Patch scrollbars into practically every webOS smartphone app | webOS Nation
 
 

Patch scrollbars into practically every webOS smartphone app 21

by Derek Kessler Wed, 29 Feb 2012 10:25 am EST

Patch scrollbars into practically every webOS smartphone app

One of the things we've been waiting so long for in webOS is something relatively simple, at least conceptually: scrollbars. They've marked your progress down a page in practically every graphical user interface since the dawn of the GUI with Xerox PARC back in the 1970's. But when webOS was introduced in 2009, there wasn't a progress bar in sight. Some third party apps, like the Enyo-based Paper Mache have added in their own scrollbars, and with webOS 3.0.5 the TouchPad browser also picked up its own scrollbar, but by and large webOS has been scrollbar-free.

Homebrew developer Isaac Garzon (isagar2004 in our forums) decided to do something about that shortcoming, and the result is a patch oh-so-aptly titled "webOS Scrollbars". Garzon had previously built a patch to add scrollbars to the browser, but with the new patch he's managed to add the scrollbar to most of the built-in webOS apps and practically every third party app.

The only exceptions to the built-in apps are five Mojo 2-based apps: Accounts, Contacts, Email, Exhibition and Photos. Everything else we tested, from Calendar to Memos to Web to Music to the other Preferences apps worked exactly as expected. Every third party app we tried out also picked up the scrollbars with no problem, including Music Player (Remix), Carbon, Preware, Feeder, JogStats, and Project Macaw.

The patch adds iOS-style scrollbars to Mojo smartphone apps, in that they're round-capped narrow bars that appear as soon as you start scrolling and go away when you stop. The scrollbars also adjust their size to be relative to the ratio of what's currently displayed versus the entire scrollable space. Both vertical and horizontal scrolling are supported, with vertical on the right edge and horizontal at the bottom (but somewhat distractingly floating over bottom-aligned onscreen buttons such as the back and refresh controls in the browser). The bars themselves are colored so that they'll appear equally well in almost all apps, with a transulcent dark gray body rimmed by a one-pixel white border.

webOS Scrollbars isn't currently designed to add scrollbars to Enyo apps, though Garzon plans to work on that after finishing up the Mojo implementation. Additionally there's still work to be done as far as getting the scrollbars to be supported in those remaining five apps (if you have any insights to offer, Isaac is listening). But for a work-in-progress we're still plenty impressed and looking forward to what comes next for this patch. Go ahead and check it out in the webOS Nation Forums (patches for webOS 2.1.c and 2.2.x) or in Preware and webOS Quick Install (just webOS 2.2.x)

21 Comments

Thank you for the Scrollbars patch. It works great in the browser and the App Catalog on my Pre3, the two apps I've been wishing had scroll bars.

Woohoo! Looking forward to the Enyo patch. Let us know where we can donate to help continue the great work.

There is a "Donate" button in my signature (in the forums). I'll start working on Enyo right when I'll be done with the Mojo patch.

Hey man, great work. I love it and I know many others do too.

Thanks alot and keep up the effort!

Tmark86

It feels, like scrolling is a bit slower in apps with the patch.

Yeah, it might slow down the scrolling due to the additional calculations. On my Pre3, a full restart of the phone (Sym+Opt+R) solved this problem. Try it.

It didn't solve the problem for me. It's still makes things too slow on my Pre3, so I removed it. I really wish someone would figure out why Pre3's run with a load average of at least 7 or 8. WTF is causing it to bog down?.

i patched just now on my PRE2 from preware...n its works perfectly . though preware threw some errors while updating the feeds.....anyway...thankyou ..Isaac Garzon n thanx..Derek.

i patched just now on my PRE2 from preware...n its works perfectly . though preware threw some errors while updating the feeds.....anyway...thankyou ..Isaac Garzon n thanx..Derek.

i patched just now on my PRE2 from preware...n its works perfectly . though preware threw some errors while updating the feeds.....anyway...thankyou ..Isaac Garzon n thanx..Derek.

sorry for multiple post ..

I'd like to know how he plans on doing that for all Enyo apps, especially the ones that use VirtualLists which have no prior knowledge of how many items are in a list, and therefore can't tell how much of the list you have scrolled.

I haven't started working on Enyo yet, so I don't know exactly what I'm going to do there. There are still a lot of issues to solve with Mojo before I'll start dealing with Enyo.

I'll be really interested if you can figure it out. Scrolling is the biggest headache in Enyo.

Sniff...running Pre+ on 1.4.5.1...can I ask?

Right when it'll work fine on 2.1 and 2.2.

Do you mean you might be able to get the patch to run on 1.4.5.1 after you get things running well for 2.1 and 2.2? If so that would be great. If it isn't possible on 1.x devices, I understand.

I'm not sure about the performance, but it is technically possible, so I'll port it back to 1.4.5 when I'm done.

When a homebrewer can do something that HP cant that really says a lot about HP.

Thank you for the patch.

Says more when they continuously lay off half of the webOS people. They can say it's "mostly hardware people" each time, but it still shows how much they believe in webOS.

It's not so much that HP couldn't do it as it wasn't on the list of features to be implemented that was given to the team or if it was, it was a very low priority. Software teams that are working for a company and those doing it for fun - to "scratch an itch" as ESR puts it - have very different motivations. The company teams implement what their project managers/business users want. Homebrew people work on the stuff that they want or to fix something that annoys them. They also don't have any of the red tape that's involved either.