@fribbledom hmm, someone brought this up in my computer networking class and the professor said... it wasn't important??


It is a problem for anyone who cares about DNS and/or security. Maybe your professor doesn't belong to either group :thaenkin:

@fribbledom @ibagail Even regardless of security its just a really fuarking dumb thing to do, AND its been implemented poorly and inconsistently.

If I have layer01.www.www.m.layer02.www.p7.co.nz that will get shortened to layer01.layer02.p7.co.nz

@tA @ibagail @fribbledom Wait, it doesn't just remove leading www subdomains, it removes ones in the middle too? Wow, that's worse than I thought

@tA @fribbledom yeah i read the thread and that shit looks UH OH

@tA @fribbledom
Why does the presence or absence of the www make a difference? Are there websites not on the web?

@DialMforMara @ibagail @tA

The same domain name with and without "www." can technically point to two different internet addresses. It's not often the case, but when it's the case this becomes confusing and potentially misleading from a security perspective.

@fribbledom @ibagail @tA That's as far as I understood before you began explaining. Why is this allowed?

@DialMforMara @fribbledom @ibagail Because google are annoying and large enough that they can do what they like I guess :/

@tA @fribbledom @ibagail ...google isn't in charge of the Internet? I'd've thought it was someone with broader interests like the W3C

@DialMforMara @tA @fribbledom @ibagail google’s decision that https preferred and to flag http as ‘insecure’ on chrome is a big part of why so many sites have switched to https

Like regardless of if you think they were right about that decision or not, the fact is that through chrome and google search google controls traffic to enough of the web that it’s hard to stand up to them. They’ve done it before & they can do it again

@DialMforMara @fribbledom @ibagail @tA Same reason that anke.tumblr.com and mara.tumblr.com are allowed to be different: They have different subdomains. One is 'www', one is '' (empty string)

@Anke @fribbledom @ibagail @tA So the problem is that www does not have the privileged status that everyone thinks it does.

I have a feeling it would be easier to change that fact than to change public awareness. How do we go about it?

@DialMforMara hmm, i never thought about it like that, but I guess you're right- there is a public misconception about the meaning of subdomains!
In Google's opinion, the www. subdomain is "optional" or "implied", which is why this whole thing is happening, apparently.

@ibagail it's the vermiform appendix of the internet

it even looks vermiform: www

@DialMforMara @ibagail @fribbledom

so technically, the www. in front of a website is just a subdomain, like how layer13.p7.co.nz is, and www.website.com and website.com can be two completely different websites, even run by different people in some cases

@tA @ibagail @fribbledom yeah, I got that far on my own, but why is that allowed and/or not prevented?

@DialMforMara @tA @ibagail

Are you talking about the technical possibility to point these to two different addresses, or what the Chrome devs are doing?

@fribbledom @tA @ibagail I want to know why it's possible for those two addresses to point to different places. You'd think there'd be some technical reason why they wouldn't, or that the W3C would attempt to put their foot down

@DialMforMara @fribbledom @ibagail Its no different to how docs.google.com and drive.google.com can be different websites, its just that public perception of what www. means isn't exactly correct, and now google are changing chrome in a way that perpetrates that false perception even more

@DialMforMara @tA @ibagail

Well, as the domain owner / DNS operator you can configure your DNS to respond in anyway you please. "www" is just a subdomain like every other.

The better question is: why did we ever start to prefix websites with a subdomain "www", when the service is already differentiated by the TCP port.

Legacy reasons I guess, the web was always an afterthought (and hence running on a separate server with its own IP) and not the primary goal of the Internet.

@fribbledom @tA @ibagail so were there enumerated alternatives to www that named different domain spaces, or as it anything goes and this one just caught on?

@DialMforMara @fribbledom @ibagail Anything goes. having www. is just a trend from the earlier world wide web, so people have kept it because of the perception that a website needs it

@DialMforMara @tA @ibagail

Anything goes, and with the commercialization of the web it became the de-facto standard.

Something prefixed with a "www." was immediately recognizable as a website address to everyone, and they could get rid of the "ugly" http:// in their ads.

@fribbledom @tA @ibagail speaking of http://, are there other transfer protocols still in use on the internet, and do they ever show up in urls?

@DialMforMara @tA @ibagail

More than you would think. You don't usually see them, since they are mostly implied by the program you use, but here are a few examples:

ftp:// irc:// gopher:// smtp:// imap:// ...

There are literally thousands of established protocols, which are all based on TCP or UDP, but the average user will only ever hear about http and maybe ftp.

@fribbledom @DialMforMara @tA @ibagail And under most systems with app marketplaces now, you've got bespoke app-specific protocols flying around for data transmission, like the Win 10 UWP Twitter app registering twitter:// URLs for opening stuff directly in their app.

@fribbledom @tA @ibagail I've heard of ftp, and xkcd makes gopher jokes occasionally. Can I assume irc:// is what IRC runs on?

@DialMforMara @fribbledom @ibagail Things like that are just shorthand for "Open this URL in whatever app you have listed under 'irc'", rather than a protocol they run off

*sniffle* I understand every word of this toot... TAKE THAT PROFESSOR COMER

@dax @fribbledom @ibagail @DialMforMara Yes, but only ever for my completely legal Linux ISO downloads and nothing else

@tA @dax @fribbledom @ibagail I've been scared of torrenting ever since I applied for a government job in college

@tA @dax @fribbledom @ibagail come to think of it, a lot of my decisions over the last six to eight years have been shaped by forlorn hopes of employability.

I’m gonna dye my hair at some point, but I want to know I won’t need to look “respectable” for an interview

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@ibagail @fribbledom @tA

I wish torrents haven't gotten such a bad rep, they're fantastic for distributing *perfectly legal* content across a wide range of users, and save hella bandwidth for server operators if they don't have to host the content all on their own

that reminds me, the other day my professor said p2p "was used for illegal purposes." WAS??? AKLGHALGH

@DialMforMara are you asking why both versions (with www. and without) are "allowed" to map to different locations? if so, i like barely know this from a class i'm in right now, but basically people came up with all this stuff when the concept of networks, much less the internet, were known only to a few! so they didn't necessarily know that so many domains would use the www. subdomain

@ibagail what other subdomains were there originally supposed to be at the same level as www?

@ibagail and are URLs that don't use www outside the World Wide Web?

@DialMforMara i don't really know about "originally" (or your other question- I'VE BEEN IN NETWORKING CLASS FOR 3 WEEKS SORRY AAA. but my professor casually said he used to own the domain for purdue.edu (my school)- he just had it first! eventually the school people came to his office and negotiated with him


`"subdomain.www.domain.com" displays as "subdomain.domain.com".`



what fuckin tech wizard at goog green-lighted this shitshow

@fribbledom I find this URL display mangling annoying in Safari. Sorry to see it get adopted by Chrome too. 👎🏼

@fribbledom Yeah, that’s a stupid idea. It will confuse many users over something they thought they understand.

@Felthry @fribbledom
Waterfox, Qutebrowser and W3M confirmed not-mangled.

Is Chromium doing this, or does Google add it in with proprietary code?

@Felthry @fribbledom I have a confession to make - I never actually checked W3M. I'm just guessing nobody working on it get high enough to obscure the URL.

@fribbledom "They disappear in the steady-state display case because this isn't information that most users need to concern themselves with in most cases."

Actually, fuck off, suck dick

@fribbledom Why not get rid of the whole address bar in the "steady-state" then, the user isn't really concerned about the URL at that point, right??

@fribbledom Shortsighted is a word. I'd use the word moronic.

Even if implemented as intended, (And it's obviously broken as hell), There isn't a good reason to hide that information. There are minimal characters that this is hiding. Like four. Who doesn't have room for four characters?

I use firefox, which at the moment does not do this. But I imagine that if there isn't any significant pushback on this, someone at Moz will decide that they need to copy what Chrome is doing. Ugh.

@fribbledom WOW that is a terrible change.

I'd expect that from Win95 IE maybe, not when we have a strong understanding of the difference between www.domain.com and domain.com :swearing:

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