Mozilla Drops Http Prefix in Firefox

This isn’t exactly earth-shaking news, but it is kind of an interesting trend …

Opera and Google are already doing it, so why should not we. That’s probably the reasoning behind Mozilla’s latest move to optimize the interface of the Firefox web browser. For those who do not know (is there anyone reading my blog that does not?); The http prefix in front of website addresses in the url bar is a visual indicator of the protocol used to access that site. There are other prefixes, like https for secure sites or ftp for ftp servers.

So, the http prefix is gone in the latest Firefox 7 nightly builds. As is the trailing slash at the end of the web address. This is how the Ghacks homepage looks like when opened in the latest Firefox nightly.

firefox url bar

The highlighting of the domain name has been in previous builds before. The only protocol that is currently removed from the display is the http protocol. Other protocols like the previously mentioned https and ftp protocols are still displays in the address bar.

A https website is now displayed in the following way in the address bar. The https part of the url is displayed in light grey now which means it is mostly visualized by the colored certificate verification area in front of the address now.

firefox address bar

This is slightly different from Google’s approach on https websites. Users who open secure sites in Google Chrome see a colored lock and the https procotol in the address bar. Google unlike Firefox and Opera does not change the color of the subdomain (like www.). Only the directories are shown in a light grey color.

google chrome https

The Opera web browser handles it differently as well. The browser hides all protocols by default, but displays them when the user left-clicks on the address bar. Opera users can furthermore right-click on the icon in front of the url to show the full web address all the time.

A secure site in Opera looks like this:

opera secure

Internet Explorer 9 finally uses yet another color and display scheme for web addresses. It is the only browser that displays all protocols all the time. The standard http protocol, the subdomains and the directories are shown in a light grey color to emphasize the domain name.

internet explorer url bar

Four browsers, four different ways to display website addresses. Which is your favorite and why?

© Martin Brinkmann for gHacks Technology News | Latest Tech News, Software And Tutorials, 2011. | Permalink |
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