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

RE: Scrollbar CSS representation [Re: Proposal]

From: Sampo Syreeni <decoy@iki.fi>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 19:59:42 +0300 (EEST)
To: Zoltan Hawryluk <zhawryluk@corp.attcanada.ca>
cc: "'Web style list'" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.30.0109251945460.2116-100000@kruuna.Helsinki.FI>
On Mon, 24 Sep 2001, Zoltan Hawryluk wrote:

>Throughout the short history of the web, I have heard these comments, almost
>verbatim:
>
>1) Web pages don't need images.
>2) Web Designers shouldn't need to specify between serif and sans-serif
>fonts.
[Snip]

Looking at your list, it represents issues distinctly separate from the
scroll bar one. Basically, scroll bars are a user interface idiom while most
of what you describe have to do with either the style or the semantics of
the content itself.

As far as I can see, the primary reason to keep scroll bars as they are is
that they are more a part of the OS user interface or windowing system than
of web content. Mutating them into something else via user stylesheets,
while perhaps good from an integration or aesthetic standpoint, does cause
noticeable degradation in the functionality scrolling is meant to support.
It affects the learning curve for web browsing, something
non-Web-professionals and corporate training people are likely to have
something to say about.

I'd go as far as to say that if scroll bars with a "wrong" coloring are
really such a problem, we should get rid of scroll bars themselves, instead
of trying to integrate them with the stylistic preferences of every web
author out there.

>I don't think that controlling the size of scroll bar elements is
>appropriate, since it may affect the usability, but other than that I see
>no harm.

I did the "granny test" with this one. The result: it's not at all intuitive
to people that scroll bars remain scroll bars after they change color.

Also, the coloring one sees in a typical user agent is a one of pretty high
contrast, as is the default black-on-white page layout. Changing this is, I
think, something the WAI people should take a look at. (Of course, your
suggestion of only offering a hint to the user agent on what coloring to use
does not necessarily raise this issue.)

Sampo Syreeni, aka decoy, mailto:decoy@iki.fi, gsm: +358-50-5756111
student/math+cs/helsinki university, http://www.iki.fi/~decoy/front
openpgp: 050985C2/025E D175 ABE5 027C 9494 EEB0 E090 8BA9 0509 85C2
Received on Tuesday, 25 September 2001 12:59:49 GMT

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