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Google kills off http

2010-04-23 09:10 BJT

BEIJING, April 22 (Xinhuanet) -- Google's latest version of its Chrome browser no longer shows http:// in the address bar, something that has brought a mixed reception.

The http tag, which stands for hypertext transfer protocol, is an important part of an Internet address, however most browsers do not need this element entered for a link to work. But some users have been concerned that an attempt to copy and paste the address from the Chromium address bar may not work given it does not show the http prefix. However Google claims this is not an issue and that the prefix will be copied.

The reason behind this change is that the URL [Uniform Resource Locator] scheme bears little meaning to most people using a browser. It was only a matter of time before browser makers started removing this piece of web history. Ever since its invention the Internet has been a compiling of add-on which have added, some would argue, unnecessary complexity. Recently Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, confessed that the // in a web address were actually "unnecessary."

He told the Times newspaper that he could easily have designed URLs not to have the forward slashes, but that "it seemed like a good idea at the time." He admitted that when he devised the web, almost 20 years ago, he had no idea that the forward slashes in every web address would cause "so much hassle".

While Google's move is only concerned with display of a web address, there are some that feel the Internet is due for a rethink. With the evolution of Web 3.0, the double forward-slash may disappear. But there needs to be common agreement. When the net came into being there was just http. Now there is ftp [file transfer protocol], https [hypertext transfer protocol secure] and others associated with VoIP [voice over Internet protocol] and message platforms. Sir Tim and the World Wide Web Consortium, of which he is currently director, have their work cut out.

Editor: Zheng Limin | Source: Xinhua