Skip to main content

Songs on the Security of Networks
a blog by Michał "rysiek" Woźniak

Mozilla, Google and the Location Bar

This is an ancient post, published more than 4 years ago.
As such, it might not anymore reflect the views of the author or the state of the world. It is provided as historical record.

Lately much discussion was caused by Google’s decision to hide the Location Bar in the next Chrome/Chromium version. Seems like Mozilla wants to follow suit. I believe Location Bar still has its important place in a browser, and would like to offer a better solution for Mozilla.

The Problem

Reasons for Location Bar hiding/removal are those:

  • users do not know how to use it;
  • it takes up valuable vertical space;
  • Google (or any other) search works almost just as well, and users use that instead anyway.

Additional reasons for Google are obvious: more search data – instead of going directly to a website, users will have to actually use Google Search.

The Solution

…is simple. Make a huge and visible, window-centered Location Bar (that can work as a searchbar too) the default homepage in Firefox. This has many benefits:

  • new users will get a nice, visible UI as soon as the browser starts, without loading any page (and exposing any data to Google);
  • power users will get the Location Bar at their fingertips, and won’t lose an important, valued tool.

Moreover, Mozilla will be leading the charge instead of following in Google’s footsteps.