When a web app's master/detail grid (narrow master on left, wide detail pane on right) is not full-screen like Outlook or the iPad Mail app, but is instead embedded in a page that can be vertically scrolled, then where should the detail pane be vertically displayed when the top of the grid is scrolled off the page when a lower-down element in the master list is selected?
Should the detail pane's content be displayed above the top of the viewport, forcing the user to scroll up to see it? Or should I have the detail pane content "follow" the user as the user scrolls down until it bumps up against the bottom of the grid? Or is there another option?
The particular use-case I have in mind is a master list that will never be longer than 25 items-- long enough that scrolling to the bottom of the list may hide the top of the list on smaller browsers, but short enough that I don't want to put a separate scrollbar on the master list.
I'm sure I'm not the first person to face this quandry. What are options?