Firefox vs. Trackball
April 24, 2005 8:21 PM   Subscribe

Firefox dislikes my trackball. I have no idea how to fix this, and I'm hoping you do.

Firefox version: 1.0.1

Computer: WinXp home, with SP2 installed.

Trackball: "Logitech Marble Mouse USB." It doesn't have a scroll wheel, but is set so that when I click both buttons simultaneously, I can rotate the ball to scroll all four ways through a document.

IE will allow this, as will Adobe Acrobat. In Photoshop I can zoom in and out of images with the same method. Firefox won't accept it. I've reinstalled the drivers that came with the trackball, and that didn't fix the problem. Google was not helpful.

Do I need to install a plugin? Is this an irreconcilable difference between the trackball and Firefox?
posted by cmyk to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
I had a similar problem with the trackpointer on my Thinkpad. I did some research and also posted a question on the Firefox support forum, and my results are these:

1) yes there is a bug which affects scrolling (certainly for Thinkpad, not sure about Logitech)

2) nobody cares to fix it

So Firefox has been uninstalled and that's the end of that. I know everyone bangs on about Firefox, but I can't help but be unimpressed - an internet browser that's not universally compatible seems rather ironic to me....
posted by forallmankind at 9:37 PM on April 24, 2005

Bugzilla for Firefox (the Firefox development bug-tracking database) has some info on this and tips here:

Bugzilla Bug 174495 - Mouse software (i.e. IBM trackpoint and Logitech Mouseman) can interfere with Autoscroll/Panning

Sounds like you might have to disable some features of your mouse driver. I'm assuming you have the latest drivers for your mouse installed. If not, visit the Logitech website and obtain the latest drivers.

For a list of all known Firefox issues with Logitech hardware, click here. Expect to find several duplicates of each problem, as people submit bugs without looking at previous submissions. If you find no information pertinent to your situation, you might want to add a comment to the bug I listed above (or another one, if you find a more relevant one) and describe your situations.
posted by ori at 2:20 AM on April 25, 2005

I know a similar bug occurs with universal scrolling on my laptop (Synaptics touchpad); it has something to do with the way that the mouse action is called. I don't remember exactly whether it was something in the way FireFox asked for this information that changed, or if it was something in the way that Windows (or the mouse driver itself) reported the mouse event. In the case of Synaptics I think it's the driver; reverting to one of the older drivers for my touchpad makes universal scrolling work again.

The great thing about FireFox is that anyone can fix a problem or write an extension if they want. Apparently to date nobody has made a fix for Logitech mice. If anyone finds an extension or plug-in that solves the problem, that would be great.


I know everyone bangs on about Firefox, but I can't help but be unimpressed - an internet browser that's not universally compatible seems rather ironic to me....

...As opposed to a browser that only runs on one OS and will never run anywhere else? How "universally compatible" is that? The main issue here isn't the browser, it's the hardware support. Microsoft has enough influence to call the shots in terms of support. If a driver breaks IE functionality, it doesn't get distributed (or comes with a huge "Not MS Certified!!!!" warning). Mozilla Foundation can ask vendors nicely to fix their drivers, but do you really reasonably expect Mozilla to add in a patch for every company that refuses to test in anything other than a full-Microsoft environment? Especially when it's an issue that affects only a small percentage of their users, and doesn't do much besides add in a relatively minor inconvenience to even those people?
posted by caution live frogs at 5:56 AM on April 25, 2005

caution live frogs: dude, I didn't say anything about IE....
posted by forallmankind at 10:10 AM on April 25, 2005

(I don't want to derail, but) with over one in nine people using Internet Explorer, I think it was not such an outlandish assumption. But at any rate, forallmankind, if you go through the developer comments, it emerges that the current Logitech/Thinkpad compatibility issues (the latter, by the way, is apparently resolved by getting the most recent drivers from IBM) are a result of the development team being reluctant to add more platform-dependent, proprietary code to Firefox.
posted by ori at 11:44 AM on April 25, 2005

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