Microsoft Plans to Bring Smooth Scrolling to Chromium

Posted on March 9, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Windows 10 with 30 Comments

Microsoft is proposing to bring the smooth scrolling functionality from its Edge web browser to Chromium.

“Scrollbar scrolling using the mouse happens on the main thread in Chromium,” Microsoft’s proposal explains. “If the main thread is busy, scrolling by clicking on the scrollbar will appear to be janky as the events keep getting queued up [and] wait for the main thread to free up. We observe on average scrollbar drags have [over double the] latency in Chromium as compared to EdgeHTML today, worse on particularly busy sites.  We attribute this gap primarily to EdgeHTML’s feature for off-thread scrollbar drags.  By avoiding the main thread in Chromium as well, we believe we can bring the performance of scrollbar drags more in line with what we observe in EdgeHTML.”

This proposal is, of course, related to Microsoft’s adoption of Chromium as the basis for the next version of its Microsoft Edge web browser. And it’s the second such proposal that I’m aware: Back in December, the software giant revealed its plans to make Chromium—and thus the new Edge—compatible with Windows 10-based accessibility client apps.

The big difference here is that this proposed change, assuming Chromium’s handlers OK it, will impact all of the platforms on which Chromium—and other Chromium-based browsers—run, including (all supported versions of) Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, and Android.

Thanks to Sam for tipping me off to this.

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