August 24th, 2005 • 10:17 am
There is a small, yet quite significant annoyance in NetNewsWire 2.0. (I am using the Lite version, but I imagine it’s the same in the regular version.)
When you are reading a blog post in NetNewsWire, and the blog post is fairly long, you have to scroll down to read it all. You can also use the Page Down and Page Up keys on your keyboard to scroll down/up.
But what happens when you press Page Down or Page Up is that NetNewswire scrolls down/up by the exact height (in pixels) of the frame in which the blog post text is displayed. This means that, if a line of text is only half visible at the bottom of the frame before your press Page Down, then, after you’ve pressed Page Down, that same line of text is only half visible at the top of the frame.
This is not right. When a line of text is only half visible at the bottom of a window/frame, after Page Down the user expects that same line of text to be fully visible at the top of the window/frame.
Better yet, the user actually expects to see the last fully visible line at the bottom of the window/frame still visible at the top of the window/frame. Otherwise, he’ll get disoriented in his reading.
This is exactly how things work in other applications, such as Safari and TextEdit. If the last line of text at the bottom of the window is line n and it’s only half visible, after pressing Page Down, the first line of text fully visible at the top of the window is actually line n – 1 — and of course line n is fully visible below line n – 1.
I love NetNewsWire, but this is clearly a fundamental flaw in the behaviour of the application. (And, if you are wondering, things are not any better when you the space bar to scroll up/down a post.)
Interestingly, the other frames in the three-frame interface of NetNewsWire are not affected by this problem, so I suspect it has to do with the rendering of blog posts themselves. For what it’s worth, I am able to reproduce this problem when reading kottke‘s RSS feed with the “Daring Status Bar” theme.