Entering Partial URL’s

I’ve realized that Firefox, my browser of choice, does a Google “I’m feeling lucky” search when I enter a partial URL in the address (location) entry field. Thus, if I enter simply “slaw” I get taken right to you-know-where — because this blog comes up first in a Google search for the term. It took me forever to stop the automatic typing in of “http://,” which is quite unnecessary in all modern browsers, but I seem to have shifted over to the “feeling lucky” approach pretty quickly.

Internet Explorer doesn’t do the same thing, though — at least my Mac version doesn’t. It seems to default to “www.[thewordyouentered].com”. Thus, putting “slaw” into the address bar of IE only brings up the Stuart W. Law Company, an avionics firm in Texas, because their address is www.slaw.com. Still, if you know or guess that your desired destination is a dot com site built around a word, even IE users can save themselve a bit of trouble.


  1. As I am not a regular IE user (and, I confess, the version on my system is 6.0 from 2004), someone may have a fuller comment to add to or correct mine. If one looks at the settings in Tools > Internet Options > Advanced, there is a series of choices regarding searching from the address bar (which uses an MSN search). When I tried using the “Just go to the most likely site” setting, our slaw.ca topped Stuart W. Law. (I don’t know if this is because a cookie somewhere on my system indicates I am in Canada.)

    As well there is an autocomplete URL feature which would draw from the browser’s history files.


  2. while it may be unnecessary, i still include the http as i don’t want to let myself forget that i can still access a whole variety of internet resources beyond what’s available on the web: ftp, gopher, telnet, or a file on a network drive. even tho the web gets 99% of the traffic, i like to think that a few cul-de-sacs remain where strains of earlier technologies can still flourish.

  3. Lord, I remember gopher and telnet. How about veronica and archie?

    If you young kids want to check out the gopher experience, you can do it at http://quux.org:70/. What we did before Google, in a way… and , as senatorhung makes clear, BEFORE THE WEB. You can read about it on Wikipedia, of course

  4. I’ve spent the past 13 years trying to forget the gopher experience. :-) Well, sort of. It did lead to better things, but I still know way more about the univ. of minnesota than I should.

    And as long as we’re going down memory lane… I read Peter Scott’s blog for a year before I clued into the fact that he was the same Peter Scott that invented hytelnet.

    Some of those old technologies I miss – ie. the finger command in Unix. Go to a command prompt, type in finger email@something.com, and get a full (& sometimes quite detailed) profile for that person. Wonderful technology….. And others I hate to this day… notably, the VI editor. (esc esc wq! – yuck!)