We can do it if the window isn't too slim, and if I'm in Landscape mode it also lets me hit the red circle, so why not enable it for mobile?
Remove some bells and whistles on the default mobile site
By default, disable the sticky progress bar footer, the semi-fixed menu bar and the draggable sidebar on the mobile site. They all slow old phones down.
The footer is not important enough for the space it takes up. The menu bar is and should stay fixed. The drag menu is glitchy and unnecessary if the top menu stays visible.
In general, I don't think scrolling should trigger any non-native behaviour at all on phones unless infinite scrolling is enabled.
The latter two options are theme-specific. You can use other themes that don't have the swipable side bar and auto-hiding navbar.
As for the topic navigator, we've yet to come up with a way to expose these controls in a non-obtrusive way. They are quite useful (in my opinion, anyway), and I am against removing it altogether, as otherwise there would be no way to get back to the top of a post (or quickly go to the bottom)
If this isn't the place to discuss Persona, then whoops. Also, I was barely awake when I posted this and didn't mean to sound confrontational.
Anyway, I seem to remember that the default theme was supposed to be barebone, a decision I fully agreed with. Around the time I joined there was talk about forking Persona into an extended version. I don't think the split ever happened and all the extra stuff ended up in the default theme.
At any rate, I still think the Persona is the best NodeBB theme available and it suits the rest of my site well. I'd prefer not to switch over this.
Also, I can see why you'd want to keep the defaults, but it'd be nice if one could at least turn off these features.
As for the footer navigation,
^ ^ 12/20 v veasily fits next to the logo unless it's really wide. I'm not sure that's aesthetically pleasing, though.
Also, I was barely awake when I posted this and didn't mean to sound confrontational.
Not at all, no need to apologize, sometimes I can get bitter before my coffee
Happy to discuss the merits of the existing navigator, or any suggested improvements, here.