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  • Bad scrolling of Chromium-based browsers on precision touchpads

    Home Forums AskWoody support Questions: Browsers and desktop software Bad scrolling of Chromium-based browsers on precision touchpads

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      • #2312179

        I’ve narrowed down the scrolling dysfunction I’ve often mentioned as being a part of every Chromium-derived browser I’ve tried. Firefox is buttery smooth, truly a delight to use, on my laptops and my desktop alike. But any Chromium browser, whether Chromium itself, Vivaldi, Brave, Opera, or Chredge, has always stuttered and juddered like crazy on my two most-used laptops. I thought at first that it was just a characteristic of Chromium that it scrolled poorly, and Microsoft’s statement about Chrome’s scrolling being broken seemed to back that up. But when I tried Chredge for Linux, it had the same issue, just like the rest!

        I did some more reading, and I saw some reports from Chrome users indicating similar problems with precision touchpads (from Windows users). I hadn’t considered that it could be related to the method of scrolling, but when I used a real mouse to scroll on Vivaldi, it was smooth and nice, without any hint of the shuddering and juddering I get with a touchpad.

        Precision touchpads are a project led by Microsoft and Synaptics to bring a more Macbook-like touchpad experience to Windows. In short, a precision touchpad sends all of the touch data to the OS (over the i2c bus), and the OS decides how to interpret that and turn it into action. A discrete touchpad driver isn’t needed in Windows 8.1 or 10.

        A non-precision touchpad handles all of that within the driver, then turns that into simulated mouse movements over an internal PS/2 port.

        Perhaps, I thought, this was fixed some time ago on Windows, but it slipped by on Linux because of the low market share Linux has on the desktop.

        I rebooted into Windows 10 on my Dell G3, then downloaded and installed Vivaldi. I tried scrolling with the touchpad, and what do you know, it was just as bad as in Linux. I tried Firefox, and it was just as good as Firefox in Linux.

        Microsoft has had the precision touchpad option since Windows 8.1, but OEMs still had the option of using non-precision touchpads. MS has announced that eventually, all PCs that carry the “made for Windows 10” stamp of approval must have a precision touchpad. I don’t think that has come to pass yet, but both of my laptops purchased in the last ~3 years have them.

        Obviously, Windows is the most commonly used OS for x86 PCs. Laptops are the most popular form factor for x86 PCs outside of servers, and Chrome is the most popular browser on Windows. So how can this stuttering, juddering scrolling still be a problem on precision touchpads, which have been on the market for 7 years?

        With the rate that Firefox is removing important features, it seems like only a matter of time until Firefox ceases to meet my needs. It’s definitely headed in what I consider the wrong direction, and has been for the better part of a decade. Vivaldi is heading in the right direction, and more and more it seems like a move to Vivaldi as my main browser is in the near future. The thing that is holding me back is that horrible shuddering while scrolling.

        It boggles the mind that the most popular browser in the world can still have this issue. There must be a lot of people out there using precision touchpads with Chromium-based browsers (Chrome included)! They must not have tried Firefox, because if they did, they’d have as hard a time going back as I am considering the move.

        I had better keep it down about that, lest Mozilla decide to make their scrolling janky and bad because “that’s how Chrome does it,” as they have said so very many times.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.21.4 User Edition)

      • #2312182
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        I have a similar problem on my W8.1 desktop with wired mouse, in Chrome. Scrolling fast down a long page, like a long Woody’s thread, causes the display to skip and jump until you stop scrolling. Firefox remains smooth and consistent.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2312253

          I know what you mean. If you scroll fast enough, it seems like you get unrendered bits of the page on-screen (on, it would be the background color of the page without the woodgrain panel on the right), and when it renders them, it kind of pops back in, but by then you’ve scrolled more, and the process repeats.

          I do wish the Vivaldi devs had chosen Firefox as a base browser to modify instead of Chromium, but I’ve read that Chromium is built in such a way that its UI and rendering engine are not closely tied together, while Firefox’s are more closely intertwined, making projects like Vivaldi, which do a lot of UI modification but mostly leave the underlying rendering engine alone, more difficult.

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.21.4 User Edition)

      • #2312300
        AskWoody Plus

        I use Chrome 87 beta with Logitech M705 Marathon Wireless Mouse and scrolling just flies.

        • #2312419
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          Have you tried dragging the slider bar on the right? That’s when I notice it.

          When 87 is production and I get it, I’ll let you know if the scrolling is fixed.

          cheers, Paul

      • #2312430
        AskWoody Plus

        the slider bar on the right

        The siding bar scrolls fast as well.

        • #2312572

          I just tested it now, using Vivaldi, and I only see the behavior Paul described (or what I think is what Paul described; it could be something else) on my Acer Swift, which isn’t actually swift, but is pretty slow. On my speedy Dell G3, I don’t see the unrendered sections even with a fast flick and coast on the touchpad, which scrolls at very high speed (better than I would ever see with my mouse, which doesn’t have a freewheeling mode on the mouse). It’s during that same flick-coast where I see it on the Acer.

          I seem to remember older versions of Chromium doing it on the G3 as well, but I am not certain about that. I’ve never really been all that interested in any of the Chromium variants until recently, as Vivaldi has gotten a lot better. Firefox is still my choice for now, but it’s narrow, and as I mentioned, it almost seems like a fait accompli that a switch is going to happen. I’m preparing in advance, like when I realized in late 2015 that I was not ever going to get along with Windows 10. I began the transition then… why wait? If you can see the iceberg coming, start steering now!

          The Vivaldi version in question (3.4.2066) uses Chromium 86 as a base, FWIW.

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.21.4 User Edition)

          • This reply was modified 5 months ago by Ascaris.
      • #2312615
        AskWoody Plus

        I have Vivaldi installed in my Mac (a three year old MacBook Pro) and just came across this thread. So I did the following tests:

        I went with Vivaldi to a page full of high resolution pictures (The HBO Home Page of “His Dark Materials”, a streaming show).

        I then went to the Wikipedia page on that show, that is heavy with fairly long sections of text and with many html links.

        At each Web page, I scrolled first very slowly, then at my normal reading speed, and finally very, very fast, zipping up and down all through the page.

        My results showed no scrolling problems doing any of these tests.

        So it could be as Ascaris is suggesting, a problem related to the hardware used to run Vivaldi as, perhaps, may be also the case with other Chromium based browsers. (I also use Chrome often, including today, and have never had any problems doing that.)

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2346453

        Unfortunately, the updated version of Firefox now has the same scrolling as Edge and I had to uninstall and re-install prior version to keep good scrolling. Still looking for an answer

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