over-sensitive mobile inputs (is this a 'me' problem?)

While I suspect that this is a ‘me’ problem (i.e., specific to my device), I am wondering if it’s a behavior others are experiencing–and if so, whether it’s more or less common. When I am editing using my phone (it’s new to me - a Google pixel 3 that I’ve had for only a few weeks), I notice that my cursor tends to get ‘suck’ by forcing a cell to continually and extremely rapidly refresh–like if I am simultaneously editing and clicking the ‘run’ arrow at lightening fast speeds.

I have tried several things to stop this behavior, but nothing seems to work:

  1. rebooting
  2. removing my case
  3. cleaning my screen
  4. cleaning all the edges of the screen
  5. decreasing edge sensitivity
  6. decreasing cursor sensitivity

The thing i find odd is that the phone inputs seem to work perfectly in all non-Observable contexts: I don’t have issues writing emails, inputting URLs, selecting inputs on normal webpages, etc. But this ‘refresh’ behavior is so disruptive that I can barely make edits to notebooks. With a lot of clicking around, eventually I can get the input to stop long enough to make a few edits, but often i can’t even scroll down within a cell because it keeps refreshing / re-running a cell and throwing me back to the top of the cell’s text area, or the cursor will appear frozen, or i can’t effectively track back and forward within a word. It’s not fun at all.

I don’t know if this is phone specific. I can’t find anything that sounds similar to this behavior when I search around on the Internet. I previously had a Samsung Galaxy S3 (about 4.5 years old) as well as an iPhone 7, and I don’t recall ever experiencing this, but then again I didn’t ever really use my phone to work on Observable before.

Anyone else out there experiencing similar issues?

I suspect this is an issue with the CodeMirror editor, which is what Observable uses for the code cells. Handling “keyboard” input on mobile devices for apps that need to support all sorts of keyboard shortcuts seems to be very, very hard.

1 Like

Thanks @bgchen. Sounds like my issue may be slow to be resolved.

But is this only affecting a minority of devices? Any others out there experiencing the same thing?

Brand new phone and the thing I enjoy doing most on the web right now (playing in Observable) is somehow untenable. :anguished:

1 Like

You could check to see whether your issue is reported already in the Codemirror issues. The answer might be to wait for Codemirror 6 though…

1 Like

Thanks @bgchen - I had looked over the reported issues after you pointed me to CodeMirror, but found that the descriptions are a bit too technical for my understanding (and didn’t identify one that seemed to reflect the behavior I was experiencing). I debated raising an issue, but didn’t do so out of fear that I can’t describe it in a succinct way and have limited capacity to provide any debugging information (again, due to my knowledge gap). I’ve seen several threads on this forum that reference CodeMirror, most of which also culminated in ‘wait till the next release’, so I also figured that’d probably be the outcome for me as well :wink:

Thanks for helping me understand the issue!

CodeMirror 6 is now available as @codemirror/next, although it’s still missing docs and some plugins and has not reached a stable release.

1 Like