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Browsers without address bars?
By Dave Winer on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 8:41 PM.

A picture named webDead.gifIn the last few days an idea has taken hold, at least in public, that the future might be browsers without address bars. #

I have mixed feelings about that. #

When I got my first demo of the web in 1992 or 1993 my first reaction when I saw http://etc in the browser's address bar was "People won't do that." It's one of those times I was glad I was wrong.  #

Just two years later, driving on Highway 101 past the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael, I saw the URL of its website in huge letters on the marquee in front. Totally visible to all the cars going by on the freeway. The idea went from baffling to mainstream in just a couple of years. #

Nowadays I can tell almost anyone to type a URL in the address bar of the browser, and they'll probably have some idea how to do it. They might not know what a browser is. And they might go to Google to search for facebook.com, but they find their way there.  #

A picture named bungalow.jpgAnother story. I was taking a taxi from Montego Bay to Negril in Jamaica in 1988 or so. My driver, a friend of my uncle's named Indian (all Jamaicans have second names like that), pointed out a community with dozens of identical bungalows. He said Cubans built them. They have all the modern conveniences but no one wants to live in them. "They don't have back doors," he said. I didn't get it at first.  #

In a way the address bar is like the back door. It's the way you can be sure you can get somewhere even if all the powers-that-be don't want you to go there. It's just a feeling. I don't want to give it up, for me, or for anyone else. #

I'd like to keep the address bars just as they are.  #

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