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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RE[3]: speedy -> http/2
by ahferroin7 on Fri 7th Sep 2018 17:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: speedy -> http/2"
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Even with giving human information, it doesn't need to be that long in the first example. As I said, all the stuff in the query string, as well as the 'ref=' part right before it, is unnecessary to just display the product page.

The really ridiculous thing though is that what's in the URL for the product name is shortened. The full product name on Amazon is 'Rosewill 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit PCI Express, PCIE Network Adapter/Network Card/Ethernet Card, Win10 supported (RC-411v3)'. And that's a result of a completely separate issue with how Amazon's search functionality works, namely that matches in the product name get prioritized over matches in the description, so pumping your product name for the listing full of keywords makes it more likely you'll get a top spot in the search results (and it worked in this case, the exact search query was 'pci express network card').

The irony of all this is that the auto-conversion of URL's to links done by OSNews made it much harder to clearly see what I'm talking about here, since it cuts off both URL's before the point where they differ.

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