Safari on MacOS Ventura has been easily tamable for me, except for one really weird wrinkle.
Background: for something like forever in Web browser history, across pretty much every browser I’ve ever used on any platform, tapping SPACEBAR is the equivalent of “move the reading window down one screen.” It’s easy, it’s the biggest control surface on nearly all keyboards.
In Ventura, Safari did something new in response to a SPACEBAR tap: it scrolled. And scrolled. And scrolled. It scrolled at a mad, medium pace to the bottom of the Web page being browsed, and the only thing that could stop it was grabbing the mouse and clicking on the page.
Weird, and annoying.
There was nothing in the Safari settings that enabled such a thing, and I checked Keyboard shortcuts and Typinator to make sure I hadn’t accidentally done something to enable this.
Then, I looked at the menu bar…and saw that the “Develop” menu is enabled. (You can do that from Settings.) I have it enabled because I occasionally need to dissect what’s going on with a Web page, and I figured there was no harm in leaving it visible.
Except… there is a Develop menu item labeled “Experimental Features –>”. And a slew of those experimental features are enabled by default. When I looked at the submenu, it turned out there is one related to scrolling: “Scroll to text fragment”. It is enabled by default, and it appears to be a developer utility that, yes, seeks out text fragments.
Since most published Web pages don’t HAVE text fragments, it appears that tapping SPACEBAR would start the routine, and Safari would scroll until it reached the bottom of the page, at which point the routine is done.
I’ve got my browser back, and while I’m keeping the Develop menu enabled for now since most of the items there seem to be inert until invoked, this might be useful to know for someone else wondering why their Web browsing periodically goes “south”.