[whatwg] Suggestion: Mouse Wheel events for Web Apps 1.0

Chris Griego cgriego at gmail.com
Sat Jun 18 11:28:40 PDT 2005

I've searched through the archives and the specs and have not seen any
mention of this.

The mouse wheel as a part of input is now a very handy fact of life
usually associated only with scrolling up and down, but it has more
uses than that and I would like to propose that event handling for
wheel mouse scrolling be added to Web Applications 1.0

Two real-world uses in today's in desktop applications aside from
scrolling include the iTunes volume slider, just hover your mose over
the volume slider and the wheel mouse will increase or decrease the
volume, and the Mac OS X (10.3+) application switcher (induced with
alt+tab) where the wheel mouse will scroll through the applications.
Firefox uses the mouse wheel in scrubbing long menus such as bookmark

The mouse wheel could be put to good use in web applications. One use
would be within the Google Maps application to freely scrub the map or
in Opera Show and the S5 slide show system for going to the next and
previous slides.

Currently the only way to capture and use the mouse wheel on the web
is within the Macromedia Flash v7 plugin which added event handling
for the mouse wheel.
Flash Documentation:
Example Turotial: http://www.communitymx.com/content/article.cfm?cid=E81CE

There are things to consider when implementing handling for the mouse
wheel. You obviously want to handle when the mouse wheel is turned
upwards or downwards, but you also need to handle the user agent's
speed preference (1 mouse wheel turn is 3 lines versus 1 line, Flash
handles this by passing the user agent's preference to the event
handler), some mice support back and forth rocking, and the mouse
wheel click that toggles to 4-way free scrolling.

Chris Griego

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