Google Wave & native scrollbars

For those of you also using Google Wave, you may have noticed the funky scrollbars. They’re bad for all sorts of reasons, most notably performance.

Máirín (rightfully) complained about them in a community designers’ wave we’re in, so I decided to take five minutes to see if I could implement a hack… and was successful!

Basically, with essentially 4 simple lines of CSS, we’re able to easily turn on your browser’s native scrollbars and turn off Google’s weird scrollthing. Since I published it on, it’s available for Firefox (using Stylish or Greasemonkey) and Chrome/Chromium (since it now has native Greasmonkey support).

Scrolling is now extremely quick in comparison, and it acts as expected.

Get it here: System scrollbars for Google Wave

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23 Responses to “Google Wave & native scrollbars”

  1. Damien says:

    Nice, I have to try this!

  2. DarwinSurvivor says:

    WOW, that works MUCH better. I had no idea it was the scrollbars that were messing up the scoll speed!

  3. What’s interesting is that trying to open the first link (“the funky scrollbars”) crashes Chromium for me. Not just a single tab, supposedly isolated in a separate process—the whole Chromium goes down.

  4. mike says:

    MUCH better.

    Google should hire you 🙂

  5. Jeff Waugh says:

    Saving the world from hideous user experience mistakes, one scrollbar at a time…

  6. Luis says:

    Beautiful. I like wave, but the scrollbars screamed ‘we’re reinventing everything for the sake of reinventing it.’

  7. Markus says:

    OMG thank you! This addresses my two main complaints about Google Wave. Crappy scrollbars, and interface sluggishness.

    If Google had chosen to stay with the default scrollbars from the beginning, they would have written less code and had happier users.

  8. Michael says:

    Amazing how much faster scrolling feels with this…

    Any way to turn off “empty” scrollbars? (maybe this is a chrome bug?)

  9. Nick says:

    Thanks – that’s absolutely genius.

  10. Vadim P. says:

    Works for me, but the scrollbar shows when it shouldn’t be

  11. Rodney Dawes says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Google implemented the scrollbar this way in a future version of Chrome/Chromium. 🙁

    I really wish Chromium would use native tabs/scrollbars/etc… too.

  12. garrett says:

    Michael & Vadim: I just modified the hack so that the scrollbars only show up when necessary. This hack is now only 3 lines of CSS too! (:

    Users of Firefox with Stylish can just update the script.

    Everyone else needs to reinstall it. (:

  13. garrett says:

    Rodney: Yes… It would be nice. At least they made it where it will pull in icons & colors and let you use normal window management. Better than nothing, I guess. Perhaps it’ll get there eventually. It’s still super-fast and good.

  14. Roshan says:

    Scrolling is so much faster now. This is great!

  15. Kosin says:

    Hiya, just thought I’d alert you that GW might have changed something recently, as waves now refuse to load with this script running. I am extremely thankful for your scrollbar and am sad to see it thwarted by Google.

  16. Kosin says:

    Agh, ignore the previous post, I only just saw that you already updated the script. Thanks so much!

  17. Michael says:

    Argh… broke again, bad scrollbars are back 🙁

  18. Suzy says:

    Too many colmmipents too little space, thanks!

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