Omni(box)shambles? Google takes aim at worldwide web yet again

www and https are & # 39; irrelevant information & # 39 ;, insists on the advertising giant

  Doctor Evil

Of course, you don't need to see that silly subdomain

Google is trying to eliminate the display from https and www in the URL bar of the next versions of Chrome, despite user protests.

The company had a crack in the exclusion of the scheme and subdomain last year, but withdrew the change after users expressed alarm.

Back then the plan was to lose the "m". subdomain, as well as "www". All in the name of usability. While the Chocolate Factory is still interested in eliminating "m". At some point, it is "www." That's for the cut now.

Emily Schechter, manager of security products at Chrome, explained yesterday that since the technology had been on the prowl on the Canary, Dev and Beta channels for a few months, the gang considered it was time to extend the network through the Stable channel

While Google believes that the movement "will make URLs easier to read and understand" and "eliminate distractions," others have protested because "www." It is "valuable and often critical information." Google states that (along with "https") it is "irrelevant for most Chrome users."

To calm the anguish, the old and friendly Google will allow advanced users to plug in an extension to deactivate the scheme and hidden pranks of the Omnibox subdomain, the Jack-of-all-trades-master-of text box -none in which users enter URL or search terms. In a usability master hit, a double click will also display the full URL.

Google, which still has the phrase "don't be evil" at the end of its code of conduct, is of course thinking only of poor and easily confused users instead of a continuation of a war in the URL. Darkening the URL, a cynical might suggest, would be useful to hide when, for example, an advertising giant is launching accelerated mobile page (AMP) versions of websites to users.

Tarquin Wilton-Jones of Vivaldi, a Chromium-based team Already suspected of Google's extension pranks, told The Register that the move was unlikely to affect security, since " the base domain of the website ( is what has all the security linked. "

However, "this logic could confuse users. It will be almost impossible for users to recognize the difference between and, if they serve different content."

The developer added: "Do not make it clear to users how to get from one to another if necessary."

He continued by pointing out that it remained to be seen how many sites actually yield different content in the domain and subdomain: "Presumably Google has some knowledge there."

On the other hand, Wilton-Jones prai The decision was made to remove https, explaining that an https website could still fail security checks. He told us: "A long time ago, we chose to hide & # 39; https: // & # 39; for this reason, and simply show a security indicator (safe or not)"

. He added: "It's good to see that Chrome has now recognized the benefit of this approach."

Vivaldi, of course, does not use Google’s Omnibox code, preferring his own take on an address field.

We asked Google in which version of Chrome users they could expect to receive their generosity and if there could be an easily accessible switch for it (default on Off), but they have not yet received a response.

Thanks to the reader Reg "blank" (yes, that's his handle) for the tip. ®

Balancing consumerization and corporate control

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