Question about the new scrolling behavior in Lion

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by shaynes, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. shaynes macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2008
    This is directed at anyone who currently running 10.7, since I am not.

    When using the new, reversed scrolling setting does the mouse pointer move along with the page while you are scrolling? To clarify, in iOS the reverse scrolling paradigm works because it feels like you are dragging the page with your finger. In OS X (pre 10.7) the pointer stays stationary on the screen, and so it seems to make more sense to move the "scroll bar", which moves along with the page.

    I suspect that this is not the case, since I have read several reactions to the new scrolling behavior and haven't seen any mention of this change. So if that is the case, my follow up question is:

    Would people be more favorable towards the scrolling change if the mouse pointer did move along with the page, so that it truly seemed like the mouse pointer was grabbing the page and dragging it?
  2. baryon macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    That would only work on a touch screen, as your finger IS the mouse pointer. In OS X, if the mouse moved up when you scrolled down (if the mouse moved with the scrolled content), your mouse would end up at the top of the page eventually, not being able to move further. With a touch screen, you have to keep taking your finger off the screen, to put it back to the bottom and scroll again. In OS X, you do the same movement but with a scrolling gesture (2 fingers), not a mouse pointing gesture (1 finger), so it would not make sense to move the pointer. If the pointer moved, it would have to move back to the bottom of the page each time you pick up your fingers and move them back to the initial position. That would be impossible as the trackpad does not send absolute positioning data to the OS (or actually it probably does, but it is never used, and I would doubt it would make sense to use it for just this one function).

    What WOULD make sense though, would be that the speed and distance by which the scrolled content would move would be exactly the same as the speed and distance your fingers move by on the trackpad. In iOS, if you place your hand on a specific word and scroll, your finger will stay on that word for the duration of the scroll. Your screen won't scroll slower or faster than your finger, which is great. In Lion, however, you're supposed to feel like you're in iOS, and that you're touching the content, not the scroll bar. With that logic, the content should not scroll faster or slower than your fingers. Especially now that you can flick-scroll in OS X, you don't need the page to scroll fast, as you can just flick it and save a lot of unneeded movement.
  3. shaynes thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2008
    That's a good point. I guess for this to work the pointer would have to snap back to where it was initially, before you started scrolling, once you lifted your finger(s) off the trackpad. Maybe it's not necessary and it's possible to get used to "flicking" the page without any visual cue. I think the reason it makes sense in iOS is that your finger moves along with the page as you flick it, and I was trying to think of a way this could be replicated in OS X.
  4. mrblack927 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 19, 2008
    You know... now that I think about it, I might actually like that implementation. It sounds weird and they would definitely have to do some user acceptance testing before releasing it, but it might be more intuitive that way.

    Think about it, when you put two fingers on the trackpad, the mouse pointer could turn into a hand that's "grabbing the page" (something like this). Then when you move your fingers it would be like you're actually grabbing the page and moving it around. Going off the edge of the page would be no problem since it could just "snap" back to wherever you put your fingers next (at the bottom of the page or whatever). The APIs do have absolute positions for fingers on the trackpad. It wouldn't be a problem technology wise. My guess is Apple has already thought of this and it just didn't pan out in UAT.
  5. macmikey2 macrumors regular


    Jul 6, 2008
    West Chester, PA
    There is a checkbox to change that behavior, which is geared towards touch pad/screen users. I switched that sucker back to the 'normal' way almost immediately.

    I do like it when only using the trackpad though. Seems more intuitive. But with the mouse, 90% of my use, I switched it back.

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