Sorry about the goofy title. I somehow got sidetracked this morning into tinkering with Java2D animation inside a SWT application and ended up reading the SMIL 2.0 spec. Trail of thoughts from my Alternate News Reader UIs post stoked back into life along the way, this time focusing on scrolling.
Scrolling tend to interferes with reading because it is unnatural. Scrolling amounts to keeping your eye focused on one spot of a book and moving the book around to read it. As the book moves, your eyes defocus momentarily which is highly irritating. If you haven't noticed it before, try it now. Note that focus is maintained when eyes are moved instead.
What's really funny is that web browsers depend heavily on scrolling. One way to remove or, at least, reduce amount of scrolling is to scroll in time instead of scrolling in space. SMIL is, in effect, an XML standard for scrolling a document in time. What does this mean for RSS? How about playing RSS feeds on SMIL browsers by transforming RSS feeds into SMIL streams?