[Sugar-devel] Scrollbar width

Eben Eliason eben.eliason at gmail.com
Thu Dec 10 13:04:19 EST 2009

On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 12:30 PM, Sean DALY <sdaly.be at gmail.com> wrote:
> FWIW, I have seen lots of kids ages 6-8 who know what a scrollbar is,
> but have a hard time mousing it up and down when using SoaS, even on a
> larger screen such as the Dell Latitude 2100 education netbook.

This, incidentally, is precisely the reason the grab key was designed.
Scrolling in this manner requires continuous pressure on the mouse
button, while simultaneously moving the finger across the trackpad,
which can be difficult, especially on smaller laptops, and for
smaller/younger fingers with less developed motor skills.

The grab button (there, quite crucially, are two of these on the XO:
one on each side of the spacebar) was designed to allow children to
use their non-dominant hand to press the button while using their
other hand on the trackpad to manipulate the view. This design was
meant both to eliminate the need to "target" the scrollbar in the
first place (since this would work anywhere within the scrolling
region, just like 2-fingered scrolling), and to make it easier for
children to do since drag'n'drop can be tricky.


> Sean
> On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 6:13 PM, Gary C Martin <gary at garycmartin.com> wrote:
>> On 10 Dec 2009, at 14:58, Eben Eliason wrote:
>>> On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 7:54 AM, Paul Fox <pgf at laptop.org> wrote:
>>>> benjamin wrote:
>>>>  > Hello,
>>>>  >
>>>>  > On Wed, 2009-12-09 at 22:43 -0500, Art Hunkins wrote:
>>>>  > > I've now got whole-screen scrollbars working well in my music activities,
>>>>  > > but I'd like to make the bars wider. The automatic settings (as used in most
>>>>  > > activities) are too narrow for my taste.
>>>>  >
>>>>  > First of all I would like to say: Please do not play with themes, just
>>>>  > because you don't like something that much ... (especially should you
>>>>  > dislike them in general and not only in your activity)
>>>>  >
>>>>  > Other than that. IIRC the reason for the scrollbars to be that narrow
>>>>  > was the plan to use the Grab-Key+Touchpad for scrolling. This means that
>>>>  > the main purpose of the scorllbar is to show the position, but not to
>>>>  > use the handle itself for scrolling.
>>>> and just in case it's not clear from the above -- the grab-key+touchpad
>>>> feature is present in XO-1.5 releases, and available for the XO-1 if the
>>>> olpc-kbdshim package is installed.
>>> I was a proponent for grab scrolling in the early days of Sugar at
>>> OLPC. However, it seems clear now that, without customized hardware
>>> (which was the assumption back then) this solution simply isn't viable
>>> as an intuitive and discoverable way to navigate content. I think that
>>> retaining the functionality via some other mapping or shortcut would
>>> be nice (especially to offer the functionality as designed on the XO
>>> hardware itself), but I don't see reason not to improve the usability
>>> of Sugar on all platforms by increasing the scrollbars to a more
>>> manageable width.
>> I'd argue the narrow scrollbar width is still a relevant design choice, being there to indicate document length and current view location into it. Most non-XO hardware platforms are very likely to have their own hardware support for a scroll wheel type behaviour. I very rarely need to drag a scrollbar these days, it's all two fingered scrolling which works fine in Sugar on a VM (though we could do with a control panel to adjust sensitivity).
>> Regards,
>> --Gary
>>> Of course, in addition to this we should make sure that wherever
>>> possible the scrollbars are given every last pixel up to the edge of
>>> the screen, so that they become, effectively infinite in width (or
>>> height, when horizontal), thus making them difficult to miss.
>>> Eben
>>>> paul
>>>> =---------------------
>>>>  paul fox, pgf at laptop.org
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