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  1. Microsoft hides www and https in Edge Canary address bar, then restores it Google launched a controversial change in Chromium and the company's Chrome Canary web browser recently that hides trivial subdomains such as www and the protocol, e.g. http, in the browser's address bar. Users of the browser may reveal the full address with a double-click, or by right-clicking on the address to check the "always show full URLs" option to restore the display of the full address permanently. Microsoft's new Edge browser is based on Chromium and changes made to Chromium land in the company's browser as well; this has been the case for the stripping of information from the address bar. Microsoft launched the change in Microsoft Edge Canary. The browser hid trivial subdomains and the protocol by default after it was updated to the last version. The company published a post on Reddit in which it asked users of the browser for feedback. Edge Canary users may send feedback to Microsoft straight from the browser. Just select Menu > Help and Feedback > Send Feedback to do so. Microsoft published a new Edge update soon thereafter that restored the classic functionality. Microsoft Edge Canary shows the full URL of a page once again and published the following statement on Reddit: Today's Canary update (which just went live) reverts this behavior and puts it behind a feature flag. You can re-enable the behavior using the flag, Omnibox UI Hide Steady-State URL Subdomains Beyond Registrable Domain This flag will remain disabled by default while we continue to think about the right implementation here, including when to hide URL components, which components to hide by default, settings to control the behavior, etc. We are taking into account the feedback in this thread and the feedback submitted through the Microsoft Edge feedback tool as we think through this. On behalf of the Address Bar team, thank you again for the thoughtful discussion and the feedback! We appreciate it! Jared Microsoft reverted the change and added a new flag to the browser that controls it. Users who prefer the stripped look may enable the flag to restore it. The restored state is not necessarily the final state of the display of URLs in the browser's address bar. Microsoft wants to "think about" the right implementation. It asks for feedback from within Edge to get a better understanding of what users think about it. Closing Words The incident highlights one of the main challenges that developers of Chromium-based browsers face, apart from Google of course. It is quite possible that some of the changes made to Chromium slip by unnoticed, and that the company's will have to invest engineering time to reverse changes that they don't want in their browsers. Lastly, it is necessary to keep track of these changes to make sure that they don't break and are still applied in future updates. Microsoft hides www and https in Edge Canary address bar, then restores it
  2. Chrome 86 hides protocol and www in address bar by default The address bar is an essential part of a web browser; it reveals the URL of the page that is open in the browser, and Internet users have used it since the beginning to determine the legitimacy of a site and the status of the connection. Browser makers like Google decided a long time ago that protocols and trivial subdomains were confusing, and started to run experiments to hide the information. Google wanted to launch the change in Chrome 76 Stable, but decided otherwise. The company integrated flags in the Chrome browser that users could change to restore the classic behavior of displaying the full URL in the browser. Two experiments were launched in June 2020 to find out how users would react to the change; both again with accompanying flags to restore the classic functionality. Chrome 86 Canary changes that. The browser hides the protocol, e.g. HTTPS, by default and it also hides what Google calls trivial subdomains such as www. What this means is that you won't see https://www.ghacks.net/ in the address bar when you open this site in the Chrome browser, but only ghacks.net. The same is true for any page you open, as HTTPS:// and www. is not displayed anymore in that Chrome version. A search for experimental flags to undo the change and display the full URL in the address bar was unfruitful. Google seems to have removed the experimental flags that were available previously. The lock icon reveals to the user if the connection to the site is secure; it does replace the HTTPS:// part of the address. The same cannot be said for the removal of trivial subdomains though. While many sites are accessible via www. and non-www., e.g. by redirecting one to the other, it is not a given that the content of each of the subdomains is identical. Sites can very well offer different content on www. and non-www. subdomains. How do Chrome users known the full URL of the page that is open in the browser? A double-click on the address displays the full URL but that is not very practical. There is still an option available to make Chrome display the full URL permanently, and that is by right-clicking on the address bar and selecting Always show full URLs from the context menu. Chrome 86 hides protocol and www in address bar by default
  3. As part of the Megabar address bar/Quantum bar design update 1, to improve the readability of results that appear in the dropdown of the address bar, Mozilla has removed https:// and WWW. prefixes from URLs in Firefox 75 version which is currently in Nightly. The company believes this as the right step as Chrome also does the same. However, http:// prefix will still be displayed for URLbar results and there is no change in the way Firefox displays a website URL in the address bar. “Other browsers have already taken this step, we should follow suit to enhance readability” the bug report reads. For the unknown, Mozilla has been working on the new address bar design for Firefox for some time and the new design is currently enabled by default in Firefox Nightly. Till now Mozilla hasn’t made the change in the results view so that users can visit an encrypted site without any difficulty, with most of the sites switched to HTTPS Mozilla considers this as safe move. Verdi mentioned that in order to display more meaningful content in the view, we should look into hiding https:// there. Historically we didn’t do that so that the user would know beforehand whether they’ll go to an encrypted site. Now that most sites use https, I think it makes sense to flip that around, i.e. show http:// and other protocols but hide https://. In the input we’ll still show https:// and hide http://. Changing that in the future is an option but will require more invasive changes to URI fixup. While the current awesome bar design with suggestions displayed looks wider, the megabar looks truncated or narrowed. You can see the difference between old and new address bar results with the dropping of WWW. and https:// in the below screenshots. Firefox address bar results without https:// and www Firefox normal address bar results Source
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