16 votes

Google is messing with the address bar again—new experiment hides URL path

9 comments

  1. [7]
    skybrian
    Link
    The best argument I've heard against this is that screenshots won't include the URL, making support harder. But on mobile devices, much of the URL is truncated anyway due to lack of space, and the...

    The best argument I've heard against this is that screenshots won't include the URL, making support harder.

    But on mobile devices, much of the URL is truncated anyway due to lack of space, and the top of the page disappears entirely when you scroll down.

    This seems like an area where desktop should be different than mobile. With a big screen there is more room. There are similar arguments for scrollbars - I think they shouldn't be hidden on a big screen, but it makes sense on mobile to give as much space as possible to content.

    Perhaps it could change based on window size?

    6 votes
    1. [3]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      The screenshot issue is a good point... but TBH, I'm actually kinda fine with the way google seems to be doing it here, where the truncated URL expands back to full on clicking the address bar,...

      The screenshot issue is a good point... but TBH, I'm actually kinda fine with the way google seems to be doing it here, where the truncated URL expands back to full on clicking the address bar, since the only real time I find myself actually needing the full URL is when I plan on copy/pasting it somewhere else. If it's ever made default, having an opt-out would definitely be a requirement though, IMO.

      p.s. The reason I submitted the ars article is because the original source, androidpolice, had a pretty hyperbolic title.

      5 votes
      1. emmanuelle
        Link Parent
        i like the option where the URL expands back on hover

        where the truncated URL expands back to full on clicking the address bar

        i like the option where the URL expands back on hover

        4 votes
    2. [3]
      Wes
      Link Parent
      I don't know if I actually like this idea, but software could potentially detect the screenshot and display the URL briefly.

      I don't know if I actually like this idea, but software could potentially detect the screenshot and display the URL briefly.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        Iliketoast
        Link Parent
        How would you detect another process grabbing a screenshot? I think you'd need permissions into all process and you don't want that.

        How would you detect another process grabbing a screenshot? I think you'd need permissions into all process and you don't want that.

        1 vote
        1. Wes
          Link Parent
          Yeah, I don't think you could account for all cases. Just keypresses, and maybe the built in system screenshot tools. On mobile I'd guess there's an API for it, or you could read the physical...

          Yeah, I don't think you could account for all cases. Just keypresses, and maybe the built in system screenshot tools. On mobile I'd guess there's an API for it, or you could read the physical button inputs.

          Logically it makes sense, but it all seems a little too platform-specific and hacky to me.

          2 votes
  2. Wes
    Link
    Considering phishing is still the number one attack vector online, I'm okay with this. Non-techies have a hard time picking out the hostname from a complex URL, and this will let them know much...

    Considering phishing is still the number one attack vector online, I'm okay with this. Non-techies have a hard time picking out the hostname from a complex URL, and this will let them know much easier if they're on evil.com or bank.com.

    Google's HTTP203 podcast made a good case for this a few months ago.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-wB1VY3Nrc

    I quite liked their proposal of simply showing both. Hostname first, and the full URL after it. Though due to space concerns this would really only work on desktop.

    Unrelated, but I also love the idea of showing punycode in URLs only when dealing with mixed character sets. Very clever.

    5 votes
  3. triple8
    Link
    I think it's a neat idea to truncate the URL. URLs seem antiquated, in my view. I feel like someday, domain names and URLs are going to disappear, or at least become a more simple, user-friendly...

    I think it's a neat idea to truncate the URL. URLs seem antiquated, in my view. I feel like someday, domain names and URLs are going to disappear, or at least become a more simple, user-friendly form of what they are today. Shorter addresses, with WAY less characters, more plain language words, with no colons, backslashes, and the like. I feel like this is sort of moving in that direction. Not in the backend, but at the very least to the end user...

    1 vote