Every now and then, browser makers make decisions that seem in diametrical opposition to what user's want or expect from a browser. Granted, these companies have lots of Telemetry data that the public does not have access to, and that data may suggest to them that the change makes sense.
Google started to hide certain elements from the URL in the address bar some time ago. Particularly, Chrome hides https://, http://, and www from the URL by default and Chrome engineers stated that the information was not required by most users. For secure sites, Chrome shows a padlock icon to indicate that the site is secure but that is that.
If you visit Ghacks, you will notice that Chrome omits the "www" part of the address. While it makes no difference here on this site, it is theoretically possible that site content differs when accessing a site using www and without www.
Note: Mozilla plans to remove HTTPS and WWW from Firefox's address bar as well.
A click in the address bar currently displays the full address. While that is better than nothing, it is cumbersome to do so. Google removed a flag in the browser some time ago that allowed users to restore the full address in the browser. Chrome users may install the company's Suspicious Site Reporter extension or a third-party extension that restores the functionality.
Now, it appears that Google is working on another option to restore the functionality. Recent versions of Chromium, the open source core of Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers, sport a new experimental flag to add a context menu option to Chrome. What it does? It gives users the option to display the full address from the right-click context menu.
The problem? It is only active for the currently loaded site and only until a reload. Why would anyone use the context menu to display the full address if a single left-click in the address bar does the same?
The only explanation that I have for that is that the feature is not fully implemented yet. It could be that the option will toggle the functionality permanently or at least for the session once fully implemented. If not, it does not look as if it is a feature that could be of use to anyone using the web browser.
The flag is only active in Chromium currently. While you see it in Chrome Canary currently, enabling it does nothing at the time of writing.
Now You: What is your take on the hiding of information in a browser's address bar? (via Techdows)Advertisement
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.