An anonymous reader quotes ITWire: Google's move to strip out the www in domains typed into the Address Bar, beginning with version 69 of its Chrome browser, has drawn an enormous amount of criticism from developers who see the move as a bid to cement the company's dominance of the Web. The criticism comes a few days after Chrome's engineering manager Adrienne Porter Felt told the American website Wired that URLs need to be got rid of altogether. The change in Chrome version 69 means that if one types in a domain such as www.itwire.com into the browser search bar, the www portion is stripped out in the address bar when the page is displayed. When asked about this change in a long discussion thread on a mailing list, a Google staffer wrote: "www is now considered a 'trivial' subdomain, and hiding trivial subdomains can be disabled in flags (will also disable hiding the URL scheme)..." A Google staffer attempted to justify the change, writing: "The subdomains reappear when editing the URL so people type the correct one. They disappear in the steady-state display case because this isn't information that most users need to concern themselves with in most cases..." But this drew an angry response from a poster who questioned the statement "this isn't information that most users need to concern themselves with in most cases" and asked: "According to who? This is simply an opinion stated as a fact...." This is not the first time Google has been criticised for its moves to change the fundamental structure of URLs. Its Accelerated Mobile Pages, introduced in October 2015, have been criticised for obscuring the original URL of a page and reducing the chances of a reader going back to the original website. Probably for this reason, Apple last year decided that version 11 of iOS would update its Safari browser so that AMP links would be stripped out of an URL when the story was shared... "This is Google making subdomain usage decisions for other entities outside of Google," said yet another poster. "My domains and how subdomains are assigned and delegated are not Google's business to decide." The controversy moved Slashdot reader Lauren Weinstein to write a new blog post. Its title? "Here's How to Disable Google Chrome's Confusing New URL Hiding Scheme."
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