The webOS Wish List: Scrollbars | webOS Nation

The webOS Wish List: Scrollbars

by Derek Kessler Thu, 11 Oct 2012 8:38 pm EDT

The webOS Wish List: Scrollbars

Scrollbars. Seriously, it's 2012. We've had scrollbars since the Xerox Alto in 1973. While the purpose of the scrollbar has changed in the intervening four decades from being the driver of continuous page navigation on keyboard- and mouse-driven devices to merely an indicator of said page's length and your place in said page on touchscreen devices like smartphones and tablets, the scrollbar is still an important piece of the modern computer user interface. When webOS launched in 2009, there were no scrollbars present in the OS, despite scrollbars being present in both the competing Apple iOS and Google Android. And thirty-six years of preceding computing.

webOS did gain scrollbars eventually, but in a most limited fashion: only with webOS 3.0.5 on the TouchPad, and only in the browser. Nothing in any of the other apps that support scrolling, which is practically every app ever, including most of the built-in webOS apps. And while scrollbars have been added to webOS smartphone apps via a handy patch, we're talking about Open webOS going forward here, and it's just silly that scrollbars aren't present throughout the OS. They fade in when you scroll, fade out when you're done, and give you a useful bit of information as to your place in the page along the way. What's to hate?

Have your own thoughts on this or any other webOS Wish List entry? We fully expect you to. That's why we have the comments, it's your place to say how right (or wrong) we are. And we have little doubt you have your own ideas as to what ought be on the webOS wish list, and so we've created a forum thread just for that - and an awesome discussion it has proven to be.