VSCode Sticky Scroll Didn’t Stick With Programmers

Tom Smykowski
3 min readFeb 16, 2024

When you ship a really great feature and programmers want defenestrate that feature because it’s too much

In the latest release of Visual Studio Code software engineers from around the world got a feature that caused a lot of controversy.

The feature called sticky scroll is available now by default in the file explorer panel.

Sticky scroll feature is useful when you have a lot of nested folders in your project and a lot of files.

When this happens, it’s very hard to recognize in what folder your file belongs to, because when scrolling to that file, you loose the sight of the parent folders.

The problem is solved with sticky scroll. It displays parent tree for the first item displayed in the viewport of the file explorer panel:

While scrolling it gets updated with the relevant path.

It’s an interesting feature and when I saw it first I was really happy. At last I see where is the index.js file I’m seeing.

However, after a while I’ve noticed the sticky scroll takes a lot of place and somehow adds to the confusion.

So far I have it enabled, to see how it will work with time. Maybe it’s like Windows 11. You just need to grow to hate it properly.

But jokes aside it’s a great example how a helpful feature can turn out to be at least chaotic-bad for some users.

To disable it you have to go to Workbench and uncheck Enable Sticky Scroll.

The communities of VSCode programmers aren’t as patient as a bus driver waiting until you find the change.

There are tons or posts by people who just wanted to find that Next.js file and got sad realizing with the Sticky Scroll the tree structure is too complicated.

What brings me to the main issue of this article. When we’ve collectively decided that software architecture is measured by the number and depth of directory structures?

Sometimes I just feel like it goes to far, when there’s 200 neatly organized folders with 200 files, each called index.js.

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Tom Smykowski

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