Google Wants to Replace URLs

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by AlphaAtlas, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas [H]ard|Gawd Staff Member

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    In an article on Wired, Google engineers claim they want to kill the URL and replace it with something less confusing. The Chrome engineers say they've been thinking about the issue for a long time, and tested out an "origin chip" feature that makes domain names stand out in the URL bar way back in 2014. The Chrome browser certainly has a lot of sway in the world of web standards, as shown by Google's HTTPS push and war on "bad" ads. The engineers say they'll be ready to discuss more specifics in the fall or spring.

    "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."
     
  2. Comixbooks

    Comixbooks Ignore Me

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    So they have total control over everything?
     
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  3. modi123

    modi123 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Ah yes.. let's obfuscate the bare metal information so a brand identity has one more place to shine. Fraudsters definitely won't do that. I mean favicons can't be faked either!
     
  4. pcgeekesq

    pcgeekesq [H]ard|Gawd

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    QFT. No more URLs, people will have to navigate to your site via the applicable Google search result.
    If Google thinks your worthy of having one, of course.
     
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  5. Nobu

    Nobu 2[H]4U

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    Well, you could encode the information in the html, but it's more cumbersome to write if you aren't using an editor and would require more work for search engines to parse. If you change URLs, you might as well change markup languages also. I don't see either happening soon.
     
  6. EODetroit

    EODetroit [H]ard|Gawd

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    Horrible idea. Looking at the URL is how you know a link is safe to click. Obfuscate that and you're bait for every internet scammer on the planet.
     
  7. H2R2P2

    H2R2P2 Limp Gawd

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    Jeez, I wonder why no one can trust the content of a web page... How about enforcing standards and eliminating the ability to do cross site scripting?? Oh! That breaks your ability to monetize your traffic with ads and data mining does it?? Hmmmmm.....

    This reminds me of when a toll bridge was added near my home. People decided to go around the lake rather than pay the toll to go across it. There was a big debate within the local government because they over spent on the project as they were "promised" the toll would generate revenue. They had a hearing with an expert witness (some PHD guy from the Federal Government) and his response that the "problem" is not that the bridge is a toll. The "problem" is that you dont have enough toll roads.

    Only the "smart" people of Google can come up with a solution that will make the problem worse for everyone while at the same time give them even more control. Boy, I am glad they "dont do evil" because I would hate to see what they would come up with if they actually *did* evil.. ;)
     
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  8. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    URLs in general are not the problem

    It's the several page long links that contain tracking and identification information that are the problem.

    Just stop trying to collect data on people and we won't have a problem.
     
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  9. Meeho

    Meeho [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yeah, I mean, site/company name right there at the top in clear text is really confusing.
     
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  10. gunbust3r

    gunbust3r Gawd

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    "The focus right now, they say, is on identifying all the ways people use URLs" Really? FFS, you type it in and get a page. They are not "hard to understand"
     
  11. katanaD

    katanaD [H]ard|Gawd

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    LOL this!!
     
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  12. Madoc

    Madoc Gawd

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    Google wants to replace URLs.

    That's fair: I want to replace Google.
     
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  13. Hallucinator

    Hallucinator Gawd

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    Does this mean goodbye to ftp:// and index of/*****?
     
  14. Retronym

    Retronym Something big is coming.

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    fuck this shit
     
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  15. clockdogg

    clockdogg Gawd

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    Zing!

    Bam!

    Boom!

    At least we can take solace in the Google goal to replace M$ as most despicable tech company. A noble goal to be sure, but there are many other sociopathic tech corps vying for that prestigious dishonor.
     
  16. MV75

    MV75 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Why are we advancing in technology yet the collective IQ seems to be going down? We've had this as a daily use in our lives for the last 20-30 years, there are generations that have known the url since they were born. Why is it suddenly a problem to not just know that you would typically put www. before and .com after a domain name? That being so confusing is as confusing that water is wet.
     
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  17. Nobu

    Nobu 2[H]4U

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    Shit's too easy, people don't exercise their critical thinking skills, and parents don't teach their kids anymore (because their teachers teach something else 90% of the time, and explaining why is too much work).
     
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  18. MV75

    MV75 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yea, being lazy too. :) I do understand that things must move on and get simpler or we'd all still be using crank lever start cars and such, but the level of recklessness that these new progressions are introduced as, and the reasons for is just simply retarded. My examples are the cloud and shit like alexa and echo. Technology that has merits but is utterly foolish in its implementation.
     
  19. Spidey329

    Spidey329 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    My guess they might try to do something where only the domain and TLD exist. If there's a subdomain other than www, it'd be shown. The https:// and trailing URL bits would only become visible on mouseover. So https://hardocp.com would show as hardocp.com .

    That's the only way I can think of them "cleaning up URLs" without fundamentally breaking things. Everything still exists, it's just simplified for the user.
     
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  20. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    Step 1, limit the length of a URL to 100 characters or whatever magic length is determined to be what the average person can quickly scan to see where it is really going to send you. These paragraph URLs full of multiple domains and monkey typing long streams of characters are a large part of the security problem.

    Of course, as someone above already commented, would limit the ability to do the auto instant auction ad delivery setup and visitor data mining.
     
  21. Nobu

    Nobu 2[H]4U

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    They already did all of that in chrome (in the omnibox, anyway...or whatever they call it now), they're talking about going beyond that.
     
  22. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] Admin Staff Member

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    URL's are hard to understand? Wat?
     
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  23. Guarana [BAWLS]

    Guarana [BAWLS] [H]ard|Gawd

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    Have you tried to support users recently? I'd swear I'm speaking japanese when trying to tell them how to type something in the address bar.
     
  24. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] Admin Staff Member

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    In all honesty, no. I stopped working frontline/1st line support in 2002.
     
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  25. clockdogg

    clockdogg Gawd

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    Hold up. The Water is Wet confusion is still flowing down the internet drain.

    Also, to protect everyone's newly discovered delicate URL sensitivities, have wrapped that confusing URL (http://www.debate.org/opinions/is-water-wet) in an <a> tag. Since it's a Google-proven insecure http link, don't click - just take my word for it that 51% of voters state water isn't wet. Only opinions are. ;-)
     
  26. clockdogg

    clockdogg Gawd

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    Yeah...that address bar is a problem in itself. First must be located - most browsers hide it in plain sight at the top of the browser window. Who thinks to look there?

    Then there's the whole 'typing' thing. Typing is often related to productivity - expressing thoughts with words or code or numbers. And worse, spelling counts.

    That's 3 ways that the state of the internet is discouraging users from exercising even an itsy bitsy amount of thinking. Not fair. At least Google is doing something about it with their 'Think Less, Consume More' proposal. :p
     
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  27. dyzophoria

    dyzophoria Gawd

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    I can't remember "when" the URL was a problem to address
     
  28. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    AOL keyword fuck Google.
     
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  29. H2R2P2

    H2R2P2 Limp Gawd

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    If we give Google the benefit of the doubt and assume URL's are indeed confusing... The only confusing part I think the average Joe on the street doesnt get is that domains are meant to be read from right to left rather than left to right. And I wouldnt even call it "confusion" its just plain not knowing.... Criminal entities will register http://www.usbank.com.bad-domain.org and drive traffic to it via a tiny url (or other URL shortener.. Heck Google even has one of these as scum bag ad arbitrage guys use them) which is seeded through a ad campaign funded by stolen credit cards bought from one of the many data breeches we hear about every day. Those ads get to people looking for US Bank and because people see www.usbank.com and dont bother reading the remaining part of the URL they click through and get pwned. Start reading at the TLD (.org in this example) and you will know immediately this has nothing to do with US Bank.

    EDIT: Problem solved Google... and....

    upload_2018-9-7_19-0-25.png
     
  30. ecuador

    ecuador Limp Gawd

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    Wait what? URLs weren't that hard originally, but now on every google search you don't get direct links, but long indecipherable things that go through google!
    Yeah, thanks google, now try to do worse and switch to something proprietary. Also thanks for punishing sites that don't do https when they really don't need it. Oh, yeah, and thanks for AMP too.
    Remember the good ol' days when just Microsoft was "evil"?
     
  31. arentol

    arentol 2[H]4U

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    To be clear to the DRTFA crowd and the CUTFA crowd....

    They are not talking about getting rid of URLs at all. Not even a little bit. All they are suggesting is that, in general, instead of showing you the full URL (which would be unchanged) such as this:

    https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalo...ector Series][Star Wars Episode 4/5/6]#T=S&O={%22iconly%22:0}

    it will just show you something simpler like:

    Bricklink - Secure

    Because it is so short it can show it in larger characters and make it more obvious, as well as other uses, such as fitting it into into a phone browser more easily. The advantage to this might be, for example, that when you go to purchase something and it takes you to another companies site to process the payment it very clearly changes from Bricklink - Secure to something like:

    Paysource - Secure

    The goal being to make it much more clear where you are, rather than relying on the user to look closely at the URL to determine this.
    The full URL will still be used, and it will still be available to you, it just won't do it by default, and won't show it as a long bar at the top of the screen at all times.

    In addition, this information (The sites designated "short name") could potentially be controlled through the use of CA's so sites would have control of this kind of thing.

    There are other potential uses for this as well. For instance, it could also be used to give users more fidelity about pop-up screens (such as if the Paysource situation above was done as a pop-up rather than full page), as those do not have a place for the URL and so you may not realize it is a new site. Currently we can't afford to use the browser to force display of the URL currently as it might block vital information on the pop-up. If you established a system for tying the actual "short-name" of the site to the domain via CA, then you can also force an overlay via the browser that won't block vital information because it is only saying something simple like "Paysource - Secure" or whatever.

    You could also potentially provide color changes or flashing indicators to denote site changes more clearly.

    I am just making this up as I go, but you get the point. I see potential value to this, and I don't see why they shouldn't explore the idea of making the web easier to browse and understand. Maybe it works and has lots of advantages, maybe it doesn't. But it can't hurt to look into it, and, to be clear, the URL Isn't going anywhere with this idea.
     
  32. SecretStash

    SecretStash Limp Gawd

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    "All your websites are belong to us.
    Be assimilated into AMP.
    Resistance is futile."
     
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  33. Nobu

    Nobu 2[H]4U

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    Fwiw, making the title controlled by a cert won't help much. Getting a legitimate certificate is pretty easy, and legitimate certs become invalid often. I'd much prefer if the domain name and security status were displayed and just that, as long as the complete url is available somewhere. Displaying something in place of that (regardless of whether it's "validated" by some third party) just makes phishing easier.
     
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  34. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed [H]ard|Gawd

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    As a business owner that relies on work generated by my website, I get so sick of Google constantly shifting the goal posts and the effects it has on SEO. Get stuffed Google, leave shit the hell alone.
     
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  35. H2R2P2

    H2R2P2 Limp Gawd

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    If your suggestion was truly what they were trying to accomplish, they could easily do this through a browser plug-in or even an option/feature in their browser (Chrome) and wouldnt have to rely on anyone changing anything on their sites, etc..

    I am not against anyone looking at old concepts and seeing if there is a better or more efficient way, but the root of what Google is trying to accomplish is control. They are not doing this because they are the good guy.
     
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  36. Meeho

    Meeho [H]ardness Supreme

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    The URL bar always shows the beginning so we clearly see and know everything we have to know about where we are, plus have the ability to see more details by reading/scrolling further right. You can't fake the url, but you can fake a cert that shows it.
    I don't remember ever having a popup without a URL that wasn't on the same site and I don't see how a URL bar at the top of it would block any information below.

    There's simplifying things and then there is going full retard nanny control with additional avenues for phishing and obfuscation.
     
  37. jedijeb13

    jedijeb13 Limp Gawd

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    If they would stop adding silly icons inside the address bar then maybe we could actually see more of the URL. Used to be the lock icon was in the bar at the bottom of the screen, which everyone has gotten rid of for the sake of more space, yet stuck all that info into the URL space which makes it less usable.


    Exactly!! As they say, making something more idiot proof, just creates bigger idiots :) We have simplified cars to the point you don't have to think much about how to drive, and drivers now think less about driving and have more accidents caused by stupidity. Same goes for browsing the internet, the more it becomes simplified the less people will think about how to prevent being deceived and fall into the most simple traps.
     
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  38. BSmith

    BSmith [H]ard|Gawd

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    The final nail in the coffin towards Google's complete control over what is seen on the Internet and by who.

    If you do not understand why, then consider yourself part of the problem.
     
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