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[2]: speedy -> http/2
by kwan_e on Fri 7th Sep 2018 13:14 UTC in reply to "RE: speedy -> http/2"
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It should not be referencing information from the previous page (that's what the 'Referer' header and/or cookies are for), It should not be embedding huge amounts of information that are not going to be used by actual users, etc.

It's part cargo-cult programming/designing, and part this:

"Many websites log referrers as part of their attempt to track their users. Most web log analysis software can process this information. Because referrer information can violate privacy, some web browsers allow the user to disable the sending of referrer information.[7] Some proxy and firewall software will also filter out referrer information, to avoid leaking the location of non-public websites. This can, in turn, cause problems: some web servers block parts of their website to web browsers that do not send the right referrer information, in an attempt to prevent deep linking or unauthorised use of images (bandwidth theft). Some proxy software has the ability to give the top-level address of the target website as the referrer, which usually prevents these problems while still not divulging the user's last-visited website.

Many blogs publish referrer information in order to link back to people who are linking to them, and hence broaden the conversation. This has led, in turn, to the rise of referrer spam: the sending of fake referrer information in order to popularize the spammer's website. "

As far as I know, browsers, firewalls and proxies aren't so free to chop off or change bits of a URL they don't like. So if a website really wants to track you, they are forced to do this.

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