Scrollbars in Atom, Firefox, Cinnamon

Updated 20-Sep-2023

Scrollbar usability is shoddy and slipping across wide swaths of the web and software in general. Of course I am getting older, which means this is more and more of an annoyance.

We know already, and for some time, how to do scrollbar usability and accessibility. Putting aside voice commands, just the bare minimum of finger and mouse pointer usability seems to hard for so many projects, and for so long.

Modifying Scrollbars in Atom Editor

Atom Editor requires several CSS overrides to get scrollbars modified.

Modifying / Customizing Scrollbars in Firefox

[Firefox has been without -webkit scrollbar functionality for the last 5 months, no wait, for the last 9 years... no wait, for the last 18 years. The work-arounds for this situation are a PITA. The only way to really deal with this is at the operating system level.

Modifying / Customizing Scrollbars in Linux Mint (and other Gtk windowing environments)

Editing Gtk themes for Linux Mint and other distributions takes a lot of effort of digging around. In many cases the CSS is imported in binary format for Adwaita, the Gtk3 base theme, and override ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css file doesn't work. While for Mate and Gnome there are tools, there is no tool to edit the scrollbar in Cinnamon.

So, besides the gtk-2.0 and gtk-3.0 various files, there are the .svg files for things like the scrollbar, which are hidden in a gtk-2.0 subdirectory, for example:

  • /usr/share/themes/Mint-Y-Dark/gtk-2.0/assets in .png file format or is that
  • /usr/share/themes/Mint-X/gtk-2.0/images/scroll in .svg file format

It is all a quandry and the Linux Mint folks really need to be a bit better organized, no matter how disorganized their upstream Gtk cousins may be.

Suffice it to say there are many different files, and different file syntaxes at work here. Some examples:

Wrestling with these issues, I've been able to get some things working (e.g., arrows) and others not (e.g., widths), at various times, depending on the base theme that is enabled and edited. That said, I've still been unable to get the Nemo scrollbar to stop disappearing when not hovered/clicked/being scrolled.

This is simply pathetic usability and accessibility. Don't hide important navigation elements. If scrolling is not possible (e.g., all content is viewed on a screen, and there is no part to scroll to) then by all means hide/remove the scrollbar. But when I am viewing a directory structure with more rows of files yet to see, hiding the scrollbar removes important information from the display.