space bar scrolls down a page, instead of being ignored if not in a data entry field




Document Navigation
7 years ago
7 years ago


(Reporter: andré, Unassigned)



Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)


(Whiteboard: [CLOSEME 2011-04-22] [INVALID?])



7 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; fr; rv: Gecko/20101123 Seamonkey/2.0.11
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; fr; rv: Gecko/20101123 Seamonkey/2.0.11

When the space bar is pushed (usually accidentally), when the focus is not in a data entry field, the display scrolls down a page.  (Often somewhat more.)
This happens in both the navigator and email side.
If the end of an email is reached, it goes to the next email, a _very_ disruptive effect.

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Display a page, ensuring to be not in a data entry field
2. Press the space bar.

Actual Results:  
Display scrolls down a page.  If displaying an email, and at the end of the email, it displays another email.
If the shift is pressed, it scrolls up a page.

Expected Results:  
If not in a data entry field, the space bar is ignored.

If somehow this was an intended behavior, there should be an option to turn it OFF.
To scroll up or down a page, there are the page up and page down keys, almost universally available.
As well, there is the wheel on most mice.

This bug is extremely annoying to users that I support.  (As well as myself.)
In addition to wasting time, it makes it very easy to lose track of where one was working, if using a web-based application, or even just looking up information on the Internet or intranet.

Comment 1

7 years ago
This is expected behaviour not just with SeaMonkey/Firefox/Thunderbird but with just about any web browser or text display application.
Googling for
Shows that people get upset and confused when space bar doesn't page down and think it's a bug when space to page down doesn't work.


7 years ago
Whiteboard: [CLOSEME 2011-04-22] [INVALID?]

Comment 2

7 years ago
A major problem with this behavior is that if one is entering data, and accidently loses focus, pressing the space bar can entail a loss of data, as well as scrolling down a page.
What happens is that much -- if not all -- of what was typed in the field is lost.
The space bar should have coherant behavior.  Not act like a space bar some of the time (when the focus is in a data entry field), and a page down key at other times (when the focus is not in a data entry field).

By the way, as far as I know, no text editor, even in read-only mode, has this sort of behavior.
Vim just moves the curser to the right if not in an edit mode.
Gedit does nothing if a read-only file is loaded.

Thanks for the google link.  Taking the first 10 references, 4 were unrelated to this bug (including the first 3), 5 wanted it, and one was a reference to 27 requests to remove this behavior -- at
In addition to the 27 requests, there were 2 "responses" requesting the same thing.
Note that most that wanted this (strange) behavior indicated that it was not available.

My (very strong) suggestion is that if this behavior is offered, that it should only be a non-default OPTION, and not forced on everyone.
This behavior surcharges the space bar, to provide a function already available on every normal keyboard, and causing disruptive and inconsistant behavior of the space bar.
Please correct this problem.

If you don't want to correct it, at least let me know how I can work around it.
If you help me locate the offending code, I am very willing to patch my copy of Seamonkey.  (I've already done something similar for a display problem which wasn't being corrected.)
Sincerely, I think that it would be better to provide a solution available for all users, even non-programmers.

Comment 3

7 years ago
As far as I can tell it's somewhere deep in the heart of the Gecko engine.
A good place to start asking is:
Even if that's not the correct place. People there can redirect you to somewhere more appropriate.

Good luck.

Comment 4

7 years ago
Thanks for the reference.  Another project :)

Comment 5

7 years ago
I'm going to move this to Core:: in case someone wants to write an enhancement patch
Component: UI Design → Document Navigation
OS: Linux → All
Product: SeaMonkey → Core
QA Contact: ui-design → docshell
Hardware: x86 → All
Version: unspecified → Trunk
In case someone cares, the relevant code is in content/xbl/builtin/, which is then included by the various platformHTMLBindings.xml files.
We've had this feature for a very long time and Chrome and Opera have the
same behavior, space scrolls down, shift-space scrolls up (at least on Linux).

andré, please discuss it in dev-platform and reopen this bug if there is
consensus that this feature should be removed.

-> WONTFIX (for now)
Last Resolved: 7 years ago
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX
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