Sunday, September 07, 2008

Google: STOP the Page Creator to Sites MobileMess

Google has at least 6 different environments for authoring something like a web page [1].

So it's not hard to understand why they want to discontinue one of them ...
About Google Page Creator

... We are no longer accepting new sign-ups for Page Creator because we have shifted our focus to developing Google Sites, which offers many of the capabilities of Page Creator along with new features like site-level navigation, site-level headers, control over who can see and edit your site, and rich embeddings like calendars, videos, and Google docs.

If you are currently a Page Creator user, you can continue to use Page Creator and your pages will automatically be transitioned to Google Sites later this year...
Ok, that's great, but right now Google is doing a "MobileMess". They're replacing one incomplete solution with an even less complete solution.

Sure, Sites can embed gadgets -- but I haven't been able to make good use of their other supposed advantages. In particular the "file management" is not a significant improvement over Page Creator's very feeble solution (if you control your domain you can create a Page Creator/domain solution that works pretty well, but that's another topic).

On the other hand Sites pages look awful in Safari/iPhone. Ok, so they look lousy anywhere -- can't Google hire some graphics designers? Still, they're worse than lousy on the iPhone. On any browser the Sites "footer" dynamically expands (why?!), but on the iPhone this tricks Safari/iPhone into filling most of the half-VGA screen with an ugly, empty, footer.

Yes, you can embed Gadgets into Sites pages, but Google has done a lousy job of organizing the Gadget library. In any case, most of Google products generate Javascript code (see Custom Search Engines) - not Gadgets. Sites disallows Javascript (probably for security and CPU burden reasons). So a lot of the things you can embed in Page Creator pages, or even in Blogger posts, can't be embedded in Sites.

There are other issues with Sites -- though Google is slowly chipping away at some of them. Maybe in a year or two Sites will be an adequate replacement for Page Creator.

It's not ready now.

Learn from Apple's foot-shooting blunders Google. Don't migrate until Sites is ready.

[1] Page Creator, Sites, Blogger, Presentation, Spreadsheet, Docs

See also:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information