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RE: [svg-developers] scrollbars in SVG

From: Matthew Chadwick <Matthew.Chadwick@coi.gsi.gov.uk>
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2003 17:21:43 +0100
Message-Id: <se9aefed.032@mailhost.coi.gov.uk>
To: <svg-developers@yahoogroups.com>
Cc: <www-svg@w3.org>

>SVG is not Flash. Flash never had true XML support...

Oh dear. Sir, I think we can assume that the SVG Developers on this list are aware of the difference between flash and SVG.

That SVG is simple, open-standard, text-editable XML for the representation of 2-dimensional spacial information and Flash is a proprietary binary format for irritating people with commercials and 'hilarious' animations is neither here nor there. My point was that the current lack of scrollbars in SVG viewers is not a barrier to the popularity of SVG. In terms of accessibility SVG is doing well by comparison; SVG files can be parsed by screen-readers and the Adobe SVG viewer at least has keyboard shortcuts for panning (sadly not zooming). The SVG DOM makes the addition of keyboard shortcuts to SVG elements relatively easy. Nevertheless, there's much to be done in this area if SVG viewers are to comply with the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines.

Scrollbars can decrease accessibility. Many people have more difficulty grasping scrollbars unless they are really fat. Panning is easier because one need only grab the image itself. Scrollbars often have an area beyond which they stop responding to mouse events, if one 'slips off' one loses scrolling with a disconcerting jump and has to find the bar again. For these reasons many people tend to use the scrollbar arrows which are tortuously slow for navigation (although there have been better implementations of this). The most useful feature of scrollbars is that of part-to-whole feedback. But for maps and diagrams a simple rectangle showing the current viewport on the whole is better. 

> Why limit ourselves to "the way it's been done before"? Books never had scrollbars either.

Which came first: the scroll or the book ?
Books have the advantage of random-access. Microfiche uses panning. I totally agree: why limit ourselves ? We should choose the right method for the job.



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Received on Monday, 14 April 2003 12:22:44 GMT

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