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Author Topic: Google set to steal Opera's thunder yet again, decides to eliminate url bar  (Read 5895 times)

Paul Keith

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Source + Concept Art: http://thenextweb.co...ing-chromes-url-bar/

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There are two big reported possible changes planned to take place. The first and most significant UI change comes in the the removal of URL bar. The second is the ability to use multiple user profiles in parallel.

Sigh... another sad reminder of how Opera does this things first, ignores demand and now Chrome can potentially re-market and re-design the concept.

Btw Opera's design isn't as ambitious but it's certainly more user friendly. You could eliminate the address bar and if I'm not mistaken there was a way to enable that toolbar via hotkey but the more major one was to simply remove the bar and hit F2 to show a pop-up address bar.

zridling

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I saw this, too, and it seems to be fixing something that's not broken. I like looking up and seeing the URL, and while it's there, throw me a couple of buttons on the same bar. All I want is for Google to kill that frickin' download bar!

Paul Keith

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I think they are doing this so that in the near future, they can have an excuse to add clutter to the browser and people will think - that's not clutter, they actually minimized the browser.

Some examples I can think of, Google SideWiki integration, Google Desktop integration, Google Social integration, Google Go integration, Gmail on the sidebar integration.

I feel the suggested interface changes are kind of dumb though. You want no url bar?

Turn it into a super button like the Search Center extension: https://chrome.googl...omnjiknbpejdceedhdmf

More over combine this with Search this Site: https://chrome.googl...jaegiboaoncicpekfbdo

Finally add saved searches.

...or if you're pandering to the casual crowd, take a page from how netbook interfaces look like. Add the address bar to the bookmarks bar and there. All you need to do is hide the bookmarks bar by default (chances are your users already know the hotkey anyway/or add a drop down arrow) and you now have a vertical netbook interface full of buttons.

Why mess with the tabs? You're just killing some of the functionalities of tab extensions that way. Like if you show a search underneath a tab, you can no longer scroll through tabs using the mouse scroll wheel or double click to close tabs like the options provided in Chrome Toolbox

Same thing with panels. It only hurt Opera's image as a simple fast lightweight browser. Instead add a bunch of start bars but for buttons or icons instead of the address bar. There! Instant space for tons more buttons.

Want a mini-download bar? Look at how SingleFile shows the progress meter and combine it with how you show a user added a bookmark in the bookmarks bar by blinking: https://chrome.googl...dhhofbcjdecpffjipkle

ehh...sorry this turned out into a rant instead but basically, yeah I agree with everything you said except for it fixing something that's not broken. Google would just love to add a sidebar to Chrome - it gives them an excuse to hoist an ad like in Evernote does. Same thing with search boxes under tabs. It would make it a lot harder to use alternative search engines if users are trained to think of a search box as a search box rather than a place where they can type in website names. Even advanced users would get lazier the more they use chrome. No one likes to type extra words in tiny boxes.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 11:09:11 PM by Paul Keith »

superboyac

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I saw this, too, and it seems to be fixing something that's not broken. I like looking up and seeing the URL, and while it's there, throw me a couple of buttons on the same bar. All I want is for Google to kill that frickin' download bar!
Seriously.  Who has ever looked at the address bar and thought "man, I wish this were not here."  Whoever it is, it's like .01% of the users.  I think the more appropriate thing to do is remove the rss feed icon in the bar.  Who uses that so much that it needs to be there for EVERY address?

That's how bloat starts.  You start "innovating" that don't address any real need or concern.  Firefox has plenty of issues that can be fixed before they start innovating major features.  I hate how programs have mistakes that remain version after version after version, yet they keep adding features and imrpovements.  The Bat comes to mind.  At least they don't bloat it, but they never actually fix anything.  Then there's Nero, which went from being an amazing, efficient tool, to an enormous blob of bloat now.

app103

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I think the more appropriate thing to do is remove the rss feed icon in the bar.  Who uses that so much that it needs to be there for EVERY address?

I use it often enough that it would bug me if it wasn't there.

I think the most irritating "removal" in Chrome is how if I stop moving my mouse, it hides my cursor. I have not yet figured out how to disable it from doing that.

MilesAhead

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Hmmmmm ain't it weird how stuff cycles around?  I remember when I was a kid many of the older cars on the block had a starter button on the dashboard.

I forget the model but now there's some new expensive ride with this big starter button on the dash like it's some innovation.  Guess if you save your suit coat long enough it will come back in style.

Didn't some version of Netscape come with this real small address bar? I seem to remember having to mess with it to get the input line wider than 2 inches.

« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 01:00:52 AM by MilesAhead »

Paul Keith

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Quote
Seriously.  Who has ever looked at the address bar and thought "man, I wish this were not here."  Whoever it is, it's like .01% of the users.

In fairness though, the same was said for MDI windows before Firefox popularized tabs.

The same was argued for a lite interface for Opera before Chrome happened.

You also have to factor in the number of people who don't know that their browsers can go fullscreen. Back then, if memory serves me right, I'd go full screen in Opera to get a "lite" version of the toolbars.

I also use F2 alot and the only reason few people rarely do that is because they don't use Opera or don't know it exists.

Opera also thought nobody cared for the start bar but when they removed it - massive uproar.

Even today there are still some Opera features that you think nobody (especially casuals) would use but it's only because techies tend to give little respect to GUI interface. Example - YeahWrite was there in all it's glory but it takes how many years before OneNote releases that interface and guess what? Took the end-user community by storm.

I'm not saying Google would be right by just removing the address bar but Google wouldn't be wrong either especially from a usability standpoint. Less bar means more space for buttons/extensions as well as extra line to read text. Equally F2 = less time than dragging a mouse to the address bar. Address bars also don't show a lot of information compared to sidebars and full-on pages. They also contain a lot less visuals for beginning browser users compared to something like search options. Also despite the innovations made to overcome this, casual users may often not get why there's a www. in front of a bar and I've said this before, Chrome does not aim to be a browser first and foremost but a windows to the internet like the original IE.

Quote
I think the most irritating "removal" in Chrome is how if I stop moving my mouse, it hides my cursor. I have not yet figured out how to disable it from doing that.

Man...I never noticed this. Thanks for the mention.

wraith808

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I think the most irritating "removal" in Chrome is how if I stop moving my mouse, it hides my cursor. I have not yet figured out how to disable it from doing that.

It does?  Mine doesn't do that.  The cursor is always there.  The only time it's hard to find is if it's over text, as it changes to a very skinny I-bar.

y0himba

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I just want the extension icons back at the bottom, in the status bar or above it.  I hate the extensions being right next to the URL bar.
My Web Site:  http://www.y0himba.net

wraith808

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I just want the extension icons back at the bottom, in the status bar or above it.  I hate the extensions being right next to the URL bar.

+1.  I understand that it takes away a bit of the screen real estate.  But on my desktop, I don't care.  I do want it to be an option though, b/c it's very convenient on my tablet.

Renegade

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Re: Google set to steal Opera's thunder yet again, decides to eliminate url bar
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2011, 09:59:28 AM »
If they remove the URL/address bar, I'm gone. Period. I use Chrome for quite a bit, but with that? Forget it. Good-bye.
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Renegade

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Re: Google set to steal Opera's thunder yet again, decides to eliminate url bar
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2011, 10:01:17 AM »
OK... I can't keep my mouth shut...

I suspect it's entirely to get people into Google to start. That pisses me off. I like being up front. This isn't it. Screen real estate isn't that poor.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Paul Keith

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Re: Google set to steal Opera's thunder yet again, decides to eliminate url bar
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2011, 10:45:04 AM »
Quote
Screen real estate isn't that poor.

I disagree. Chrome wants to brand themselves as the lightest browser right now because it's their strengths. That's how they got majority of their userbase despite constant early comments about Chrome not being anything special.

Removing the bar would still be suicide if the replacement fails. (as you said, you will leave for example)

But if they succeed - not only will you not leave, you'll complain how every other browser isn't as good as Chrome.

Let us not forget the fact that Chrome forced every major browser to have an overhaul in their interface in the attempt of mimicking Chrome's slightly more screen real estate and you could argue that even back then - screen real estate wasn't that poor either. Still caused Chrome to be a major influencer. (including most techies who hate Chrome but would now use something like Chromium over Firefox)

mouser

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Re: Google set to steal Opera's thunder yet again, decides to eliminate url bar
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2011, 11:22:27 AM »
Seems like a horrible idea to me -- just like this move to get rid of menu bars, etc. all seem like bad ideas to me.  Just give me a standard user interface and stop all this obsession with hiding everything.

Paul Keith

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Re: Google set to steal Opera's thunder yet again, decides to eliminate url bar
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2011, 11:37:45 AM »
Yeah, it is a horrible idea but it is a horrible idea that has allowed Chrome to get all the attention and force Opera to adopt this into a horrible red O icon at the top left or forced Firefox to finally take their memory hogging issues much much more seriously so I don't blame them and in fact applaud them for taking that risk.

After all if everyone were say using Anuran and then PopUp Wisdom arrived, you could easily say the same thing of:

Seems like a horrible idea to me -- just like this move to get rid of AnuVu, etc. all seem like bad ideas to me.  Just give me a standard notepad interface and stop all this obsession with hiding everything in text files.

If Google screws up, good. Sure is a hell of a lot better than Opera screwing their users by not changing things to their user demands until the competition wisens up. Same thing with Netscape. Screwed up? Thank god cause we ended up having Firebird.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Google set to steal Opera's thunder yet again, decides to eliminate url bar
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2011, 11:44:53 AM »
Let us not forget the fact that Chrome forced every major browser to have an overhaul in their interface in the attempt of mimicking Chrome's slightly more screen real estate

Fact? Really? ...So, it didn't have anything to do with the vertical resolution of the suddenly mandatory wide-screen monitors causing the real estate shortage to start with? Which forced everybody individually to dive at the same obvious solution.

Paul Keith

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Re: Google set to steal Opera's thunder yet again, decides to eliminate url bar
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2011, 11:55:12 AM »
That probably has something to do with it (I don't know that part of the news) but I doubt it's the prime factor.

If you just look at the total feature demand that the other major browsers have adopted, it's not just one aspect. It's just the most visual.

Opera for example right now has extensions. Do you really think that's just an element of real estate screen shortage?

It's a whole bunch of features basically all majorly coming post-Chrome and saying it's all the same obvious solution is also a lie.

Opera's "one icon" is much more inferior than Chrome's and from what I've seen of the beta Firefox, it's not like suddenly they are going all about screen estate. (I don't have a wide screen and I didn't realize it was becoming mandatory) It's Prism. It's attempt at making the browser more lightweight. it's extension stores.

There's just too many coincidences to say the interface was just a "fix" when there's other non-relevant things happening all at the same sequence. It's like giving credit to Opera for dropping the adware model for their free desktop browser and not say Firefox's success wasn't the prime factor. I doubt any of the developers would admit to this but really it doesn't take a 24/7 magnifying glass of techie knowledge to see all the evidence littered about.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 12:01:42 PM by Paul Keith »

mahesh2k

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Re: Google set to steal Opera's thunder yet again, decides to eliminate url bar
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2011, 12:48:31 PM »
By removing address bar, how we're going to figure out genuine domains, SSL flashing in favicon place etc ? This type of thinking looks more like from apple fanboys than zen programmers. Sorry, everything that google puts in table isn't good.

MilesAhead

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Re: Google set to steal Opera's thunder yet again, decides to eliminate url bar
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2011, 03:35:14 PM »
Seems like a horrible idea to me -- just like this move to get rid of menu bars, etc. all seem like bad ideas to me.  Just give me a standard user interface and stop all this obsession with hiding everything.

I never met a ribbon I ever liked. I don't see the utility in burying everything in context sub-menus under one button.  That's the worst "feature" of Chrome/Chromium is that wrench thing.  A program you know how to use that becomes unusable after one "improvement" is not improved. To me Windows7 Wordpad is totally useless for that reason. I use another editor for .rtf files.

I remember awhile back some scientist/engineer types were trying to get rid of the steering wheel in automobiles.  After all it works perfectly and is old fashioned.  They substituted a button pad that you worked with one hand.  Most likely all these guys died during testing! :)


superboyac

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Re: Google set to steal Opera's thunder yet again, decides to eliminate url bar
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2011, 07:15:56 PM »
To me Windows7 Wordpad is totally useless for that reason. I use another editor for .rtf files.
hey!  Don't leave me hanging man!  What do you use for an rtf editor?  I have NEVER found a good specific rtf editor.  Please, tell.

Josh

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Re: Google set to steal Opera's thunder yet again, decides to eliminate url bar
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2011, 07:19:34 PM »
RTF is still a file format? Didn't that die with windows 95?

fenixproductions

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Re: Google set to steal Opera's thunder yet again, decides to eliminate url bar
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2011, 07:40:58 PM »
hey!  Don't leave me hanging man!  What do you use for an rtf editor?  I have NEVER found a good specific rtf editor.  Please, tell.
QJot?

Paul Keith

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Re: Google set to steal Opera's thunder yet again, decides to eliminate url bar
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2011, 08:30:45 PM »
Quote
Anyone got any good suggestions re a better word processor?

I'm sure you're aware of Open Office so....

I've being using Jarte (http://www.jarte.com/) a lot lately just because it's minimalist and that appeals to me. It's actually built off of WordPad. It's a weird interface and probably won't appeal to everyone, but for text editing it works fine.

AbiWord (http://www.abisource.com/) is probably the most popular of the "alt.word" programs besides OO.o

Google Docs (http://docs.google.com/?pli=1), ZoHo (http://www.zoho.com/), ThinkFree (http://www.thinkfree.com/), AjaxWrite (http://www.ajaxlaunch.com/ajaxwrite/), gOffice (http://goffice.com/) & BuzzWord (https://buzzword.acrobat.com/) are all online word procs that you can access from anywhere (but can't run offline...well Think Free has an offline version but it costs).

If you really want to go minimalist you can try Dark Room (http://they.misled.us/dark-room) which is text and nothing but text (full screen), there is also JDarkRoom (http://www.codealchemists.com/jdarkroom/) which is similar but java based.

Rough Draft (http://www.salsbury.....com/rd_overview.htm) has features targetted specifically at "writers" (novelists, screenplayers etc).

Another super light option is Atlantis Nova (http://www.download....2079_4-10634944.html) which is a free version of the shareware Atlantis Word Processor (http://www.atlantiswordprocessor.com/en/)

qjot (http://www.xtort.net...xtort-software/qjot/) & UltraPad (http://www.download....2079_4-10741809.html) are beefed up versions of WordPad.

Going the other way IBM Lotus Symphony (http://symphony.lotu...s/symphony/home.jspa) is a full blown suite.

You can download a free version of Star Office 8 (http://googlesystem....adds-staroffice.html) via Google Pack and there are still some downloads of Star Office 5.2 (http://mirror.aarnet...taroffice/5.2/win32/) floating around the net. Star Office is where Open Office got it's code base.

EasyOffice (http://easyoffice-fr...are.en.softonic.com/) got really good reviews from Maximum magazine and has a crap load of additional features.

Edit: It appears that EasyOffice has been replaced by "The ONE suite" and is no longer free.

A Chinese company has an MS Office competitor called Kingsoft Office (http://phanmem.dec.v...ls.aspx?ProductID=23)

Last but not least don't forget Tiny USB Office (http://tiny-usb-office.en.softonic.com/) (there is also a portable version of Open Office).

Source: http://www.circvsmax...owthread.php?t=43727

MilesAhead

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Re: Google set to steal Opera's thunder yet again, decides to eliminate url bar
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2011, 09:10:39 PM »
To me Windows7 Wordpad is totally useless for that reason. I use another editor for .rtf files.
hey!  Don't leave me hanging man!  What do you use for an rtf editor?  I have NEVER found a good specific rtf editor.  Please, tell.

I've only used it on occasion so I don't know how it will bear up under heavy usage.  Atlantis Nova is what it says. It gives this for home page:

http://www.atlantiswordprocessor.com/en/