Nelson's log

Scrolling vs headers and footers

More and more web pages have broken the page down key. Fixed-height headers and footers on top of web content don’t bother me, but the article underneath them never pages correctly. Because it’s paging the full window height and the header/footer has hidden part of the document, so you never see it.

This used to only be a problem on shitty websites that had all sorts of bad layout. But now even high design websites like the In Focus photojournalism gallery have broken the paging behavior with a header. Medium was a holdout for a long time, it even had a fancy thing where the header hid itself when you scrolled down a page. It still does that but now there’s a fixed 20px footer that obscures text that disappears when you page down.

What I’m wondering is why no one fixes this with Javascript. Maybe overriding paging behavior is difficult? I asked Marcin Wichary once about Medium and he said it was hard to make it work consistently in all browsers. There’s certainly ways to scroll the window and I imagine you can trap the page down key to invoke your custom scrolling code. Would be worth tinkering if it could be turned into an extension that worked for sites that don’t work right now.