Infrequently Noted

Alex Russell on browsers, standards, and the process of progress.

Scroll On

Why the hell does every DHTML wonk under the sun insist on trying to re-invent the scroll bar (aka: scroll pane, scroller, etc.)?

It's not like you're going to do it better. Honestly, there's a set of default actions associated with scrollbars (wheelmice, key-events, the whole 9 yards) which are just painful to re-implement. I know, I'm doing it (for other widgets). The point I guess is that there is a fine line between providing a user with things not already available to them in a given environment and giving them a crappy version of something that they already have one of. People, listen: giving the user new is good, giving the user bad (but pretty) old is an exercise in vanity. We all know that you're a deity of DHTML, don't make us suffer for it. Remember, work with the browser, not against it. This is the true path to web zen.

Choose utility.

On another note, from a discussion about a checkin I made earlier:

Matt: That new tree thing is pretty slick.. me: it's messy in the inside, but I'm working on it me: but for now it works me: and the data format is more or less set me: and it doesn't look like 100% shit me: =) Matt: Hmm, how all good software starts and all microsoft software ends :-)