Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 6th Sep 2018 23:34 UTC

"People have a really hard time understanding URLs," says Adrienne Porter Felt, Chrome's engineering manager. "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."

Judging by the reactions across the web to this news, I'm going to have the minority opinion by saying that I'm actually a proponent of looking at what's wrong with the status quo so we can try to improve it. Computing is actually an incredibly conservative industry, and far too often the reaction to "can we do this better?" is "no, because it's always been that way".

That being said, I'm not a fan of such an undertaking in this specific case being done by a for-profit, closed entity such as Google. I know the Chromium project is open source, but it's effectively a Google project and what they decide goes - an important effort such as modernizing the URL scheme should be an industry-wide effort.

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URLs should be human readable
by r_a_trip on Fri 7th Sep 2018 07:22 UTC
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I'm not against changes that make things more clear and easily understandable. Maybe Google will come up with something brilliant. It's just that I'm jaded. Often "improvements" are of the kind that hides the ugliness behind a pretty curtain and the main problem still exists, but now neither average users nor experts have a clear view on what is happening.

The biggest problem with "modern" URLs is the 600+ character garbage after the first slash delimiting the domain. That garbage is machine readable and URLs weren't made for machines. URLs were made for humans. It should be recognisable between every slash.

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