Should a scroller be visible or not?

  • Maybe this question was more related to the hi mailing list but since
    the list committed suicide, it might be worth looking for an answer
    on the Cocoa list since this is a Cocoa feature.

    In Interface Builder, with the latest releases of the OS, one can
    "Automatically hide scrollers".

    Question: is there any official recommendation on when this feature
    should be used?

    The current situation doesn't seem to be very clear to Apple itself.

    Case 1:

    While writing this e-mail in Mail, the text editor hides the vertical
    scroller but if I look at some short e-mails I received, the scroller
    is visible whereas it could be hidden.

    Case 2:

    In the Finder Icon mode, scrollers are hidden if possible. In the
    list mode, they are not.

    Case 3:

    In the Finder left view, scrollers are hidden if possible. In Xcode
    left list, scrollers are always visible.

    Case 4:

    In Apple Mail, Accounts list, signatures list -> no scrollers

    In Apple Mail, Rules list -> scrollers
  • My understanding of the rules (if you can call it that) is that you
    should generally avoid using the "automatically hide…" option.  It
    should only be used in circumstances where the need for the scrollbar
    to be visible is pretty rare.

    Of course, this is just my interpretation, and Apple seems to break
    this fairly often!

    Mike.

    On 30 Oct 2006, at 18:35, Stephane wrote:

    > Maybe this question was more related to the hi mailing list but
    > since the list committed suicide, it might be worth looking for an
    > answer on the Cocoa list since this is a Cocoa feature.
    >
    > In Interface Builder, with the latest releases of the OS, one can
    > "Automatically hide scrollers".
    >
    > Question: is there any official recommendation on when this feature
    > should be used?
    >
    > The current situation doesn't seem to be very clear to Apple itself.
    >
    > Case 1:
    >
    > While writing this e-mail in Mail, the text editor hides the
    > vertical scroller but if I look at some short e-mails I received,
    > the scroller is visible whereas it could be hidden.
    >
    > Case 2:
    >
    > In the Finder Icon mode, scrollers are hidden if possible. In the
    > list mode, they are not.
    >
    > Case 3:
    >
    > In the Finder left view, scrollers are hidden if possible. In Xcode
    > left list, scrollers are always visible.
    >
    > Case 4:
    >
    > In Apple Mail, Accounts list, signatures list -> no scrollers
    >
    > In Apple Mail, Rules list -> scrollers
    >
    >
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  • Stephane,

    Although, I think you are right that this seems to be left up to the
    application developer's preference, I'll add in my two cents.

    In your "Case 1" one thing I notice that that the mail preview window
    is part of a split view and like Mike stated it is generally expected
    to have overflowing content.  When composing new mail the message
    area is not part of a split view so makes more sense to use the
    automatically hiding scrollers.

    In "Case 2" Mike's idea fully applies.

    In "Case 3" Notice that in Xcode the top of the scroller area
    contains additional buttons that you would not want to ever hide.  So
    always showing the scroller makes sense.

    In "Case 4" the accounts and signatures lists act more like tree
    views with no children and have similar usage as Finder's left view
    so behaves similarly.  In the case of the rules list it acts more
    like a true table view and having scrollers shown seems natural.

    On Oct 30, 2006, at 1:52 PM, Mike Abdullah wrote:

    > My understanding of the rules (if you can call it that) is that you
    > should generally avoid using the "automatically hide…" option.  It
    > should only be used in circumstances where the need for the
    > scrollbar to be visible is pretty rare.
    >
    > Of course, this is just my interpretation, and Apple seems to break
    > this fairly often!
    >
    > Mike.
    >
    > On 30 Oct 2006, at 18:35, Stephane wrote:
    >
    >> Maybe this question was more related to the hi mailing list but
    >> since the list committed suicide, it might be worth looking for an
    >> answer on the Cocoa list since this is a Cocoa feature.
    >>
    >> In Interface Builder, with the latest releases of the OS, one can
    >> "Automatically hide scrollers".
    >>
    >> Question: is there any official recommendation on when this
    >> feature should be used?
    >>
    >> The current situation doesn't seem to be very clear to Apple itself.
    >>
    >> Case 1:
    >>
    >> While writing this e-mail in Mail, the text editor hides the
    >> vertical scroller but if I look at some short e-mails I received,
    >> the scroller is visible whereas it could be hidden.
    >>
    >> Case 2:
    >>
    >> In the Finder Icon mode, scrollers are hidden if possible. In the
    >> list mode, they are not.
    >>
    >> Case 3:
    >>
    >> In the Finder left view, scrollers are hidden if possible. In
    >> Xcode left list, scrollers are always visible.
    >>
    >> Case 4:
    >>
    >> In Apple Mail, Accounts list, signatures list -> no scrollers
    >>
    >> In Apple Mail, Rules list -> scrollers
    >>
    >>
    >> _______________________________________________
    >> Do not post admin requests to the list. They will be ignored.
    >> Cocoa-dev mailing list      (<Cocoa-dev...>)
    >> Help/Unsubscribe/Update your Subscription:
    >> http://lists.apple.com/mailman/options/cocoa-dev/mike.abdullah%
    >> 40gmail.com
    >>
    >> This email sent to <mike.abdullah...>
    >
    > _______________________________________________
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    --
    Robert Walker
    <robertwalker1...>
  • On Oct 30, 2006, at 11:31 AM, Robert Walker wrote:

    > When composing new mail the message area is not part of a split view
    > so makes more sense to use the automatically hiding scrollers.

    Consider what happens when you're in the middle of typing and you get
    to the point where you need a scroll bar. Since the content area in a
    Mail compose window wraps as you type and re-wraps if you resize the
    window, if we auto-hid the scroller, popping it in at the first
    instant it was needed would cause all of the text in the window to re-
    wrap. Visually jarring and horribly confusing, no?

    -> jp
  • Jim,

    > Consider what happens when you're in the middle of typing and you
    > get to the point where you need a scroll bar. Since the content
    > area in a Mail compose window wraps as you type and re-wraps if you
    > resize the window, if we auto-hid the scroller, popping it in at
    > the first instant it was needed would cause all of the text in the
    > window to re-wrap. Visually jarring and horribly confusing, no?

    This is an interesting point and I suppose it's a matter of opinion.
    I tested this using Apple Mail, which does use the auto hide feature
    for scroll bars.  In my opinion it really wasn't that bad.  If
    implemented correctly it seems to be fine to me, but your point is
    well taken, and I could see some people may have an issues with this
    behavior.

    The separation of regular paragraphs seems to diminish the effect of
    re-wrapping lines quite sufficiently.  So again it still comes down
    to the developer's preference.  It also appears to me that the size
    of the text view makes a huge difference in this behavior as well.
    Given a case like the Mail compose window, which normally has a large
    physical screen area, this "jarring" effect is minimal.

    On Oct 30, 2006, at 7:39 PM, Jim Puls wrote:

    > On Oct 30, 2006, at 11:31 AM, Robert Walker wrote:
    >
    >> When composing new mail the message area is not part of a split
    >> view so makes more sense to use the automatically hiding scrollers.
    >
    > Consider what happens when you're in the middle of typing and you
    > get to the point where you need a scroll bar. Since the content
    > area in a Mail compose window wraps as you type and re-wraps if you
    > resize the window, if we auto-hid the scroller, popping it in at
    > the first instant it was needed would cause all of the text in the
    > window to re-wrap. Visually jarring and horribly confusing, no?
    >
    > -> jp _______________________________________________
    > Do not post admin requests to the list. They will be ignored.
    > Cocoa-dev mailing list      (<Cocoa-dev...>)
    > Help/Unsubscribe/Update your Subscription:
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    --
    Robert Walker
    <robertwalker1...>
  • From an authoring point of view, it's not all that bad.  For creating a
    multimedia read-only text field, automatic scroll bars are a very GOOD
    feature.  It is nice to have a single type of fixed-size text field that
    will automatically add scrolling when the text extends past the field's
    physical extent.  This is especially true if you intend to do a multilingual
    text field where you are not sure what length the field is going to be when
    translated to another language.  It is also good where you have optional
    user-selectable font size for those of us that don't read fine-print so well
    anymore.

    --
    Gordon Apple
    Ed4U
    Little Rock, AR
    <ga...>

    > Consider what happens when you're in the middle of typing and you get
    > to the point where you need a scroll bar. Since the content area in a
    > Mail compose window wraps as you type and re-wraps if you resize the
    > window, if we auto-hid the scroller, popping it in at the first
    > instant it was needed would cause all of the text in the window to re-
    > wrap. Visually jarring and horribly confusing, no?
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