Scroll Bar Width is Too Narrow - Uneasily Adjustable

Bug #1077559 reported by Lonnie Lee Best on 2012-11-11
6
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Mozilla Firefox
Invalid
Medium
ubuntu-themes (Ubuntu)
Wishlist
Unassigned

Bug Description

I've been using the Internet since 1993 before and during the first year browsers came out. Back then the scroll bars seemed as wide as your finger.

As time has gone on, screen resolutions have continue to increase, but each time this happens the browsers scroll bar gets more and more narrow on the screen. It seems to maintain its pixel width, but at higher resolutions its physical width continues to narrow.

At this point, I find myself wanting to enjoy higher resolutions, but at the same time, I want things to be bigger at those higher resolutions.

It has finally gotten to the point, that I find the width of scroll bars too narrow, requiring too fine-grained of a mouse-control-effort for simple web page navigation, such as:
1) Clicking the scroll-bar's up button
2) Clicking the scroll-bar's down button
3) Dragging the scroll-bar's slider.

Although a scroll-wheel is a helpful workaround, it remains an issue that the scroll-bar itself continues to require ever increasing fine-grained-effort to use. It is finally gotten to the point that I consider it a cumbersome control.

I suggest doubling its size by default in future updates and releases of Firefox. Or at lease making the scroll-bar easy to scale-adjust its size (without the user having to understand CSS style sheet modification). Perhaps it would be good to make the scroll-bar right-clickable and providing a "Adjust Width" option in its context menu.

Many desktop applications could learn a thing or two from touch screen interfaces. Notice how bluntly (widely) they make their buttons and selectable options. They do it out of necessity because they know a person is going to be using their finger to select that option. However, even with a mouse, the bigger something is, the easier it is to select. Just because a mouse-cursor comes to a fine point, doesn't mean that controls ought to be barely bigger than that point.

I believe we have finally crossed a threshold. While before, we've always been trying to maximize the browser's screen real estate, now we've got plenty of width at higher resolutions, and it is time to increase the width of scrollbars and make them require less fine-grained-mouse-control-effort to use.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 12.10
Package: firefox 16.0.2+build1-0ubuntu0.12.10.1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.5.0-18.29-generic 3.5.7
Uname: Linux 3.5.0-18-generic x86_64
AddonCompatCheckDisabled: False
ApportVersion: 2.6.1-0ubuntu6
Architecture: amd64
AudioDevicesInUse:
 USER PID ACCESS COMMAND
 /dev/snd/controlC2: lonnie 2197 F.... pulseaudio
 /dev/snd/controlC0: lonnie 2197 F.... pulseaudio
BuildID: 20121025212310
CRDA: Error: command ['iw', 'reg', 'get'] failed with exit code 1: nl80211 not found.
Channel: Unavailable
Date: Sat Nov 10 22:42:45 2012
ForcedLayersAccel: False
IfupdownConfig:
 # interfaces(5) file used by ifup(8) and ifdown(8)
 auto lo
 iface lo inet loopback
InstallationDate: Installed on 2012-10-19 (23 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 12.10 "Quantal Quetzal" - Release amd64 (20121017.5)
IpRoute:
 default via 192.168.77.1 dev eth0 proto static
 169.254.0.0/16 dev eth0 scope link metric 1000
 192.168.77.0/24 dev eth0 proto kernel scope link src 192.168.77.246 metric 1
IwConfig:
 eth0 no wireless extensions.

 lo no wireless extensions.
MarkForUpload: True
PrefSources:
 prefs.js
 [Profile]/extensions/{8f8fe09b-0bd3-4470-bc1b-8cad42b8203a}/defaults/preferences/prefs.js
 [Profile]/extensions/{b9db16a4-6edc-47ec-a1f4-b86292ed211d}/defaults/preferences/prefs-dwhelper.js
ProcEnviron:
 TERM=xterm
 PATH=(custom, no user)
 XDG_RUNTIME_DIR=<set>
 LANG=en_US.UTF-8
 SHELL=/bin/bash
Profiles: Profile0 (Default) - LastVersion=16.0.2/20121025212310 (In use)
RelatedPackageVersions:
 icedtea-7-plugin 1.3-1ubuntu1.1
 google-talkplugin 3.10.2.0-1
 rhythmbox-mozilla 2.97-1ubuntu5
 totem-mozilla 3.4.3-0ubuntu4
RfKill:

RunningIncompatibleAddons: False
SourcePackage: firefox
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)
WifiSyslog:

dmi.bios.date: 11/26/2008
dmi.bios.vendor: Dell Inc.
dmi.bios.version: A04
dmi.board.name: 0P792H
dmi.board.vendor: Dell Inc.
dmi.board.version: A04
dmi.chassis.type: 8
dmi.chassis.vendor: Dell Inc.
dmi.chassis.version: A04
dmi.modalias: dmi:bvnDellInc.:bvrA04:bd11/26/2008:svnDellInc.:pnStudio1737:pvrA04:rvnDellInc.:rn0P792H:rvrA04:cvnDellInc.:ct8:cvrA04:
dmi.product.name: Studio 1737
dmi.product.version: A04
dmi.sys.vendor: Dell Inc.

description: updated
description: updated
summary: - Scroll Bar Width is Too Narrow Uneasily Adjustable
+ Scroll Bar Width is Too Narrow - Uneasily Adjustable
Download full text (4.6 KiB)

User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:16.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/16.0
Build ID: 20121025212310

Steps to reproduce:

For additional files go here:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/firefox/+bug/1077559

Actual results:

I've been using the Internet since 1993 before and during the first year browsers came out. Back then the scroll bars seemed as wide as your finger.

As time has gone on, screen resolutions have continue to increase, but each time this happens the browsers scroll bar gets more and more narrow on the screen. It seems to maintain its pixel width, but at higher resolutions its physical width continues to narrow.

At this point, I find myself wanting to enjoy higher resolutions, but at the same time, I want things to be bigger at those higher resolutions.

It has finally gotten to the point, that I find the width of scroll bars too narrow, requiring too fine-grained of a mouse-control-effort for simple web page navigation, such as:
1) Clicking the scroll-bar's up button
2) Clicking the scroll-bar's down button
3) Dragging the scroll-bar's slider.

Although a scroll-wheel is a helpful workaround, it remains an issue that the scroll-bar itself continues to require ever increasing fine-grained-effort to use. It is finally gotten to the point that I consider it a cumbersome control.

I suggest doubling its size by default in future updates and releases of Firefox. Or at lease making the scroll-bar easy to scale-adjust its size (without the user having to understand CSS style sheet modification). Perhaps it would be good to make the scroll-bar right-clickable and providing a "Adjust Width" option in its context menu.

Many desktop applications could learn a thing or two from touch screen interfaces. Notice how bluntly (widely) they make their buttons and selectable options. They do it out of necessity because they know a person is going to be using their finger to select that option. However, even with a mouse, the bigger something is, the easier it is to select. Just because a mouse-cursor comes to a fine point, doesn't mean that controls ought to be barely bigger than that point.

I believe we have finally crossed a threshold. While before, we've always been trying to maximize the browser's screen real estate, now we've got plenty of width at higher resolutions, and it is time to increase the width of scrollbars and make them require less fine-grained-mouse-control-effort to use.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 12.10
Package: firefox 16.0.2+build1-0ubuntu0.12.10.1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.5.0-18.29-generic 3.5.7
Uname: Linux 3.5.0-18-generic x86_64
AddonCompatCheckDisabled: False
ApportVersion: 2.6.1-0ubuntu6
Architecture: amd64
AudioDevicesInUse:
 USER PID ACCESS COMMAND
 /dev/snd/controlC2: lonnie 2197 F.... pulseaudio
 /dev/snd/controlC0: lonnie 2197 F.... pulseaudio
BuildID: 20121025212310
CRDA: Error: command ['iw', 'reg', 'get'] failed with exit code 1: nl80211 not found.
Channel: Unavailable
Date: Sat Nov 10 22:42:45 2012
ForcedLayersAccel: False
IfupdownConfig:
 # interfaces(5) file used by ifup(8) and ifdown(8)
 auto lo
 iface lo inet loopback
InstallationDate: Installed on 2012-10-1...

Read more...

I see that I am not alone for requesting this:
http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/814771

I don't really see how this is a firefox bug; firefox respects the scroll bar dimensions specified in the os theme.

You can load a theme with wider scroll bars, and firefox will happily use them.

Changed in firefox:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → New

Perhaps it is the duty of Unity or Compiz to provide this:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/compiz/+bug/1078681

Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

that's neither a bug in compiz nor unity as it says on the upstream bug report it may actually be a bug in the theme.

no longer affects: compiz
no longer affects: unity

What theme are you referring to?

The upstream report says that firefox is happy to oblige any scroll-bar width prescribed by the OS theme.

My scroll-bar is the same size yours is. I'm a user who is not alone in thinking that the default width is too small.

Where in Ubuntu can you change the scroll bar widths? Compiz? No. Unity? No. Firefox? No.

Firefox says its a operating system's job to set such things. Isn't compiz the window manager? Shouldn't it provide a setting for modifying this? Or is it Unity? Where in Ubuntu?

See solution 2:
http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/29104

Wouldn't this give me the customization to adjust scrollbar width in not only Firefox, but all applications?

Thank you Lonnie for your suggestion.

Could you please try the suggestion given by Cork?

hey Lonnie, are you there?

My OS doesn't provide themes that will adjust scroll bar widths (Ubuntu 12.10).

Thanks for the help, Cork. My OS has no gui for modifying the width, but that link you gave directed me to a text file where I could do it. I'm satisfied.

In , Pppx (pppx) wrote :

Resolved per whiteboard and Comment 7

Changed in firefox:
status: New → Invalid
Adolfo Jayme (fitojb) on 2013-05-18
affects: firefox (Ubuntu) → ubuntu-themes (Ubuntu)
Changed in ubuntu-themes (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

Thank you for reporting this bug to Ubuntu.
Ubuntu 12.10 (quantal) reached end-of-life on May 16, 2014.

See this document for currently supported Ubuntu releases:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases

We appreciate that this bug may be old and you might not be interested in discussing it any more. But if you are then please upgrade to the latest Ubuntu version and re-test.

Changed in ubuntu-themes (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
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