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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Complexity grows....
by HereIsAThought on Fri 7th Sep 2018 11:18 UTC
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Technologies seem to have a path from created to replace something that's too complex, become slowly more complex over time, to finally being replaced by something simpler. Rinse and repeat.

HTTP/2 with encryption, binary etc all makes sense in terms of better performance and security - yet - yet - try just writing a simple page with a text editor and hit reload on the browser reading from the file system - you can't - something precious has also been lost.

Same goes for URL's - just yesterday I told somebody - hey you can just add #t=1m30s to the youtube URL to get it to start at a specific point. Without URL's the 'hackability' of the web goes significantly down.

Low barriers to entry for engaging with a technology is key to long term tech viability.

What current guru's forget is that while it's just a another small step for them, they are gradually pulling up the ladder for new developers which are the future.

These new developers then decide to reinvent instead of struggle to get on the first run and the whole process repeats.

Hackability - low barrier to entry - is a key feature that Google seems to be forgetting - too many gurus perhaps.

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