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Google drops the http:// from Chrome

Some geeks are not happy
Tue Apr 20 2010, 15:02

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google has made a change in the developer version of its browser Chrome, which seems to have ruffled a few feathers, by getting rid of the "http://" from the beginning of web addresses, putting in its place a pretty blue Earth icon.

If you're wondering about whether you'll still see "ftp://" and "https://", not to worry, these will be shown. But quite a few people have protested about this change, one of the arguments being that when people want to copy the text of the URL, they'll want the "http://" to go along with it, so they can embed, tweet it or do something else.

Google has tried to address this so that copying all the text will give the "http://" prefix, but unfortunately there are a few problems with this. One of these is a bug where a partial copy of the URL will mean you will have to reinsert the "http://". There are also other documented issues, such as breaking middle-click paste functionality in Linux.

It's understandable why Google is working on making this change. The "http://" bit of a web address doesn't actually mean very much, with even the father of the world wide web Tim Berners-Lee admitting that the "//" was actually a pointless and unnecessary addition.

And Safari has already done this with its mobile browser, likely for the reason that it saves space. However, judging from the uproar from users, Google hasn't totally thought through what this change might mean for some web users. µ



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