(In reply to Yves Goergen from comment #6)
- Only try to look up DNS if the entered string looks like a valid URI. Something like "host/path" or even "host/path/file.html" is valid, others like "weather today" not.
It's not so trivial, is a string like seti@home a url? is 123/a a url? what about day/month?
There will always be mistakes, and since the algorithm deciding what to do is only in the source code, users would have a hard time discerning what to expect. Having a common and understandable behavior simplifies both maintenance and users expectations.
We search unless the host is known or you request otherwise, it's simple as that.
- Do the DNS lookup anyway but don't wait for it. Often I don't care as much that my default search engine will learn about the URI I entered.
That's what we do, we search immediately but in the meanwhile we do a dns lookup, if that lookup is succesful we show a "did you mean to go to site?" notification bar. The problem is that this happens only for single words like "somehost" but not for "somehost/somepath". I think it may be worth filing a bug about that specific support, if you care about that (we could transform this bug, but less noise in tickets is always better).
There's some discussion on how to make the algo smarter in Bug 1642623. That bug also shows there's a counter example, some users NEVER want to disclose what they typed to the DNS server.
As I said, this is trivial on paper, a bit more complex when considering millions of users with different needs.