Chrome's stripping of trivial domain parts is broken - gHacks Tech News

Chrome's stripping of trivial domain parts is broken

Google Chrome 69 landed recently and with it came a change that hides information in the browser's address bar on the desktop.

Chrome 68 and earlier displayed the full web address all the time in the address bar but that is no longer the case in Chrome 69 as Google implemented two changes of which one has far reaching consequences.

The first change removed the scheme from the URL. Chrome does not display https:// or http:// anymore in the address bar.

Update: Google seems to have reverted the change, at least for Chrome 69 Stable. I still have it in Chrome Canary at the time of writing.

More problematic than the removal of the scheme is the removal of what Google calls trivial parts of the domain.

If you load www.example.com and example.com (without the www), Chrome displays example.com as the URL even if the two sites are not identical. While www.example.com and example.com often point to the same domain, one redirects to the other, it is not always the case.

Things get even more problematic for sites that use a structure like test.www.example.com as they will show up as test.example.com in the Chrome address bar when opened.

chrome urls hidden

Google has not released a list of subdomains that it considers trivial. We know that www is included and that Chrome did process mobile subdomains using m. as well previously. It appears that this has changed already. When I open https://m.facebook.com in Chrome I still get m.facebook.com displayed in the address bar of the web browser and not facebook.com like it was previously.

Hiding does not mean that the request got redirected to the displayed domain, however but some users could believe that it has.

A double-click in the address bar displays the full URL at the point in time and users can set the flag chrome://flags/#omnibox-ui-hide-steady-state-url-scheme-and-subdomains to disabled to display the full scheme and subdomain in the browser.

Check out our guide on this if you need more assistance.

Experimental flags like the one mentioned above may be removed from Chrome at any time though without further notice.

What is the issue?

One could argue that most users don't care that much about URLs and that they just want the right site to display in the browser. Wired's Google Wants to Kill the URL contains a quote from Google engineering manager Adrienne Porter Felt in which she stated the following:

People have a really hard time understanding URLs. They’re hard to read, it’s hard to know which part of them is supposed to be trusted, and in general I don’t think URLs are working as a good way to convey site identity.

So we want to move toward a place where web identity is understandable by everyone they know who they’re talking to when they’re using a website and they can reason about whether they can trust them.

But this will mean big changes in how and when Chrome displays URLs. We want to challenge how URLs should be displayed and question it as we’re figuring out the right way to convey identity.

The current implementation is problematic as it hides critical, and not trivial, parts of the URL in some cases; this is the case when www.example.com and example.com point to different servers or services.

Google's new attempt to reduce the impact that URLs have on today's Internet is seen by some as an attempt to downplay the role that URLs have on today's Internet to push "Google for everything" even more.

You can follow the discussion here.

Now You: What is your take on the this?

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Chrome's stripping of trivial domain parts is broken
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Chrome's stripping of trivial domain parts is broken
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Google Chrome 69 landed recently and with it came a change that hides information in the browser's address bar on the desktop.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Forro said on September 7, 2018 at 7:57 am
    Reply

    This is a great post. I agree with Google’s decision to declare that the subdomain of a website URL to be irrelevant, if the subdomain is “www.” The decision is a good one, and it creates a new standard for all websites and more importantly, web applications, *ahem* WordPress, to follow.

    1. Johnny said on September 7, 2018 at 9:06 am
      Reply

      No it’s a bad decision.
      domain.com and http://www.domain.com can point to completely different destinations!

      No part of the domain is trivial.

      1. John G. said on September 7, 2018 at 3:17 pm
        Reply

        Web addresses are not stripped but hidden, if you copy all entire address and paste it at other browser you will see entire address including https:// and http:// as well. I still don’t see where the problem is, the browser is always able to point to the right and specific requested sites.

      2. Richard Allen said on September 7, 2018 at 4:54 pm
        Reply

        @John G

        Before I click on a link I look to see where it says I’m going. After the link is opened I look to see what the reality is.

        If I want to see all of the URL I have to double click the address bar or… copy and then paste the URL into the address bar or… CTRL+L, CTRL+C and then… CTRL+V. All that is much easier than something stupid like just using my eyes when a link is opened. What am I thinking?

        “I still don’t see where the problem is” LoL

      3. John G. said on September 7, 2018 at 11:31 pm
        Reply

        Again, I still don’t see where the problem is whatever the laughs about my comment. It’s ridiculous to pretend by your side that Google company have done a severe mistake like ‘stripping’ domains parts with no fixing release at all. May you provide some important reasons of evidences to prove that somethings is not working properly now?

      4. Richard Allen said on September 8, 2018 at 11:41 am
        Reply

        Make up your mind! Somehow you don’t see a problem but then you admit to a negative impact.

        “I still don’t see where the problem is”
        “no reason to worry about the negative impact of this measure”

        “so security should be guaranteed” Of course it is!

        “https://www.theverge.com/2014/9/19/6537511/google-ad-network-exposed-millions-of-computers-to-malware”
        “https://thehackernews.com/2014/09/malicious-google-doubleclick.html”
        “https://blog.malwarebytes.com/cybercrime/2017/01/clickjacking-campaign-abuses-google-adsense-avoids-ad-fraud-bots/”
        “https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/malware-uses-google-services-as-command-and-control-servers/”

      5. Robert Ab said on September 7, 2018 at 5:40 pm
        Reply

        @John G.

        Addresses are hidden… for now.

        This Google move seems similar to removal of Flash from internet: in small steps.
        Google has already taken few steps to hide (and maybe to remove) http and www from the address.

      6. John G. said on September 7, 2018 at 11:40 pm
        Reply

        If everything is fully working, there is no reason to worry about the negative impact of this measure. Also Google has the biggest database about malware, phishing and adware sites, so security should be guaranteed. I have tested today all my sites with and without “https://www” or “http://www.” and all worked fine for me. Has anyone found a non working link?

      7. Tom Hawack said on September 7, 2018 at 11:58 pm
        Reply

        John G. if I understand correctly the implications of stripping urls, when the user will search on Google at least he’ll see a clean url with the 512+ characters following his query magically stripped off when those characters correspond to several identifications : Google still receives them but the user doesn’t see them. I perform the same here with a Firefox extension such as ‘NeatURL’ but in this case if I don’t see the fascinating characters it’s because they’ve been stripped by the extension which means that Google won’t get them as well…

        Techies : am I correct?

      8. John G. said on September 8, 2018 at 11:54 am
        Reply

        I click hundred times per day links that I don’t see their full address. It’s quite the same issue imho, so in the practice there shouldn’t be major inconveniences for common users. However, I have started to feel weird because I am unable to see this Google’s advance like a bad issue. @Forro thinks that this choice is a good idea — I don’t see this like a good idea, I only meant that I don’t see where the problem is because everything is still working for me. Anyway, Chrome should add an option to enable showing entire web addresses if requested by the user.

    2. John Fenderson said on September 7, 2018 at 5:01 pm
      Reply

      @Forro

      I could not disagree more.

    3. simple-touriste said on September 18, 2018 at 4:32 pm
      Reply

      It is NOT up to Google to define naming standards on the Web. Google is a service provider and software editor, not a standardisation group!!!

      Also, not part of a name is “trivial”. It’s an absurd notion. An address is an address. A domain name is a domain name. Who is to say that X.domain will be the same site as domain for any domain?

      Also, it’s abomination from a UI POV and security POV:
      – the user is expected to check that he is on the expected domain
      – security instructions for users should be simple

      It looks like Google is trying to make user misunderstand URLs in order to pretend URLs are misunderstood.

  2. Yuliya said on September 7, 2018 at 8:43 am
    Reply

    >Google engineering manager Adrienne Porter Felt
    >People have a really hard time understanding URLs
    Shows you you don’t have to be the sharpest tool in the box to become an “engineering manager”. Whatever this job implies doing – by the looks of it spending the entire day on Twitter.

    1. pHROZEN gHOST said on September 7, 2018 at 3:09 pm
      Reply

      Google has a very serious management issue. They don’t realize that their “engineering manager” does not understand the many URL formats used by the many sites on the Internet.

      This narrow view of reality could have some serious security issues.

      1. Robert Ab said on September 7, 2018 at 5:43 pm
        Reply

        @pHROZEN gHOST

        I agree. Maybe Google should send him to IT course. The structure of internet address is explained there. Maybe he missed this part…

    2. simple-touriste said on September 18, 2018 at 4:39 pm
      Reply

      It’s the liberal thinking in action: we have no problem understanding URL, others have. We have to care for others.

      But “others” are not in the room. Nobody asked others what they think. Nobody has even tried to validate these UI changes with “others”.

  3. Anonymous said on September 7, 2018 at 9:55 am
    Reply

    Google doing something bad with Chrome mean we’re going to have it in Firefox too very soon…

    1. Richard Allen said on September 7, 2018 at 12:50 pm
      Reply

      That’s ridiculous!

      “we’re going to have it in Firefox too very soon…” That implies that you are using FF and if that is what you honestly think then the smart thing to do would be to move on to a different browser. Doing anything less is just making noise. If you don’t like the direction they are going or simply don’t trust them use something else. SMH

      1. Anonymous said on September 7, 2018 at 4:16 pm
        Reply

        @Richard Allen : I’m using Waterfox. It’s important for us to know what we need to remove from Firefox :-)

      2. Richard Allen said on September 7, 2018 at 5:17 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        “I’m using Waterfox.”

        I’m sorry!
        More specifically, I’m sorry for you feeling like you need to use an inferior product! LoL

      3. John Fenderson said on September 7, 2018 at 7:29 pm
        Reply

        @Richard Allen

        If it works better for him, then it’s not an inferior product by definition.

      4. Richard Allen said on September 7, 2018 at 8:03 pm
        Reply

        @John Fenderson

        Riding a mule at the Kentucky Derby doesn’t preclude it from being an inferior choice just because someone wants to ride it! LoL

      5. Tom Hawack said on September 7, 2018 at 8:19 pm
        Reply

        @Richard Allen, what a pertinent comparison, and I do agree.
        I guess the idea is that a choice becomes inferior not by itself but when in inadequacy with an aim.
        That was my word of the hour (I can’t say of the day!).

      6. Richard Allen said on September 7, 2018 at 8:33 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack

        I’m seriously tired of all the anonymous cowards doing their impression of sniveling little trolls. An admitted Waterfox user feels the need to leave sarcastic comments about Firefox in an article about Google Chrome. If that isn’t the definition of a troll what is?

      7. Tom Hawack said on September 7, 2018 at 8:47 pm
        Reply

        @Richard Allen, an admitted Waterfox user who leaves sarcastic comments about Firefox in an article about Google Chrome defines a trolling attitude if the behavior is deliberately willed … or an obsession otherwise, a leitmotiv, something you repeat systematically even in an inappropriate context (mentioning Firefox when the topic concerns G-Chrome). It seems odd on a blog but imagine with friends, family at supper : “- And you, Albert, what’s your view on the economical crisis? – Well, one thing is sure, Firefox ain’t gonna help” : it’d seem more than odd, it’d be weird. If a psy was among the guests he might invite the obsession to a group therapy… for his good :=)

      8. John Fenderson said on September 7, 2018 at 10:45 pm
        Reply

        @Richard Allen

        A terrible analogy. What I’m saying is that using a tool because it’s the best one for your circumstance means that the tool is not, by definition, inferior in that use case. It may be inferior in other use cases, of course.

        What you’re doing here is assuming that Firefox is the best choice for everyone when clearly that isn’t true.

      9. Richard Allen said on September 7, 2018 at 11:16 pm
        Reply

        Did my terrible analogy hurt your feelings? You want a hug? LMAO

      10. Tom Hawack said on September 7, 2018 at 11:26 pm
        Reply

        Let’s all hug each other and say how much we care.
        Reminds me — how would you say that in English? — what some companies would initiate among their staff which was to tell each other all the good we felt, how wonderful that other was etc… That was in the eighties.
        I imagine with a tremendous laugh the same thing re-thought for modern times, where we’d have to say exactly what we feel about our colleagues, frankly. LOL.

      11. Richard Allen said on September 7, 2018 at 11:57 pm
        Reply

        That would be a motivational speech maybe? I don’t know. Back in the day, for about 5 yrs, I was a union ironworker and the best I ever got was “Let’s get to work mother******s!” or if the ‘pusher’ was feeling kindly then we got “Let’s get to work ladies!”. That wouldn’t work now what with all the crocodile tears and safe-spaces. :)

      12. Tom Hawack said on September 8, 2018 at 12:12 am
        Reply

        There’s always been more authenticity in the wild life. Wild and natural. Urban life, values, attitudes is in a way quite artificial.

      13. John Fenderson said on September 10, 2018 at 5:22 pm
        Reply

        @Richard Allen: “Did my terrible analogy hurt your feelings?”

        Not remotely, but your response did make me laugh. Thank you!

      14. Richard Allen said on September 8, 2018 at 11:49 am
        Reply

        I’m not assuming anything Mr. Fenderson.

        I honest to God could care less what browser choice anyone makes. I’ve installed and configured Chrome on many computers and never spent one second trying to talk the owner out of using it. I’ve had it installed on my computers for years even though it’s not my browser of choice. I had it so I can stay familiar with it, to help all the people I know with their questions/issues. The same goes with Waterfox but no one I know wants to use it, I have it installed purely for my own knowledge. And if you or anyone else want to make inaccurate absurd claims then don’t start whining when I share factual observations based on my experience on my hardware.

      15. John Fenderson said on September 10, 2018 at 7:50 pm
        Reply

        @Richard Allen: “I’m not assuming anything Mr. Fenderson”

        But you are. You are assuming the superiority of one browser regardless of the use case. Otherwise you wouldn’t be declaring that a different browser is inferior despite people using it because it’s the best option available for them.

      16. Anonymous said on September 7, 2018 at 8:58 pm
        Reply

        @Richard Allen
        Adding ads, spying and removing useful functionality doesn’t make a product superior.

      17. Richard Allen said on September 7, 2018 at 10:31 pm
        Reply

        Always slower browser startup, always slower page load times, slower graphics rendering and higher memory use doesn’t make a product superior.

      18. Richard Allen said on September 7, 2018 at 11:02 pm
        Reply

        I’ve never seen one ad in 10 years of using Firefox. If you’re seeing ads maybe you should think about visiting those porn sites less often. Maybe run a malware scan.

        Spying? That’s an ignorant claim. The extremely minuscule amount of data I share with Mozilla is by my choice.

        The ONLY functionality I’m missing from before FF v57 is the session manger in TMP and like most adults I’ve learned to cope with what I can’t have at this moment in time. The built-in session manger will work just fine in the meantime.

        “Objective facts don’t disappear just because your subjective feelings wish they would.” Figure that one out.

      19. John Fenderson said on September 10, 2018 at 7:53 pm
        Reply

        @Richard Allen: “Always slower browser startup, always slower page load times, slower graphics rendering and higher memory use doesn’t make a product superior.”

        True, but those things also don’t automatically make a browser inferior (particularly when the differences are slight). Whether or not a given tool is better depends entirely on the use case.

      20. Anonymous said on September 8, 2018 at 12:08 am
        Reply

        @Richard Allen
        Seriously ?
        Really nothing in my comment justified this vomitive agressivity from you. You’re the one who would need to seek help I think.

      21. Anonymous said on September 8, 2018 at 10:37 am
        Reply

        At least there’s some content to answer to between your uninteresting life anecdotes.

        Yes, Firefox contains ads. You’re the one showing your ignorance here. That you personally have them enabled or not was not relevant to what I said, this code shouldn’t even be in.
        https://help.getpocket.com/article/1142-firefox-new-tab-recommendations

        Yes, Firefox spies on you. Safebrowsing, telemetry and studies for example, are on by default, which for most users means not by choice. Although I don’t expect a Google sheep like you to mind.

        Finally I could hardly notice a speed or memory difference, and considering your previous display of ignorance I have serious doubts about your measurement methodology.

      22. Richard Allen said on September 8, 2018 at 5:25 pm
        Reply

        Apparently you’re one of those people confused by the options in the Privacy & Security settings page. You’ll complain about the lack of security & privacy and completely ignore the options easily available in the settings. That sounds very much like “A vortex of stupid and a black-hole of idiocy.”

        Why are Waterfox users so butt hurt they feel the need to troll Firefox articles or more like any article? Hell, I’m still waiting for you to show me a screenshot with Waterfox getting a page load time of 1-2s on Bleacher Report like you claimed. Or was that claim from a different anonymous coward. I suspect the screenshot is never going to happen. Show Me The Money!
        “https://www.ghacks.net/2018/09/04/firefox-62-0-release-information/#comment-4389168”

        It’s not like I have superhuman magical abilities of perception but I can certainly perceive a difference between WF v56 and FF v62. Hell, I’ve been able to tell that there has been an improvement in performance with some of the individual FF version updates since v57 but then you’ll claim that it is nearly impossible to see a difference in performance between a fork of FF v56 and FF v62. That is simply ridiculous. Anyone claiming they can’t see a difference between v56 and v62 is either clueless, lying or in denial. Or… maybe just a troll.

        Apparently the combination of all the performance improvements since v56 is virtually impossible to discern and hardly noticeable:

        New CSS engine and new multi-process architecture in v57
        Faster page load times by changing how Firefox caches and retrieves JavaScript v58
        Improved page render speed with Off-Main-Thread Painting v58
        Faster page load times by loading from the networked cache or the cache on user’s hard drive (Race Cache With Network) v59
        Off-Main-Thread Painting for Mac v59
        Applied Quantum CSS to render browser UI v60
        Quantum CSS improvements which improves page rendering times v61
        Improved page rendering speed with the new retained display list feature v61
        Faster switching between tabs on Windows and Linux v61
        Improved graphics rendering without accelerated hardware using Parallel-Off-Main-Thread Painting v62
        CSS Variable Fonts v62

      23. John Fenderson said on September 10, 2018 at 7:56 pm
        Reply

        @Richard Allen: “Apparently the combination of all the performance improvements since v56 is virtually impossible to discern and hardly noticeable:”

        On my machines, with the sites I browse, this is an accurate statement.

      24. Richard Allen said on September 8, 2018 at 6:44 pm
        Reply

        “Although I don’t expect a Google sheep like you to mind.”
        That is hilarious because your reading comprehension IMHO is seriously suspect. If you scroll down just a little bit you can see where I mention that I’ve uninstalled Google Chrome. Chrome has never been my primary browser but I had it installed for years. I still have Chrome Dev and Vivaldi installed. Does that offend you? :) For over 10 years Firefox or a FF fork has been my primary. I’ve probably forgotten more about Chrome and Firefox than you know. LoL

        “I have serious doubts about your measurement methodology.”
        The dev tools aren’t perfect but I certainly wouldn’t call them flawed. You are always welcome to post screenshots and prove me wrong. Bring it!

      25. Richard Allen said on September 8, 2018 at 11:46 am
        Reply

        “vomitive agressivity” Only a female could put those two words together. Would’ve had more impact without the misspelling but I get your point, hopefully you got mine, and I apologize if I offended your sensibilities. :)

      26. Anonymous said on September 8, 2018 at 7:30 pm
        Reply

        “Apparently you’re one of those people confused by the options in the Privacy & Security settings page. ”

        Not sure if you’re being plain stupid or dishonest in not understanding what I wrote. I obviously know how to disable those, however most of users won’t know about those settings. Calling me an idiot when you’re proven wrong about the presence of ads and spying in the browser won’t change the fact that most of users are exposed to them. Calling them idiots won’t change the facts either.

        “I’m still waiting for you to show me a screenshot with Waterfox getting a page load time of 1-2s on Bleacher Report like you claimed. Or was that claim from a different anonymous coward.”

        Ok I understand your hysteria a little better now, another poster named “Anonymous” angered you and you think I’m him. Well, I’m not. Keep having that Google sheep discussion about boosting speed a little at the cost of privacy and functionality with whoever that was, I’m not really interested.

        “I’ve uninstalled Google Chrome” “I still have Chrome Dev and Vivaldi”

        Whatever, that’s your problem.

  4. Tom Hawack said on September 7, 2018 at 10:50 am
    Reply

    Another reason to avoid Google Chrome, the browser of a company which not only force feeds but chooses as well what to feed.

  5. Weilan said on September 7, 2018 at 11:16 am
    Reply

    The removing of this seems like a stupid decision to me. I don’t really know why would they decide to do it other than enforce more simplicity in the browser UI, but I’d rather prefer it if they leave it available as an option in Settings.

  6. Richard Allen said on September 7, 2018 at 12:52 pm
    Reply

    Google is going too far!

    I don’t want any part of the domain hidden in the address bar and instead of just whining about it I’ve uninstalled Google Chrome. And the new Material Designed ugly as hell UI Layout for the browser’s top chrome was definitely a contributing factor in my decision. I signed into Chrome sync before uninstalling just to make sure they know who is giving them a one finger salute and unlike what I normally do I even submitted feedback. Am I the only one who hates a browser window opening up and requesting feedback when uninstalling a program?

    As soon as the flag quits working I’ll have to decide if I want to uninstall Chrome Dev or keep up with what’s happening in their dystopian society. Damn, I’ll miss using picture-n-picture to watch/listen to vlogs while surfing in FF. ;)

    I’ll start using Vivaldi as my default chromium browser. The latest snapshot is still displaying the full URL and on my hardware performance is every bit as good as Chrome and scrolling feels smoother, memory use is higher but I have plenty. And unlike Chrome and Chrome Dev, extensions are Always working at browser startup in Vivaldi.

    1. Anonymous said on September 7, 2018 at 9:19 pm
      Reply

      Vivaldi is proprietary and based on Google code. Example :

      https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2015/06/google-chrome-listening-in-to-your-room-shows-the-importance-of-privacy-defense-in-depth/

      Is this really your way out of their dystopia ?

      1. Richard Allen said on September 7, 2018 at 10:34 pm
        Reply

        I never said I was in Their dystopia. “keep up with what’s happening in their dystopian society” Try reading sloooower.

    2. notthatanonymous said on September 8, 2018 at 12:07 pm
      Reply

      If you really want to give Google the finger, then change your default search engine to Bing.

      You can still manually type in Google whenever you need to use Google Search (because sometimes Google Search results are superior to Bing).

      I still use Chrome as my backup browser, but I changed the default search in Chrome & Firefox to Bing, because I’m tired of seeing Vox, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, NPR, etc. pop up on the top of every search that’s a news/political topic related search.

      1. Richard Allen said on September 8, 2018 at 6:25 pm
        Reply

        My default search engine is DuckDuckGo and my home page in every browser is set to Startpage. I rarely ever use Google search and its never been my default search engine. I seldom used Chrome to be honest. I use Chrome Dev more often for the picture-n-picture (while surfing in FF) and the occasional flash game since I don’t have flash installed on my system. I’ve always very much disliked the smoothscroll performance in Chrome and Chrome Dev so I can’t spend much time using it to actually surf the web. Sorry Chrome users, it is what it is. ;)

  7. Jeff said on September 7, 2018 at 1:26 pm
    Reply

    C’mon web URLs are not that complex and if you can’t type them, use Google to find a website. No need to dumb down so much that you lose important information. Some day phishers will abuse the hiding functionality to trick you.

    1. pHROZEN gHOST said on September 7, 2018 at 3:12 pm
      Reply

      My thoughts exactly.

  8. Mark Hazard said on September 7, 2018 at 2:09 pm
    Reply

    Another reason not to use Chrome.

  9. pHROZEN gHOST said on September 7, 2018 at 3:21 pm
    Reply

    For now I have disabled the “feature”.

    chrome://flags/#omnibox-ui-hide-steady-state-url-scheme-and-subdomains set to disabled.

    I now have the whole URL … even HTTP(S)://

    Let’s hope that Google regains its senses.

    1. Ross Presser said on September 8, 2018 at 5:41 am
      Reply

      I think you’re wrong. I have used that flag and I do not see http://
      Screenshot of site http://example.com
      https://www.screencast.com/t/zFlBgXrZHOL

      > Let’s hope that Google regains its senses.

      Don’t be ridiculous. Google hasn’t lost its senses; it’s lost its ethics. They will not be content until the browser is a television, with no input from the user except changing the channel.

      1. pHROZEN gHOST said on September 8, 2018 at 2:50 pm
        Reply

        @RP You are right about HTTP. So Google’s “experts” buggered that up too.

        Alas, it’s better than it was as far as I am concerned.

  10. TelV said on September 7, 2018 at 4:21 pm
    Reply

    Well, at least you get to see something! Back in 2011 Google was proposing to dispose of the URL bar altogether: https://www.pcworld.com/article/228396/kill_your_browsers_address_bar_pros_and_cons.html

    1. John Fenderson said on September 7, 2018 at 5:03 pm
      Reply

      I honestly wonder what Google has against people knowing what URL they’re looking at.

      1. pHROZEN gHOST said on September 8, 2018 at 2:52 pm
        Reply

        Best guess is there is something they want to hide.

  11. John Fenderson said on September 7, 2018 at 5:00 pm
    Reply

    I think Google is way, way off base here and engaging in shenanigans that, in the end, aren’t good for anybody. First is the issue that this article brings up — Google is adopting the position that it can “interpret” URLs in order to discern what’s “important” and what’s not. I don’t think Google (or anybody) can do this in a way that doesn’t cause problems.

    “in general I don’t think URLs are working as a good way to convey site identity.”

    Also, URLs are supposed to convey more than just site identity. They also convey which protocol you’re using (there are more options than HTTP and HTTPS), as well as where you are in the site itself.

  12. Greg said on September 7, 2018 at 7:49 pm
    Reply

    URLs are how we get around the internet. Hiding parts of that seems really dumb to me. That some people don’t understand URLs is irrelevant. Plenty of people do and using URLs are vital for setting url parameters in search engines and creating a host of other things that allow one to streamline and make internet use more efficient, not to even touch upon the security implications of hiding URL fields. The specifics of the URL matter a lot.

    Choosing to not display some fields (e.g., like WWW) is just plain a terrible decision. Even hiding HTTP/S is bad because what about data://bla.com vs http://bla.com. This stuff is all important.

    What should be done if Google insists on hiding this stuff is to create a setting that lets users “unhide” the URL hiding. Then those users who understand URLs (URLs are not that hard to understand) can choose to display them.

    1. Tom Hawack said on September 7, 2018 at 10:19 pm
      Reply

      @Greg, I’m not a Chrome user myself but
      pHROZEN gHOST said on September 7, 2018 at 3:21 pm
      mentions that he disabled the “feature” via a Chrome flag…

  13. Greg said on September 7, 2018 at 8:01 pm
    Reply

    Check this out: https://imgur.com/a/4DoZm6r

    At an insecure https site, chrome indicates the insecurity when hiding URL elements. But it does NOT indicate the insecurity (though showing https) when the URL elements are showing.

    Not liking Google’s decision making with regard to this.

    1. John G. said on September 7, 2018 at 11:49 pm
      Reply

      The site you provided is not completely ‘https’ and its insecurity is indicated hiding the padlock symbol.

      1. Ross Presser said on September 8, 2018 at 5:43 am
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        Greg’s point is that the insecure i-in-a-circle icon DISAPPEARS when you click in the omnibox to see the full URL. The icon should stay visible at all times; if they want to warn you about insecurity, why only do it when you’re not in the omnibox?

  14. regex said on September 7, 2018 at 10:41 pm
    Reply

    They probably do this so that they can push AMP pages more to end users. Currently we can easily differentiate AMP pages by its URL.

    Maybe in the long run, they will hide AMP URL and display it as normal URL (amp.example.com will be displayed as example.com).

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 8, 2018 at 7:26 am
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      There was some news recently about Google wanting the Web to use AMP more. I did not read the story and can’t remember the source.

      1. Richard Allen said on September 8, 2018 at 12:11 pm
        Reply

        Maybe this? I’ve seen a few also.
        “https://www.polemicdigital.com/google-amp-go-to-hell/”

    2. John Fenderson said on September 10, 2018 at 7:59 pm
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      @regex

      I hadn’t thought of that — that explanation makes the most sens of all that I have read yet. AMP is a horrible plague on the internet, so it makes sense that Google would have to engage in shenanigans in an attempt to trick people into using AMP pages.

  15. John said on September 7, 2018 at 11:11 pm
    Reply

    On Firefox, there are settings in about:config that one can toggle that ensure full URLs are always listed including the http:// and https://, and that make the entire URL the same shade and color instead of highlighting the main domain. Ideally, it’d do all that by default, but at least the option is there to set it up for the end user.

    Chrome shoves too many bad choices down users’ throats for my choice. It’s sort of an Apple-like “My way or the highway” thing, albeit not to the same degree. They also don’t tell give full registration certificate information very easily on http sites- a problem that extends to even close forks of Chromium like Vivaldi in most cases, because it’s considered non-trivial to maintain that element independently, despite the purpose of Vivaldi supposedly being to give users more options.

    I’m not really against anyone using any browser, and don’t have strong feelings *for* any browser, but I can say I really don’t like what Chrome is doing here. I also think they are getting a little too close to monopoly type power over the Internet. I don’t hate them, I have an Android phone and use Google Maps and select Google services (Not all), but there are issues when a company gets the type of influence Google has over the future direction of computing and the Internet, and then starts pushing in a way that I don’t like. It was the same issue we had with Microsoft and Internet Explorer for a while, where they were the only browser so many people used that they could just change how the web worked with impunity and ignore or overwrite standards.

    Having forks of browsers out there is good, because it’s a safety valve for people if the big boys go off the rails or even just off what anyone personally wants in a browser, *but* that only goes so far, because the Internet itself tends to get reshaped to what the major players are doing, and that limits how different a browser can be and still work with the sites users want to visit on a consistent basis.

  16. Pierre said on September 8, 2018 at 10:55 am
    Reply

    I lokked for a flag to restablish the previous solution but I didn’t find it

    1. Richard Allen said on September 8, 2018 at 12:02 pm
      Reply

      chrome://flags/#omnibox-ui-hide-steady-state-url-scheme-and-subdomains

    2. pHROZEN gHOST said on September 8, 2018 at 2:58 pm
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      @Pierre, see my comment above. But realize that even that flag has an issue with HTTP sites not showing the HTTP.

      The thing is, if Google can screw something of value up, they REALLY screw it up.

      I suspect that Google engineers want to hide something in their own URLs. So they market this as a global solution.

      Question is, what are they trying to hide and at what risk to the global community?

      If Google does not reverse this, I will be dumping Chrome for my own personal safety.

      1. Pierre Chazal said on September 8, 2018 at 3:11 pm
        Reply

        Thks for all of you and I saw the comment above
        It’s better with the flag disabled !!
        Will they keep the flag ?

  17. Richard Allen said on September 8, 2018 at 12:03 pm
    Reply

    Set the flag to Disabled.

  18. pHROZEN gHOST said on September 8, 2018 at 3:06 pm
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    =========================
    = Just so everyone is aware =
    =========================

    Type chrome://flags in the address bar. Search for trivial. That will give you the setting I changed to disabled.

    This is “experimental”. It could be removed at any time by Google. And it appears that Google managed to screw this up somewhat as it does not appear to correct the issue for HTTP:// sites.

  19. Dirgster said on September 8, 2018 at 10:00 pm
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    It is always helpful to see the https:// in front of a URL to let you know that the site you are visiting is secure. This is not the case anymore with the new Chrome browser unless you double-click the URL, which would be another time-wasting step.

    1. John G. said on September 9, 2018 at 1:54 pm
      Reply

      There are symbols close to web address to indicate the security status of the connection.

  20. Bill said on September 9, 2018 at 1:19 am
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    I see this as a move to desensitize you to where you are on the internet. Like the layout of a casino trying to keep you inside for as along a possible and under it’s surveillance. If Google could only keep you in it’s amp cloud to know you better and monetize you to your fullest potential. Setup a system to make you think you are going places but are in fact always in their system. Hiding the URL info might be a stepping stone. Only time will tell.

  21. chesscanoe said on September 9, 2018 at 2:39 pm
    Reply

    Using Chrome 69 the icon and URL are now annoying small in the address bar on my laptop. The Information in a tab remains large as I previously customized that to show my preferred size and font. The address bar still uses my preferred font, however. I did send a feedback to Google on this behavior. Maybe they will fix it in a future update – it seems they do read feedback based on my past experience.

  22. SuperGirl said on September 9, 2018 at 6:22 pm
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    ////People have a really hard time understanding URLs
    I still don’t see where the problem is

    Well, some people are just to dumb for the internet.
    Making things appear simpler by making them more opaque is a disservice to us all.

    ////I click hundred times per day links that I don’t see their full address
    I don’t see where the problem is because everything is still working for me.

    How Can I explain, if Google has the noose around your neck &
    is slowly drawing it tighter your comment is …

    “See, I can still breathe just fine.It works for me!”

    Google like Microsoft is making to many decisions for us….
    or truthfully AGAINST us.

    I feel like a cow in the slaughter pen being fattened up instead of a free range one.
    Why dont You?
    How do you feel about net neutrality?

    1. John G. said on September 9, 2018 at 11:42 pm
      Reply

      Excessive drama is useless. Anyway, if you don’t like Google, just don’t use it: there is plenty of alternative browsers everywhere. People uses Chrome because it works, so easy, doesn’t it? Also, if you think too much about the details of everything, you will enjoy the simplicity of nothing.

      1. John Fenderson said on September 10, 2018 at 8:03 pm
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        @John G: “if you think too much about the details of everything, you will enjoy the simplicity of nothing”

        But the devil lives in those details. Doubly so when talking about an untrustworthy company like Google.

        Ignorance may be bliss, but it’s also a path to long-term suffering.

      2. John G. said on September 12, 2018 at 5:31 am
        Reply

        Everybody ignores something everyday to continue with his happiness. Anyway, Google is providing more benefits to human kind than any other company in modern History. Ignorance is only a bliss when its origin is selfishness and vanity. Suffering is optional.

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/11477104/Is-Google-working-on-a-cure-for-cancer.html

      3. simple-touriste said on September 20, 2018 at 5:06 pm
        Reply

        Google is hiding conservatives sites, climate realists, and tried to help the most corrupt US politician ever get elected.

        Google IS EVIL.

  23. chesscanoe said on September 12, 2018 at 4:17 am
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    I updated Chrome to Version 69.0.3497.92 (Official Build) beta (64-bit) (under Windows 10 latest 1808 update). The address bar shows the Icon and https again. Somebody listens!

    1. chesscanoe said on September 20, 2018 at 10:17 pm
      Reply

      With Chrome x64 beta 70.0.3538.22 if you click 2 times in the address bar (slightly longer than double click), you get the favicon as well as the full URL in the address bar.

  24. Poopooracoocoo said on September 20, 2018 at 3:08 pm
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    “People have a really hard time understanding URLs. They’re hard to read, it’s hard to know which part of them is supposed to be trusted, and in general I don’t think URLs are working as a good way to convey site identity.”

    *ahem*. Google could just work on their users digital literacy. I’ve honestly learnt quite a lot just from the little snippets on Firefox.

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