[Webkit-unassigned] [Bug 24722] Sticky Autoscroll Fix

bugzilla-daemon at webkit.org bugzilla-daemon at webkit.org
Mon Mar 23 06:40:26 PDT 2009


------- Comment #3 from idanan at chromium.org  2009-03-23 06:40 PDT -------
Sorry if my explanation was not 100% clear. I assumed that 'sticky' was a
universal UI term (it is on Windows, perhaps not on Mac). It means that
anaction leaves the UI in a state which changes the behavior of subsequent
events. A classic example is "Sticky Modifiers" which is used for accessibility
use of the Shift/Ctrl/Alt keys. In this mode, you press and release a modifier
(say SHIFT) and then press another key (say the letter 'e') and you get the
equivalent of "SHIFT-e".

Now back to the problem at hand. I checked bug 21794 and unfortunately that
does not solve the present usability problem because upon middle-click (and
release - not drag) the autoscroll remains sticky.

To clarify, the issue comes from the use of middle-click on a link to mean
"Open In New Tab" (as it does in every tab-supporting browser) and the
relatively recent WebKit addition to use middle-click to initiate autoscroll
(which can be user-disabled in every other browser, probably for this kind of
usability issue). When there is something that appears to be a link (but is
not) and the user middle-clicks on it, autoscroll takes over and the user has
to take further actions to get out of that mode and then perform another action
(like left-clicking on the area or middle-clicking somewhere else).

There are hundreds of reasons why someone would accidentally click on something
that is not a link. A great example when UPS sends an email with package
tracking information. Next to each package number there is a UPS logo with the
words 'Click here to track'. Middle-clicking there just turns autoscroll on.
Why? Because the email they sent does not contain a link but a Javascript
onclick handler (which opens the tracking info in a new window or popup).

Now as for the desired behavior, here is why autoscroll should not be sticky.
This even works in favor of those you actually use it:
- Accidental autoscroll triggering (middle-click on a non-link) returns to
normal immediately. No action needed to get out of autoscroll.
- Entering autoscroll willingly, scrolling and return out to autoscroll mode
requires 3 action: press, drag, release. In sticky mode it requires 5: press,
release, drag, press, release.

Honestly when reading the description of this feature and bugs against it, it
baffles me to see things like "press the scroll-wheel button" (on 95% of mice
this is where the middle-click is) to start scrolling. I thought the
scroll-wheel was for scrolling? Some prefer clicking and moving the entire
mouse rather than wiggling a finger up and down. The latter is clearly less

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