Chrome team thinks URLs suck. You suck Google, the problem is you...

Google Wants to Kill the URL

“But it’s important we do something, because everyone is unsatisfied by URLs. They kind of suck."

@wakest don’t worry folks! there gonna do *months* of user research. we’re safe

@wakest google wants to kill off URLs? great, another step towards people only using the same five fucking websites. what would you use in place of URLs anyway? what about all the websites that haven't been updated in years? will they just become inaccessible with chrome, or will entering a URL be a "legacy feature"? :c

@wakest @aral

on the contrary Medium is all for URLs now.

Medium is no longer offering new custom domains as a feature. Instead, you can create a publication on Medium that will live on a URL.

Medium is THE classic Example for a Vendor Lock-in! 🤔😡
@wakest @aral

@BranTarik @wakest @aral

Perfect and agreed about that.

And the point about URL I was making is, even Medium is embracing URLs.

URL's are Great and the Bread'n'Butter for so many People out there, literally speaking. 🤓
@wakest @aral

@wakest They're right though. URLs are an implementation detail that shouldn't be necessary to show to a user.

I'm not advocating getting rid of them, but we need a better mechanism to identify web sites to normal people, in particular something that solves the security problems mentioned in that article.

@wakest Shoot the messenger if you want, but do pass the message on.

@mjog I agree there are many issues with the whole system. But there are many specific reasons the system is what it is. I am all for research in this space for sure. I just don’t think it should be undertaken by the dominant browser. I am all for lets say Beaker to implement some radically new mechanisms for identity and getting around but when the dominant player says they want to do it in their flagship and answers questions without thinking through the consciences... well eekk

@wakest Sure, it definitely needs bi-partisan support. But someone needs to be looking into the problem if it's going to be solved, and if Google comes up with a decent solution then that's a good result. If they come up with a shit solution, then that's what needs to be railed against.

@mjog I think we have vastly different visions of how the future is to be build.

@wakest That might be the case: I just hope the future it isn't designed by engineers -- that's how we got into this mess in the first place.

@wakest (Not at least until human factors are taught and treated as fundamental as data structures and algorithms are, anyway.)

very much agree with that, we need everyone to be included in designing the future. True inclusion is such a hard thing to achive. Google is doing many things here (good and bad) but their motives are quite distorted.

@mjog @wakest Ah yes, it should instead be designed by marketing people? You realize "getting rid of urls" to google means "running everything through google search with no alternatives" right?

@keiyakins @wakest My point was that solutions to human-centered problems should be designed by people with human-centered design skills. So no, not by marketing people.

@chucker @wakest Like literally everything about a URL is implementation detail: Syntax, scheme, host name, port, path, query params, fragment. Literally none of that is important to the typical person who just wants to see photos of cats and not lose their life savings/identity/whatever to an attacker.

@chucker @wakest Postal address in particular don't specify the language that postal workers must speak, the means for navigating to the destination, the door they enter through, nor the path to delivery desk once they get there.

More importantly however, postal addresses aren't also used to verify the identity of destination.

@wakest my favourite line is

"[But] frankly, the problem space proved harder than we expected."

Because nothing says hubris like expecting to solve a problem that literally everyone on the internet has been thinking about since the internet was a thing by ignoring everyone else and doing the first thing that comes to mind.

@inmysocks I don’t trust them with a 1000 foot pole in this area after what they have been doing to promote their own urls over literally everyone elses for years. amp anyone?

@wakest All these things are true:

1) URLs were a good thing in the early 1990s when Tim Berners-Lee devised a way of building a globally distributed hypertext network.

2) Hypertext designers who predated TBL already knew that content addressable hypertext (without URLs) was superior as far back as 1970.

3) The WWW in 2018 is still a mess of broken links and disappearing content.

4) Google just can't be trusted to remove the URL without them doing more to take ownership of the web.

@h well put. this the entirety of what this wired article needed to print lol.

@wakest Well, what I just said wouldn't clickbait enough people into reading Wired, and advertisers wouldn't be very happy to give money to Wired if they didn't capture much attention 🙂

Advertising, publishing, and capitalism. I'm pretty sure that less than 1% of all advertising is of public interest.

@wakest sounds like someone at Google wants to exert more control over the internet.

@wakest the business angle on this is quite simple: doing away with URLs means that advertisers will have to go through Google for everything (forget “”, it’s all “google brand” now). Major power play, which needs to be played now while Chrome’s market share peaks.
Also an interesting PR angle: three Google employees spoke with WIRED, so Google PR must have authorized and supported it. But why are all three of them engineers?

@lars I mean they have been trying to do this for years in different ways like making the url bar default to google search. it has taken me years honestly to see how harmful that move really was to the open internet.

@wakest You could take this as another test balloon: see if the time is right to kill the URL for good. It would divide the world neatly into four spaces: for people use Facebook, for stuff use Amazon, for apps use Apple/Google, for everything else use Google.
You should always kill the competition if you can, you just have to be careful of the backfire effect in case you fail.

@wakest any talk of replacing a ubiquitous thing that states only concepts and has no actual plan for what to replace ubiquitous thing with sounds like thinking aloud.

Their arguments don't even make sense. I have never had difficulty knowing who I'm "talking" to. Most urls are perfectly easy to read and understand. It only goes bad when you start dumping arbitrary data into them, or doing other stupid stuff that Google likes to do, most of which revolves around tracking and privacy violation, anyways.

@wakest I'm fairly satisfied with URLs. If there is any issue, it's the fact that they point at a resource's location rather than the resource itself and are therefor fragile and can easily break.

There is room for improvement but I wouldn't trust a corporation - especially one with vested interest - to decide on behalf of all of us.

corporate nonsense 

@wakest They should kill DNS first. Domain names are ridiculously overpriced and expiring domain auctions are nothing but a scam.

@oreolek I am all about ALT DNS's and have been waiting till more people get excited about it. Have you seen

@wakest Wow, that is a bizarre quote. I think a lot of people, myself included, believe URLs to be one of the *best* features of the web! A smart way to organize and namespace content with global access. It's giant corporations such as Google who have messed things up…we should be championing the merits of everyone owning their own domain names and deploying services accordingly!

@wakest without URL I don't even think the #indieweb movement could be possible.. :/

@wakest please shoot me if we go back to AOL keywords...

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