WWW (World Wide Web) or the Web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989. This is an information space (network of online content) of interlinked HTML pages that can be accessed over the internet. Since 1989, the Web has continued to evolve and been a centre of development to the Information Age. It has become the primary tool that billions of people use today to interact.
Google Chrome celebrated its tenth anniversary previously this month & redesigned its browser & gave it a major facelift. However, with the extricate of the latest version of Chrome 69, Google has decided to omit www sub-domain from the URL displaying in the Browser Address Bar(URL Bar). Furthermore, the new Chrome 69 also removed “m.” sub-domain that is used for web pages specifically designed for mobile browsers.
The removal of sub-domains initiated a wave of concern and outrage among the users and security experts. But a Chromium source code developer later stated that Google is considering the sub-domains as “insignificant”. Henceforth, entering “www.google.com” in the address bar will yield to “google.com”.
Although, this does not seem to be a big change and looks quite harmless, but removal of the parts of URL can create confusion among the users. “www.domain.com” and “domain.com” may refer to two different domains or web servers & this may not redirect the users to the intended site.
HOW TO CEASE URL TRUNCATION:
As for now, users can disable the URL truncation feature by changing the flag settings in Chrome 69.
- Visit Chrome Browser and enter“chrome://flags/#omnibox-ui-hide-steady-state-url-scheme-and-subdomains” in the URL bar.
- Chrome opens a page that displays “Omnibox UI Hide Steady-State URL Scheme and Trivial Subdomains” highlighted in yellow color.
- Click on the drop-down given in front of the highlighted section. Select “disable” from the options.
- Soon after selecting “disable”, the browser will display a prompt at the bottom of the page that relaunching the browser is required in order to make the change effective. Click on “RELAUNCH NOW”.
- As the browser will relaunch, you will be able to view the full address of the site that you are visiting in the URL Bar.
While the new change has created confusion among numerous users, on the other hand, netizens count it as a well-planned and calculated move by Google to hide its “amp.” sub domain. Many of the Google websites including El Reg are served through AMP tech. Google’s mobile-friendly AMPs (Accelerated Mobile Pages) are accessed when the users browse sites on their mobiles. Hiding AMP sub domain will not let the user know if he is looking at an AMP or the intended destination, added one techie on Hacker News forum.
Furthermore, such changes lit up the way for the fraudsters and hackers to play around the users with the fake sites, thus increasing threat to Cybersecurity.
Chrome is not the first browser to hide www and m protocols. Apple’s browser Safari has done the same amendments, for both desktop and mobile sites, to which few people have complained.
Earlier this month, Google floated the idea of snipping the URLs and replacing it with something else. However, no specifics were offered. The URL Truncation has raised concern on Google’s intents and ignited fierce reproval from the users.