Google launched a controversial change in Chromium and the company's Chrome Canary web browser recently that hides trivial subdomains such as www and the protocol, e.g. http, in the browser's address bar.
Users of the browser may reveal the full address with a double-click, or by right-clicking on the address to check the "always show full URLs" option to restore the display of the full address permanently.
Microsoft's new Edge browser is based on Chromium and changes made to Chromium land in the company's browser as well; this has been the case for the stripping of information from the address bar.
Microsoft launched the change in Microsoft Edge Canary. The browser hid trivial subdomains and the protocol by default after it was updated to the last version.
The company published a post on Reddit in which it asked users of the browser for feedback. Edge Canary users may send feedback to Microsoft straight from the browser. Just select Menu > Help and Feedback > Send Feedback to do so.
Microsoft published a new Edge update soon thereafter that restored the classic functionality. Microsoft Edge Canary shows the full URL of a page once again and published the following statement on Reddit:
Today's Canary update (which just went live) reverts this behavior and puts it behind a feature flag.
You can re-enable the behavior using the flag, Omnibox UI Hide Steady-State URL Subdomains Beyond Registrable Domain
This flag will remain disabled by default while we continue to think about the right implementation here, including when to hide URL components, which components to hide by default, settings to control the behavior, etc.
We are taking into account the feedback in this thread and the feedback submitted through the Microsoft Edge feedback tool as we think through this.
On behalf of the Address Bar team, thank you again for the thoughtful discussion and the feedback! We appreciate it!
Microsoft reverted the change and added a new flag to the browser that controls it. Users who prefer the stripped look may enable the flag to restore it.
The restored state is not necessarily the final state of the display of URLs in the browser's address bar. Microsoft wants to "think about" the right implementation. It asks for feedback from within Edge to get a better understanding of what users think about it.
The incident highlights one of the main challenges that developers of Chromium-based browsers face, apart from Google of course. It is quite possible that some of the changes made to Chromium slip by unnoticed, and that the company's will have to invest engineering time to reverse changes that they don't want in their browsers. Lastly, it is necessary to keep track of these changes to make sure that they don't break and are still applied in future updates.
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