Unofficially obsessed with Google.


Google Page Creator Is Here!

2/23/2006 03:23:00 AM


Google has just rolled out its Google Page Creator. Unfortunately I encountered an error (called a case of the Google hiccups by the subsequent error message) a few minutes after trying the application. Screenshot above and the current version of the page I'm playing around with: Googlist Makes a Page. I'm still dabbling in this, but here's the scoop so far:

Page Creator lets you create a number of pages (notice how Google stays away from "site" or "web" to make it sound more antigeek) and then publish them to hosting at googlepages.com (hm, interesting). I am betting this static page creation will eventually be integrated with a Blogger reintroduction to let you create entire sites with static and dynamic blog pages. For page editing, you get a WYSIWIG interface to work with as well as an option to edit some of the HTML (selected content sections only, not much CSS). You can choose pre-made looks and layouts (they remind me of the Blogger templates) and then type directly into text boxes in the WYSIWIG editor. Options for adjusting fonts, text formatting, colors, images, links, etc. are all available through buttons on the lefthand sidebar.

Publishing your page is remarkably quick. My changes published instantly as I resolved the URL right after pressing publish. (Not at all like the publishing lag on Blogger.) Right after I published (quite hastily), however, I had a quick freak out--would I be able to make changes just as quickly, or even more importantly, could I delete the page I had just created? Thankfully, yes, Google had provided that. Google Page Creator also smartly autosaves your page as you work (most probably because of the incredible usefulness of this draft saving on Gmail).

Like many Google spies, I made sure to check the HTML source code for my new Google Page. Amongst tiers of CSS files and divs, it looks like the coders left some chatty little reminders to each other in their coding:

"fix ie6 "peekaboo bug" using the "holly hack".
Note, this style only gets applied to ie6"

...

"IE5 mac - overrides the IE/Win hack"

...

"Extra divs hidden by default. The custom CSS can override this though"

...

"Hack to avoid flash of unstyled content in IE"



Googlers are hax0rs and messy coders! But no doubt we'll see those comments shoved aside soon by some nice clean source code. Actually, the real reason I checked the page source was to see if it would be possible to "lift" Google's autogenerated HTML and upload it to your own site (to avoid using the googlepages.com domain). Looks like they've taken a few pains to prevent that.

Googlist's reaction to Page Creator is indifferent at present. It's either an incredibly quick/easy way to add static pages to the web or it's Geocities with a mad injection of Web 2.0 serum. As one Digg user commented on the Page Creator release, "I feel like it's 1997 all over again." Me too, me too.

PS - This confirms the Valleywag rumor that a Google site creator would be released soon. Previously posted in Google Newsbites 2/09/06.

8 Comments:

Blogger Kickboy said...

I think you also have to consider the fact that this is really the first web-based page creation tool that uses correct HTML. As in, it doesn't use messy tables and horribly spaced HTML, instead it uses CSS, DIV's, and a proper XHTML Validation header (although it seems the pages don't actually validate via W3C's validation tool).

Your statement about the code being messy is off. The HTML on the pages is very clean compared to similar tools, and most websites in general. However it does need some more work.
7:26 PM

 
Anonymous Googlist said...

Great comments kickboy! The "messy" coding I was referring to was really the comments that seem completely conversational and a bit too "beta." A final release would have such comments cleaned out so that source-checkers like ourselves wouldn't see these off the record comments.

Astute point about the validity of the HTML, as well. I really, feel, however, that Page Creator needs either integration with Analytics, Blogger, Gmail, etc. or much more flexibility with layouts, etc. before it can be truly useful to a large number of its users.
10:25 PM

 
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