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Scroll Window Under Cursor - problem with Explorer

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:34 pm
by Pemhoo
XMBC Version: v2.17
Windows Version: Windows 7 Pro (x64)
Mouse Information (brand/model): Elan Touchpad (laptop)
Computer Information: Asus G750 (Intel i7 4700HQ, 16GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M)
Did the problem occur after an upgrade of XMBC or Windows?: No
How long have you used XMBC?: Just started
What language and keyboard layout do you use in Windows?: UK, QWERTY

Clear description of the problem:

I have been searching for ages for 'mouseover scrolling' / 'inactive window scrolling' that works on 64bit Windows using a laptop touchpad. Most will only work with an actual scroll wheel on a mouse.

I was therefore delighted to find out that XMBC works on my setup, and unlike the (very few) other utilities that also work, XMBC is does not seem to have stability issues (from what I've seen so far) and it's still currently in development (unlike the other similar apps that I've used).

However, there is an issue that I have encountered with this feature in XMBC.

Whenever I focus a Windows Explorer window (with enough items in it for a scroll bar to appear) if I use the 'mouse wheel' scrolling feature as usual (i.e. 2-finger swiping on my touchpad) then this stops all inactive window scrolling for all other windows as long as Explorer still has focus.

As soon as you click anywhere else other than the Explorer window (e.g. Desktop, Taskbar, any other Application) the the inactive background window scrolling feature resumes working as normal.

This does not happen with Explorer windows that do not have sufficient entries to warrant a scroll bar (e.g. root of C:\ drive). In that instance, even with the Explorer window focussed, the inactive window scrolling continues to work perfectly.

I don't have a mouse or a desktop PC, so I can't confirm whether the above issue is trackpad specific or whether it occurs with mice too. My hunch is that it would happen when using a mouse too (but that's just a guess).

It seems that this issue is not unique to XMBC. The two other utilities that I've successfully used to provide this feature on my laptop, behave in exactly the same way (DeskAngel and TaekWindow) except they are less configurable and less stable, so I'd prefer to stick with XMBC.

I'm hoping that this is just something to do with how scrolling is handled in Explorer windows (which hopefully XMBC will be able to fix) rather than something that is specific to my computer setup.

Perhaps you could let me know your thoughts on the matter.

Re: Scroll Window Under Cursor - problem with Explorer

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:37 am
by phil
I can confirm that the same behavior happens here on my laptop with my touch-pad and two finger scrolling... The same does not happen with the mouse wheel on the same computer - so definitely something to do with the touch-pad scrolling - the question is what and why!

Unfortunately, as soon as explorer takes active focus, XMBC no longer receives any scroll messages (as can be seen with the config window open - without focus, the wheel drop-downs highlight in orange when scrolling, when explorer has focus, this orange highlight never appears). This suggests that something lower down is capturing the messages - maybe Explorer has its own mouse hook or something in the trackpad handler/driver/Windows is doing something special.

If something lower down has control and is not delivering the messages upstream to XMBC, then XMBC wont be able to do much about that I'm afraid :(
I cant give any further answers that right now, but I will have a loo next time a get a spare moment and see if I can figure out what is happening under the debugger.


Re: Scroll Window Under Cursor - problem with Explorer

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:02 am
by phil
Interestingly, Im on Windows 10 which has its own "scroll inactive windows" and the same problem exists with Explorer with that (with XMBC or without XMBC)...

So Im almost certain that the elan touchpad driver or windows explorer itself is doing something special - and thats bad news.

As XMBC does not even get to see the scroll messages, it can do anything to remap them. It does not even know that scroll is happening... So unless there is some other message broadcast that I can listen to, I don't think there will be anything I can do about it :(

Re: Scroll Window Under Cursor - problem with Explorer

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:06 am
by Pemhoo
Hi Phil. Thank you so much for such a quick and detailed reply.

From what you describe, it does sound as if us trackpad users are indeed out of luck (which is a pity).

I wouldn't put it past Elan to be the culprit in this matter. Trackpad manufacturers in general create products and software that, shall we say, leave something to be desired.

In my own case it, I remember spending countless hours working around Elan issues. If I wanted a newer touchpad driver (because the old one caused problems on my system) then I had to deal with an "updated" driver pack that included a new configuration applet that only had about half of the features that were available in the old buggy version. In the end I discovered that even with a clean install of the new driver, all the Registry keys for the old touchpad features were still added; Elan just chose to disable them and hide them from the user. So I ended up having to go through the reg keys to adjust them by hand just to get back the essential features I had in the previous version. <sigh>.

Anyway, I'll keep an eye out here in future; just on the slim off-chance that you do somehow manage to find some other message broadcast that XMBC could use.

In the mean time, I'm just grateful to have found something that works reliably with trackpads at all. It is annoying that there is one instance where it doesn't work, but it's not a complete deal-breaker.