scrolling mechanism, then the whole topic of coloring scrollbars is
moot anyway.

James Aylard

1. http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/visufx.html#overflow
Received on Wednesday, 3 October 2001 09:28:50 GMT

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