Do we need // in safe url?

This tweet led to me to ask why we have // in safe url ?

7 Inventors who came to regret their inventions -

  1. Tim Berners Lee - the // “7 Inventors who came to regret their inventions”


It’s a valid question. I assume it’s to not ruffle feathers with the IETF and W3C by deviating from long held standards going back probably to FTP in the early 80s.


Tradition goes a long way. It’s better to be right than correct.


We could get away with just one ‘/’ for correctness, but that might be too difficult for users to handle. Changing from ‘https:’ to ‘safe:’ is enough for people to deal with. The ‘//’ keeps things familiar. IMO.


Is any other protocol going to be used on the safe network?

On clearnet, I’ve encountered http,https and in the past ftp.
But I doubt safe will have an ftp equivalent and it’s already secure.

So if it won’t be used, why not get rid of safe:// entirely?


It’s an accepted standard. Parsers everywhere know that :// has a protocol before it. So when I click a link with exp:// my phone knows expo is linked to exp protocol, smb:// is a network share via the samba protocol. We can visit a site with both http and safe links and each will open with the appropriate app because of the protocol identifier. It’s a compact identifier with quite a bit of information. Maybe not all entirely in the identifier, but linked to it.


I’m gonna make this a seperate post.

I can actually imagine one instance and that is to have protocols support other languages like:


That way you can kill two birds with one stone as such protocols would only accept the characters of that specific language, which eliminates the problem of
“How do I know if this is cyrillic or latin?”

I’m going to turn this into a thread of it’s own, because I really like to know the answer and think it deviates from the original thread question.


I’m not sure about this - Japanese URLs are in romaji not kanji so we don’t see eg https://千葉市.jp, rather it would be I don’t know about other non Roman alphabet languages?

(PS 安全な is literally the adjective “safe” and you would only use the suffix when it is followed by a noun.)

That’s because for a long time kanji was simply not supported.

Of course it is. It’s the same protocol.
It just supports a different language.
My Japanese is limited to recognizing 100 words and characters and I needed some distinction from Chinese. I changed it to 安全性 if this is better, otherwise it’ll be 安全中://,
安全本://, 安全台:// and 安全香://.

its going to be interesting seeing how people on tv / radio are going to handle saying “safe colon forward slash forward slash some_website”. the forward slash part doesnt exactly roll off the tongue but then neither does “double u double double u dot some_website dot com

it think the part that will cause the most confusion is “safe colon”… people will think its something to do with keeping your gut bacteria healthy

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When do you think this will need to be spoken? You don’t need to type it into a SAFE Browser for example. Also you don’t need to say ‘forward slash’, because ‘slash’ will do.


Would be good if the browser assumes safe:// if the address starts without the protocol in front, rather like they do on the current web


Although … if it is assumed, then this may make search requests through the URL bar tricky depending on standardisation of domain naming i.e. with a .tld at the end to distinguish a site from a search term.

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I always thought, and still do, that mixing up and confusing the URL bar and some search function is a very bad idea. We should not let bad practices from the current internet impact the design of the new SAFE one.


Personally I hate that function and attempting to turn it off completely doesn’t typically work. As soon as you use an unusual subdomain it goes to search before trying DNS


If Firefox/ Brave/etc. browser will get extension to support SafeNetwork do you assume, that it will work in separate windown like “private mode” or just another tab ?

Extensions have to be allowed by the user to work in “private mode” … perhaps a plugin doesn’t? I don’t know. So I would assume just another tab.

:slight_smile: Personally I love that function! I was trying to use default firefox recently and it was driving me nutz that it kept taking me to a 404 because I would consistently (but accidentally) search in the address bar and not the search bar! lol.


Firefox allows a search bar right next to the address bar and that is real easy to use


ha! Easy for smart farts like you neo :wink: