W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > June 2003

Re: Scrollbar always at bottom?

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2003 21:40:10 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200306262040.h5QKeAl03913@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: www-style@w3.org

> I have a <div style="overflow: auto"> tag, which is incremented with

Do you mean element?

>>> childnodes continuosly (image an irc chat or similar).
> The problem is that as the list is incremented, the scrollbar remains
>>> in a fixed position. That means I can't automatically see the recently
>>> added content. Like with the irc example, I would like the scrollbars
>>> to be always at the bottom.

That has accessibility implications.  The default behaviour of a browser
ought to be to respect the user's reading point in the document and
not make unexpected context changes; I'm not really sure how desirable it
is for the author to be able to indicate a wish to override this.

> I also tried to solve it with scripting, but it seems impossible as

Off topic.

> Prefereably, it should be possible to set the div so that scrolling
>>> is always at the bottom, without having to do anything about it.
> First I thought it should be a job for html, but as that is no longer

It's clearly presentational, so not a job for HTML.

>>> be something for css, in order to get a working solution more quickly.

That's not a valid reason for doing it in CSS, and the reality is that
it is commercial decisions by browser developers that get things done
at all, not the presence of them in one standard rather than another.

I think CSS probably is the right place, but this will need very careful
specifying to ensure that it is implemented in a way that allows the
user to disable (or not enable) it in the browser from the start (the
Accesssibility Guidelines call for the user to be able to disable marquee
type displays (proprietary element), and what is proposed here creates
an effective vertical marquee, or at least has the potential to be used
for one).

It needs to be specified in a way that means that the document scrolls up
only when the user can reasonably expect it to do so.  If they completely
scroll the insertion point off the viewport, I think one must assume that
they do not want automatic scrolling, but they may be reading something that
is still on the screen, e.g. they may be reading slowly in a foreign 
language, or faster, but needing to use a dictionary, or they may simply have
poor literacy skills and not be able to keep up with a fast burst in their
own language.  They may want to cut and paste something that is about to
scroll off the top of the viewport.

I'm half tempted to say that this should be a user agent feature that
is not remotely invokable.

> Anyone knows of a workaround?

Workarounds are off topic.

> Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1

Invalid HTML deleted.
Received on Thursday, 26 June 2003 17:55:51 UTC

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