The wonderful "I'm feeling lucky" button from Google … (hem)

Fosdem 2006 The sixth Free and Open source Software Developers’ European Meeting (FOSDEM) is a 2 days event, organized by volunteers, to promote the widespread use of Free and Open Source software. It will take place in Bruxelles (Belgium) on the 25th and 26th of February 2006.

On their promotional material page, they give some links to website that already display their banners. One of them refers to a “belgian LaTeX reference site”. Instead of the correct URL, they did a small mistake (at least at this time ; I’ve sent an e-mail for the correction) and they wrote http://http// (don’t use this yet). I didn’t noticed the difference because the wrong URL is “hidden” by the text “LaTeX” (as any other regular link on the internet). Now, click on the wrong link and you’ll be redirected to the Microsoft website if you are using Mozilla Firefox. Why?

In fact, in Firefox as in many other browsers, the URL textbox is also a search textbox. In Firefox, when you enter something that’s not (exactly) an URL or if you enter words in the URL textbox, you are redirected to the Google “I’m feeling lucky” function.

Firefox search textboxes

This type of search does not gives you all the results (like a “normal” search) : it will redirect you directly to the first result. What happened to me was the following: I clicked on the wrong link, Firefox didn’t interpreted it as an URL and used the Google “‘Im feeling lucky” function. With Google, a search on “http” (the first word in the link) gives the Microsoft website as the first result. From Fosdem to Microsoft, this link is a bit surnatural 🙂