And the best brains in the industry have been struggling with this problem for a while, and eventually came up with the solution: highlight the most important part of the URL, hide parts that regular end users typically don't understand - all to help users figure out that all-important "what site is this really?" question.[...]I'm sorry to hear that you don't like the result. Many of us don't exactly love it either. But I do disagree with your insinuation that it is a bug - that wording is, to be frank, a bit of an insult. The new address bar is a feature we've thought long and hard about and spent man hours implementing. Because it's an important safety feature for regular users.
Color coding the parameters could be a nice optional feature to enhance the readability of extremely long query strings. I might use it. It's just like syntax highlighting and immediately recognizable. Just like graying, it should be optional.
Extra padding around elements of the URL is not so good because it looks like spaces, which aren't really there. And if the field is no longer a line of text, that could decrease its rendering speed (however slightly) or cause clipping or overlapping of each padded element if the program is run under a strange UI theme.
If you look at a longer URL it has some useful information, and a lot of gunk, some which is of interest to the site owner and not the user (e.g. which Facebook page that referred to it, or for searches that Opera should get percentages of search income).
I think there is some cleverness unused in this field, but the problem with cleverness is that one day it is going to bite you. One such cleverness would be to take advantage of history, the parts of the URL that change when you go from one page to the next are more likely to be useful than the parts of the URL that don't.
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