Google wants to kill the URL!

Google wants to kill the URL!

“I don’t know what this will look like, because it’s an active discussion in the team right now,” says Parisa Tabriz, director of engineering at Chrome. “But I do know that whatever we propose is going to be controversial. That’s one of the challenges with a really old and open and sprawling platform. Change will be controversial whatever form it takes. But it’s important we do something, because everyone is unsatisfied by URLs. They kind of suck.”

Considering all the tracking crap that is attached to URLs, I tend to support the idea, although it is hard to envision how this will be done.

#google #url #chrome #browser

19 thoughts on “Google wants to kill the URL!

  1. Screw that noise. Eliminating the URL isn’t going to solve your tracking problem. And Google sure as hell isn’t going to produce a replacement that does that either. The URL is transparent (if sometimes cryptic and obfuscated). Whatever comes next will not be.


  2. Philip Rowney – My point is – these URLs are encumbered with a crapload of tracking info – so they are no longer human readable.

    We won’t get away from tracking – that is as it is, but the company could internally use URL shorteners that kept URLs mostly human readable.

    Anyways – we don’t know what Google will come up with.


  3. Paul Hosking beat me to it. Google will make it impossible to know what you’re clicking on.

    If you don’t want all that information cluttering up the URL then there’s already multiple solutions, encrypt it and store it in a cookie. Better yet, just use a session id and store all the data server-side.

    There’s no good reason to hide the URL from the user, URL shorteners included.


  4. Being able to vet links is important to many people. Perhaps I’m judging too quickly but I suspect that attempts to humanize obscucate URL’s will quickly be used for malicious purposes. Time will tell.


  5. Lars Fosdal I can look at that URL, verify what it’s for (more or less), and even prune some of the elements if I’m really keen to (which I will do on occasion). If the URL is suspicious then I can start digging in to it more. So yes. It is useful.

    Granted – there are a LOT of people who look at is as a magic black box. But that doesn’t negate its strengths.


  6. Edited to remove irrelevant knee-jerk reaction.

    It would seem that Google’s ad tracking platform stands to benefit from this new concept. And with certainty, this “feature” would be exploited by others for malicious aims. Again, perhaps I’m too quick to judge but I’m not impressed with the idea so far.


  7. Basically enforcing https wasn’t such a great idea really (even if the article says so). It made caching proxies obsolete and created a lot of unnecessary traffic by doing so. If you have a slow internet connection or the traffic allowance is small, you’ll run into trouble quickly. Don’t think first world fiber or 4G mobile but public internet access in a third world library in a small village with limited connectivity. A cache for e.g. Wikipedia would help a lot, if it wasn’t for https.


  8. Paul Hosking Without having actually tried, I would expect that changing or removing elements in that URL would render it non-functioning, perhaps with the exception of the last element.


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