Back in February, I wrote about an excellent proposal by Jake for how browsers could display URLs in a safer way. Crucially, this involved highlighting the important part of the URL, but didn’t involve hiding any part. It’s a really elegant solution.

Turns out it was a Trojan horse. Chrome are now running an experiment where they will do the exact opposite: they will hide parts of the URL instead of highlighting the important part.

You can change this behaviour if you’re in the less than 1% of people who ever change default settings in browsers.

I’m really disappointed to see that Jake’s proposal isn’t going to be implemented. It was a much, much better solution.

No doubt I will hear rejoinders that the “solution” that Chrome is experimenting with is pretty similar to what Jake proposed. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jake’s solution empowered users with knowledge without taking anything away. What Chrome will be doing is the opposite of that, infantalising users and making decisions for them “for their own good.”

Seeing a complete URL is going to become a power-user feature, like View Source or user style sheets.

I’m really sad about that because, as Jake’s proposal demonstrates, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Have you published a response to this? :


George Stefanis

Strong feelings are fine. It means you care deeply. But I’m sure so does Jake. The only reason why it’s worth finetuning the communication is so your message can go across more successfully. Anyway. ✌️


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Previously on this day

5 years ago I wrote dConstruct 2015 podcast: Chriss Noessel

So much geekiness in one podcast episode.

6 years ago I wrote Anab Jain at dConstruct

The line-up for this year’s dConstruct just gets better and better.

7 years ago I wrote August in America, day ten

Sierra Vista, Arizona.

10 years ago I wrote Clarification

A spec by any other name would smell as sweet.

13 years ago I wrote Reflection

Balancing my time between activism and just being me makes me a complacent zealot.

17 years ago I wrote Brighton Bloggers

Even though I’m on holiday and I should be spending all my time swimming, sunbathing and eating tacos, I just couldn’t resist doing a bit of design work.