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blue sky: user interface

url completion
May 11th
Submitted by Michael Bayne <> to UI.

This one has been bandied about on mozilla-wishlist for quite a while. All versions of Mozilla add a www. and a .com onto a bare word typed into the URL field and tries to resolve it. The Win95 version takes the extra initiative to try to complete the URL from a list of URLs that you've recently entered by hand (although to most Unix weenies, attempting completion without having requested it by pressing tab is extremely non-intuitive and hurts our brain). The problem is that neither of these features quite ends up doing what you want most of the time (which is a noble thing to achieve in the software world).

One thing that has the promise of DWIM is an NcFTP-like user-definable shortcut field for each bookmark. If I go to all the time, I could define "onion" as the shortcut and if I typed "onion" into the URL field, Mozilla would take me to instead of trying to resolve In fact, NcFTP automatically defines these short cuts every time you visit a new site and tells you what it calls them. Perhaps this is overkill for a web browser because one visits a lot more web sites than ftp sites, but some happy medium would probably do the trick.

Another idea that was rattled around was the possibility of being able to define explicitly what extensions were tried for bare words typed into the URL field. A list of exceptions could be specified for things like

Addendum (May 16th):
An astute reader (Derek Ross <>) wrote in to suggest that performing full text searching of the URLs in the browser's history database would do the trick for him. In his perfect world, he would type in a word or words and then press some key to initiate the search (tab perhaps) which would complete the URL in the location field if there was only one match, or pop up a box that listed the matches and allowed easy selection (tab to cycle through the options, enter to select and go to that web page, perhaps).