The new Address Bar in IE8 Beta 1 comes to the table with both overhauled features and capabilities, as well as lost functionality. And as the browser is in beta phase, the alterations impacting string search, Inline Autocomplete, click behavior, Multi-Line URLs and Domain Highlighting, still have time to cook properly.
One of the features that users are sure to miss in IE8 is Inline Autocomplete. Users will no longer be able to type the few letters at the beginning of an URL and just hit Enter to automatically be directed to a frequently or previously visited domain. In IE8, a particular address will have to be highlighted either via the keyboard or through the mouse. Microsoft has started virtually burying the feature with previous versions of Internet Explorer, by disabling it in the default configuration. With IE8 Beta 1, the company has simply taken it one step further and cut Inline Autocomplete altogether.
The way IE8 Beta 1's Address Bar responds to typing behavior has also changed when it comes down to strings, and not so much as Christopher Vaughan, IE Program Manager, explained. Essentially, the behavior is exactly the same, but IE8 Beta 1 will no longer "Search" for a particular string. Instead, the browser will now "Go to" a string.
In past versions of IE, the browser "would check to see if it was the name of a top-level Favorite, and if not, pass off the request to Windows File Explorer, then pass off the request to the network (and hopefully to the Internet). If all else failed, you might see a page provided by your auto-search provider (likely but not always the same as your default search provider), Now it’s 'Go to .' The behavior of IE8 itself isn’t different," Vaughan assured.
The interaction with the Address Bar in Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1, in terms of clicks, has also changed. With the beta version, a single-click within a URL will permit the insertion of a caret. Double-clicking will select an entire word, while a triple-click will permit the selection of the entire URL.
"IE8 will automatically strip out excess carriage returns and line feeds within a URL when pasted into the Address Bar. Many web e-mail applications automatically split long lines into multiple lines, which meant you couldn’t easily copy and paste them into the browser. Users can now highlight an entire URL, no matter how many lines it spans, and paste it directly into the Address Bar," Vaughan added.
The most visible change in IE8's Address Bar is the increased visibility of web domains. Domain Highlighting is designed as a security mitigation against spoofing and phishing attacks. Still, you have to take into consideration that Microsoft does not regard it as a security feature. "Internet Explorer 8 will automatically highlight what it considers to be the owning domain of whatever site you’re currently viewing. This helps users identify the real site they’re on when a website attempts to deceive them," Vaughan said.
Internet Explorer 8, IE8, Address Bar, URL Bar, Evolution