Despite being a heavy cell phone user for more than 25 years, it only recently occurred to me that vertical navigation on most phones is inverted when compared to traditional computers. You swipe down to navigate upward, and up to navigate downward. I recently spent time using a MacBook, which apparently defaults to this “natural” scrolling (mobile-style), and I was completely thrown off by it.

I’ve been using natural scrolling on a couple of my own desktops ever since, mostly as a mental exercise, and I wondered…how many of you folks prefer this method?

  • towerful@programming.dev
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    10 months ago

    Trackpads and touchscreens get the phone way of scrolling.
    These feel like you are interacting with a piece of paper, so you move the paper around.

    Mousewheels get the traditional way of scrolling.
    Mice are more like controlling something.
    It just is. Like F1-F12 keys are always F1-F12 keys, not the alt-function (like media/brightness etc).

    I hate that Apple has called it “natural” Vs “reverse” in some psychological reconfiguring that you are going against the grain if you don’t agree with them (as opposed to them changing the established standard).

    • digger
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      10 months ago

      I use natural on the trackpad and traditional using a mouse.

    • thayerOP
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      10 months ago

      Good points all around, though I do use my alt-functions more than the function itself.

  • jsdz@lemmy.ml
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    10 months ago

    It’s a good thing Apple doesn’t make cars. They’d put the gas pedal on the left just to be different, and claim it’s more “natural” that way.

  • SoonaPaana@lemmy.world
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    10 months ago

    I never remember which one is natural and which one is reverse. When I use a mouse or a trackpad, I am moving the scroll bar. When I am using a touch screen, I am moving the content.

    • thayerOP
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      10 months ago

      That makes sense and is probably the best no-nonsense rationale I’ve seen yet.

      • Jumuta@sh.itjust.works
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        10 months ago

        my idea is that when I scroll on the mouse, the bottom part of the scroll wheel touches the content

    • Lantern@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      This makes sense to me too. The way I have always viewed it is that if you were to lay the mouse wheel on the screen itself, it would behave the way as if it were interacting physically.

  • Rottcodd@kbin.social
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    10 months ago

    The thing you’re apparently calling “traditional” seems natural to me.

    I’ve never really stopped and thought about it before, but as far as I can figure, my brain expects the part of the system that does or would actually touch the surface to drag the screen in a particular direction through the simple workings of physics.

    On a touchscreen, it’s simple - it’s my finger actually touching the screen and it drags the screen around exactly as I’d expect.

    With a mouse, my finger isn’t the important part because it’s not touching the surface (or more precisely, the mousepad that substitutes for the surface). Rather, my finger is contolling the mouse, and the underside of the mouse is touching the surface. And as far as that goes, the “traditional” way it works is correct - when I move my finger downward on the mouse wheel, the bottom side of the wheel - the part that would actually be touching the surface if it was a purely mechanical system - is moving upward, so would drag the screen upward.

    So to me, that’s what’s natural.

    • _edge@discuss.tchncs.de
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      10 months ago

      I couldn’t explain this as good, but to me tradition has always felt natural. 100% on a mouse, but also mostly on a trackpad.

    • nous@programming.dev
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      10 months ago

      I think the big contention comes with touchpads. They are half way between a mouse and a touch screen. Traditionally they acted like mice, you two finger down to scroll down like on a mouse wheel - but you have no wheel so are directly touching the surface. Much more like a touchscreen.

      So to me traditional feels natural to me on a actual mouse, but on a trackpad natural feels more natural. I really hate that on the Mac you can only set all mouse life devices one way and not be able to have actual mice behave different to trackpads like I can on Linux systems.

    • miss_brainfart@lemmy.ml
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      10 months ago

      It’s the most logical thing, and yet some people give me a weird look if I explain these thoughts to them.

      I can’t even begin to describe how wrong it feels to invert it. My entire being refuses to accept that.

      (you do realize I’m agreeing with you?)

    • radix@lemm.ee
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      10 months ago

      I never was able to completely realize that it’s the wheel that makes it intuitive — that pulling down on the wheel makes the bottom of the wheel pull the screen up. But it makes so much sense, and it’s why I use “traditional” scrolling on mouse.

      • Rottcodd@kbin.social
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        10 months ago

        It’s something I was never actually conscious of until I stopped and thought about it yesterday because of this thread. I’ve just always moved the scroll wheel in the way that it seems like it should work, and it works the way it seems like it should.

  • HouseWolf@lemm.ee
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    10 months ago

    “Natural” only seems natural if you were raised mostly on touchscreen devices, I’ve never seen a desktop have inverted scroll like that.

    On a side note, Why do so many Linux programs not support auto scrolling by default if at all?

    I didn’t even know autoscroll was the name of middle clicking to scroll were your mouse went until I switched to Linux and noticed it missing in certain places.

        • blind3rdeye@lemm.ee
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          10 months ago

          And fortunately for me, Firefox is the main place I want to use autoscrolling. It’s nice for reading long articles, or browsing lemmy threads… (I’m trying to think of other places I might want autoscroll. I don’t recall ever wanting to use autoscroll on a file browser or a settings window or anything like that. It would be good on a pdf reader though.)

          • gohixo9650@discuss.tchncs.de
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            10 months ago

            i can’t even grasp how one can reads while the page autoscrolls down. When I had tried it I could only think about whether the scrolling speed is the absolutely optimal and if I make it on time or if it scrolls faster or slower than I read. Of course I couldn’t understand what I was reading since my mind was not paying attention at what I was reading, since it was occupied with the logistics.

            • Chewy@discuss.tchncs.de
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              10 months ago

              For me it’s only useful with Firefox and the monitor running at 144Hz/fps. I used it for long webcomics, where constant scrolling is good enough to read the few lines. But otherwise I’m also not using it much.

        • Faresh@lemmy.ml
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          10 months ago

          The nyxt browser also supports autoscrolling, but it isn’t activated by a middle-click.

    • aksdb@feddit.de
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      10 months ago

      I guess it depends on what the base line is. When reading a large news paper for example, I presume most people hold it steady in their hand and move their head to progress. Which would be the “traditional scrolling”. If you assume a large scroll of paper (ancient egyptian style) I guess moving the scroll and keeping the head (mostly) steady works fine or even better. That would be the “natural scrolling”.

      But yes, in modern times I can’t think of an equivalent of the scrolls to explain why we would consider that “natural”, if we don’t do it outside of the computer.

  • Martin@feddit.nu
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    10 months ago

    In the beginning, the mouse did not have a wheel. The only way to move the view was by dragging the scrollbar with the mouse pointer. So when we got mouse wheels, it was easy to just connect the wheel to the scrollbar. And thus the traditional direction makes sense since you are moving the scrollbar, not the view. With time, the scrollbars became more and more hidden, and we got a disconnect between what we were scrolling (the almost hidden scrollbar) and what we thought we were scrolling (the view). When you think of it as manipulating the view directly, the natural scroll makes sense. Because that is what we do in touch devices (manipulate the view directly).

    That said, I use traditional scrolling because it’s what I am used to.

    • blind3rdeye@lemm.ee
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      10 months ago

      I think you’re right - but it’s slightly confusing that you’re using the word ‘view’ to mean the opposite of what the diagram in the OP means.

      The diagram uses ‘view’ to refer to some kind of imaginary viewing window placed over a large static content; other way of putting it is that ‘view’ refers to a camera pointed at the content; and ‘content’ refers to the thing that you are trying to look at or read. In any case, I don’t think you’ve used the word incorrectly - but just inconsistently with what the post already had!

      • Martin@feddit.nu
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        10 months ago

        I didn’t even see that picture in the OP. What that diagram calls a view I would call a viewport. But yes, it would have been better to use the same terminology as OP.

  • abuttandahalf@lemmy.ml
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    10 months ago

    Traditional with mice, natural with touchpads.

    Interesting story, I used traditional scrolling with touchpads all my life until I spent three years exclusively using a desktop. Came out of it suddenly rewired to scroll like I do on my phone.

    • ours@lemmy.film
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      10 months ago

      Unless it’s a stick/yoke.

      Pull is up, push is down.

    • lemmyng@beehaw.org
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      10 months ago

      Right?!! Consider this - if you replace the scroll wheel with two buttons, which one would you press to scroll down?

  • Ddhuud@lemmy.world
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    10 months ago

    You meant traditional or the wrong way. There’s nothing natural about it.