Opera and Google are already doing it, so why should not we. That's probably the reasoning behind Mozilla's latest move to optimize the interface of the Firefox web browser.
For those who do not know (is there anyone reading my blog who does not?); The http prefix in front of website addresses in the url bar is a visual indicator of the protocol used to access that site.
There are other prefixes, like https for secure sites or ftp for ftp servers.
So, the http prefix is gone in the latest Firefox 7 nightly builds. As is the trailing slash at the end of the web address. This is how the Ghacks homepage looks like when opened in the latest Firefox nightly version.
Update: To undo the change, open about:config, search for browser.urlbar.trimURLs and set the value to false. This restores the original behavior in Firefox.
The highlighting of the domain name has been part of previous builds before. The only protocol that is currently removed from the display is the http protocol. Other protocols like the previously mentioned https and ftp protocols are still displayed in the address bar.
A https website is now displayed in the following way in the address bar. The https part of the url is displayed in light grey which means it is mostly visualized by the colored certificate verification area in front of the address now.
This is slightly different from Google's approach on https websites. Users who open secure sites in Google Chrome see a colored lock and the https procotol in the address bar. Google unlike Firefox and Opera does not change the color of the subdomain (like www.). Only the directories are shown in a light grey color.
The Opera web browser handles it differentl as well. The browser hides all protocols by default, but displays them when the user left-clicks on the address bar. Opera users can furthermore right-click on the icon in front of the url to show the full web address all the time.
A secure site in Opera looks like this:
Internet Explorer 9 finally uses yet another color and display scheme for web addresses. It is the only browser that displays all protocols all the time. The standard http protocol, the subdomains and the directories are shown in a light grey color to emphasize the domain name.
Four browsers, four different ways to display website addresses. Which is your favorite and why?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.