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Google Introduces Page Creator 307

Posted by Zonk
from the net-just-got-a-lot-more-crowded dept.
Seoulstriker writes "Google has introduced an AJAX web-publishing application called Google Page Creator. The app is great for getting whatever photos, information, files you want published, and it doesn't have to be in the typical blog format. The published site is hosted at the gmail user page. There are several templates and page formats to work from, and as far as I can tell, everything is WYSIWYG. The published HTML is very clean, but it does have some leftover fragments from editing pages repeatedly. If you want to be precise, you can manually edit the HTML. There is a Google Groups page available for the service. It took about 30 seconds to get a rudimentary page online." PC World has a quick rundown on the service at their site.
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Google Introduces Page Creator

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  • file hosting limit (Score:4, Informative)

    by Seoulstriker (748895) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @09:47AM (#14783922)
    Apparently the file storage limit is 100mb. Not sure if there's a limit to the data transferred.
    • by garcia (6573) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @10:09AM (#14784077) Homepage
      Not sure if there's a limit to the data transferred.

      Well, it sure does look that way ;-)

      Google Page Creator is having a little trouble right now. This is not because of anything you did; it's just a little hiccup in our system that will hopefully go away soon. We apologize for the inconvenience, and recommend you try reloading this page.

      Either that or the Slashdot Effect has been renamed The Hiccups.
    • Google needs to enable users to have wiki like functionality, and an easy way to keep parts of the wiki private (makes for the ultimate PIM.. with full revision history). They also need to get the IM support they have within GMail into the personalized webpage. If they can do these things, they will finally bring what most hackers have had on their personal servers for the last 5 years to the masses (you do run a Jabber server and at least one client with a web front-end, don't you?).
    • by Ossifer (703813)
      Apparently the file storage limit is 100mb. Not sure if there's a limit to the data transferred.

      In the 30 seconds I used it, it:

      • told me another user had locked me out
      • told me image resizing was unavailable, try again in 30 seconds
      • crashed my firefox

      I call that a usage limitation...
  • How good is it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by HBergeron (71031) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @09:47AM (#14783923)
    Does this replace the soon to be discontinued Frontpage for the unsophisticated user? Is MS retreating from the field just as Google takes it?
    • Does this replace the soon to be discontinued Frontpage for the unsophisticated user?

      I'd say this is more of an upgrade for myspace, geocities, and tridpod. Frontpage may be ugly, but it is more than just a wysiwyg editor.
      • Frontpage may be ugly, but it is more than just a wysiwyg editor---that's an understatement for the ages.

        Frontpage is not only NOT wysiwyg, it's hilariously non-wysiwyg. Anyone remember bulleted lists that showed

        in the "code" view, but were actually tables containing images for bullets? Or ever run the Dreamweaver "Clean up Word HTML" tool on a fairly simple page and have it clear over 600 empty tags and clean up 300 improperly nested tags.

        One of my first jobs as a writer involved editing technical info p

    • Re:How good is it (Score:5, Informative)

      by NickFitz (5849) <slashdot@nick f i t z . c o.uk> on Thursday February 23, 2006 @09:55AM (#14783979) Homepage

      The markup seems to be striving to be as bad as Front Page. Somebody should tell them that <font> elements are very GeoCities 1997, that <p> elements can't be nested, and that creating a bunch of <div class="foo"> elements isn't that much better than nested tables. I thought Google could afford to hire competent people?

      Drew McLellan [allinthehead.com] has knocked together a page in which all of the above flaws can be seen. [googlepages.com]

      • lol, try to validate the page ;-)

        http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fdre w.mclellan.googlepages.com%2Fhome [w3.org]

        Failed validation, 16 errors. And these are serious errors that can tell you sth about googlepages engine.

        michal
      • Oh well, Google has managed to write a somewhat-crappy frontpage equivalent with undo/redo functionality, autosave...if someone had told me that he was trying to do such thing using javashit and making it work even with IE 5.5 i'd have told him he was crazy. Standards can come later (BTW, it's in beta stage), the difficult part is there.
        • I've done WYSIWYG Content Management Systems for several clients using just JavaScript, DOM manipulation and XMLHttpRequest, with your choice of server-side stuff (ASP, PHP, JSP... whatever). Worked in IE5.5 and 6, Firefox and more recent versions of Opera; produced W3C standards-compliant code; even cleaned up the garbage that results if people paste in Word docs. It's really not that difficult, which is why I think it's pretty laughable that this is the best Google have managed.

        • Actually, to do it properly, they'd probably have to design it properly. Taking code that generates non-standard 1997 html and changing it to create modern, fully standards-compliant, accessible markup is a tall order.
      • Re:How good is it (Score:5, Insightful)

        by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @12:41PM (#14785527)
        You know, I don't think the intented users of Google Page Creator are going to give an ass's ass whether the code it generates is compliant with the W3C HTML 4.01 Strict specification. They just want access to basic hosting and formatting.

        Take the Drew McLellan page you linked to as an example. The HTML may be atrocious, but I haven't looked at the source code, so I wouldn't know. All I see is a sparse, but not entirely inelegant, basic web page. What's so bad about that?
  • Oops! (Score:3, Informative)

    by trentblase (717954) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @09:47AM (#14783925)
    Google Page Creator is having a little trouble right now. This is not because of anything you did; it's just a little hiccup in our system that will hopefully go away soon. We apologize for the inconvenience, and recommend you try reloading this page.
    • by buro9 (633210) <david@buFREEBSDro9.com minus bsd> on Thursday February 23, 2006 @10:02AM (#14784031) Homepage

      Had a play earlier as I was worried you might be susceptible to a similar thing as the MySpace "Samy is my hero" style XSS attack.

      The following was witnessed:

      • Inserting script tags = tags removed before publishing.
      • Inserting style tags = tags removed before publishing.
      • Inserting element on events (onclick, onblur, etc) = attributes stripped before publishing.
      • Inserting basic element style attributes = tags left in, style applied.
      • Inserting advanced element style attributes (stuff that can rewrite DOM) = just those attributes stripped, formatting attributes left intact.

      So for all of the basics, the Google Page thingy passes all basic tests on XSS attacks.

      Well done :)

      I'm even recommended it on my forum [bowlie.com] already because the security gives me enough peace of mind to not regret doing so.

    • This is not because of anything you did...

      Those googlish infidels better start to acknowledge the power of slashdot *grin*
    • Re:Oops! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by psycln (937854)

      Google Page Creator is having a little trouble right now. This is not because of anything you did; it's just a little hiccup in our system that will hopefully go away soon. We apologize for the inconvenience, and recommend you try reloading this page.

      That, i believe, is what people refer to as the digg effect [digg.com]

      • Re:Oops! (Score:3, Informative)

        by Daytona955i (448665)
        That, i believe, is what people refer to as the digg effect

        You must be new here. Slashdot has been slashdotting sites long before these annoying digg users ever came around.
  • Woohoo. Lets see if google can pull this off better then freewebs. I hope google is prepared to deal with millions of 12 year olds creating seizure pages =D.
  • by majortom1981 (949402) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @09:48AM (#14783933)
    for a free service that gives you 100mb of storage its not bad. I signed up and tested it. Your pages do not have any adds and you get 100mb for free. Even if you do not want to create a website its not bad for hosting picture files and other things.
  • Browser Support (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nikoth (934013) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @09:49AM (#14783936)
    Shame that it can't be used in Opera. I'll be loading up Firefox now to have a go of it though.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Doesn't this violate US Patent number 7,000,180?
  • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Thursday February 23, 2006 @09:50AM (#14783950) Homepage
    This might be a valuable invention for very non-technical users, but there are already plenty of solutions out there for creating web content easily. Most weblogging systems already allow the user to create permanent pages outside of a weblogging structure, see Douglass, Little, & Smith's Building Online Communities With Drupal, phpBB, and WordPress [amazon.com] . If you can use Wordpress [wordpress.org] to make a huge e-commerce site, Grandma can certainly use it to put up a static but re-editable set of photos (once grandson has installed the backend). Google is definitely repeating past accomplishments here.
  • The Shotgun Effect (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <.moc.liamg. .ta. .nhojovadle.> on Thursday February 23, 2006 @09:52AM (#14783966) Journal
    From the article on PC World:
    Anyone remember when Google did a very few things, like the search engine itself and Gmail, but did them spectacularly well? It's now doing many, many things with erratic results. Let's hope that its next step isn't to do an infinite number of things badly--a road that any number of growing technology companies have taken, sadly.
    I believe what we are witnessing here is something of a bit of a "shotgun effect" where a company tries to offer many different things and invariably along the way gets something right.

    Microsoft and Google have this in common. They both did one or two things extremely well which resulted in insane success. Soon after this, they both started producing products in all conceivable fields.

    Now, I agree with the author in the case of Microsoft as they started making products that anyone would buy just because the name "Microsoft" was on them (Visual J++ [wikipedia.org] anyone?). I just created my homepage [googlepages.com] and was frustrated with how little I could do. Oh well, what did I spend on this? Nothing, a few seconds of my time, that's all.

    I'm completely happy with Google trying to re-invent everything because when they do, it's more or less free for me. There's no harm because I didn't pay a ton of money for the product like I would have in Microsoft's case.
    • I believe what we are witnessing here is something of a bit of a "shotgun effect" where a company tries to offer many different things and invariably along the way gets something right.

      I prefer the analogy of: "Throw stuff up and see what sticks."

      Mostly because a lot of tech companies offer products that are really regurgitated slop.
    • Microsoft and Google have this in common. They both did one or two things extremely well which resulted in insane success.

      What did Microsoft do extremely well?

      (I guess you could say "ruthlessly crush the competition" - but I'm presuming you mean something in the field of I.T.)
    • by resprung (410576)
      There is no master plan.

      Google is just a millionaire on a spree.

      A bunch of their offerings are currently so trashy you wonder why they've put the embarrassments online:
      - Google Video, the ugliest storefront on the web
      - Google Pack
      - Google Talk

      • by log0n (18224)
        Google Talk rocks. Completely. I imagine that if you think it's an embarassment it's because you just don't have anyone to contact through it so you don't really use it. Not intended as a putdown, but being able to message coworkers, friends/family from the say window that I keep my email in (it's never closed) is just great.

        To me (and I'm old school about a lot of what I do - I say that to show that I appreciate change and am not an old kurmudgeon) google's renovations on a standard are very welcome. I
  • by Chris_Jefferson (581445) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @09:54AM (#14783975) Homepage
    Slightly annoying, no safari support yet, only internet explorer and firefox (couldn't check opera).
  • by dutchwhizzman (817898) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @09:56AM (#14783985)
    username@gmail.com is equal to username.googlepages.com. By running a search on google.com for the item you want to send SPAM around for, limited to the subdomains of googlepages.com, you can easily find a target audience to send spam to, since you can derive their e-mail address from the hostnames you get hits on your search from.
  • by theskipper (461997) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @09:57AM (#14783994)
    A chuckle from the FAQ:

    11. I don't want my landlady to find out about my pet ferret. How can I unpublish my pages?

  • Odd (Score:3, Funny)

    by broothal (186066) <christian@fabel.dk> on Thursday February 23, 2006 @09:57AM (#14783995) Homepage Journal
    That's odd - I just signed in, and it said "This page is locked by another user". Now where did I put my tinfoil hat...
  • by elrous0 (869638) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @09:59AM (#14784005)
    They are really good at introducing new services, not so hot at finishing them.

    -Eric (who has been using "Google Groups Beta" for several years now

    • Agreed. None of google's other products will be usable for anything serious until they are relatively reliable and out of beta. Some of these services like Orkut have been up for several years and still have major outages. If you write to complain, they explain to you the products are still in beta. Until google finishes these beta products, they're just toys. I wish they would pull the plug if they're not going to finish them.

      Google's image will be tarnished eventually if they keep increasing the n
  • by vivekg (795441) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @10:01AM (#14784018) Homepage Journal
    Yup make more money from Free Web Hosting. According to netcraft [netcraft.com] "The free hosting ramp-ups by Microsoft and Go Daddy are a response to surging revenue from contextual ads on web sites. In its most recent quarter, Google reported $1.1 billion in advertising revenue from its own sites, and another $799 million from third-party sites using its AdSense program. The rapid growth of domain parking services has also illustrated the earning potential of large portfolios of web pages bearing contextual ads."

    I am dam sure; they are going to introduce paid web hosting (Ghosting).
    • I am dam sure; they are going to introduce paid web hosting (Ghosting).

      Maybe. I think they could also boost their AdSense program quite a bit too. Many many bloggers now have Google ads, so why shouldn't non-blog homepages (what I think this caters for). Just automatically add, or make it really really easy for users to add, a Google AdSense list to their page, perhaps for what the user is interested in, says the links "This person (XXX.googlepages.com) is interested in YYY, click here for ZZZ retail
  • by Danathar (267989) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @10:03AM (#14784036) Journal
    I think people forget that google does not nessesarily create these apps with a plan in mind. Many of them are the result of the personal time that google gives it's employees for personal projects. When one looks interesting they (google) elevate it within the company and wait to see where it goes.
    • by TubeSteak (669689)
      google does not nessesarily create these apps with a plan in mind
      Relying on luck to weed out the good ideas from the bad is not a strategy.

      It is sometimes called the "shotgun approach."

      Most businesses would not waste money on implementing an idea with no clear plan on how to monetize it.

      Google has an interesting approach, but it is not what anyone would call a strategy [answers.com]
      • Relying on luck to weed out the good ideas from the bad is not a strategy. It is sometimes called the "shotgun approach." Google has an interesting approach, but it is not what anyone would call a strategy

        It's not their entire strategy, it's only part of their strategy. You make it sound like everyone at google is just randomly trying stuff to see if it sticks. In reality, most of their time is is spent on planned development. They are encouraged, however, to spend some fraction of their work time on per

    • I think they do have a strategy in mind for this beta and I don't think it is webhosting. I think this is just a test of how well they can handle server side applications. I can see them ramping up the features and making it more robust, maybe even the ability to create PDF's or a format like that. I think this is there test for an online Word processor with all your files online and editable and emailable from any browser. I think this is Googles first step at real web based applications.
  • This can be nice....even for a technical user. Not all of us want to run a webserver at home. Some of us pay for hosting or web pages.

  • Who wants to bet that the final version will have compulsory adsense or sponsored links down the right hand side?

    The HTML/CSS code is appauling. They haven't even bothered to put the CSS in a seperate file, so if you create a multipage site, it's going to keep downloading the came old crap again and again.
    • Who wants to bet that the final version will have compulsory adsense or sponsored links down the right hand side?

      Who cares? It's what I would expect from a free service.

      What I hate is how GeoCities was crippled by Yahoo with their traffic cap - your site can only get a pathetic number of hits per day before being shut off. I haven't bothered maintaining my GeoCities site since.
    • "Final version"

      LOL!!!!

      Dude, this is GOOGLE we're talking about!!
  • Does hotlinking off your Googlepages site onto another work? If so, this could be a sneak attack at image hosts like Photobucket and Flickr.
  • .Goo (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mccalli (323026)
    For once, it seems that Google is the one copying here. I'm speaking of .Mac, but not in its paid incarnation of .Mac but rather the freebie incarnation of iTools (think that was the name). I know other individual services have similar capabilities, but it's the tying of them all together that makes the service.

    We have gPhoto and gWeb, Mail.app and Address Book. It's arguable whether Spotlight and Google Desktop share any direct inspiration (I don't think they do), but the upshot is the same there as well

  • The long-awaited infinite monkeys and typewriters scenario is just around the corner. I await an outpouring of classic literature ;-)
    • At first I laughed at your comment, then remembered a long time ago when Geocities had a "random page button" and cried a tear. I think a dozen monkeys have a better chance at producing literature than an infinite number of google home pages.
  • I've been using Topcities.com [topcities.com] for a while now and they offer 150MBs. Recently the bandwidth limit has been lifted too. It seems Google is just playing catch-up to the free hosting market. There's really nothing new to see here.
  • As with most Google-related things, they've focussed on the interface, but skipped QA when it comes to the code they put out. Five minutes with a validator would have been enough to ensure that they output valid code, but it seems they haven't bothered.

    I'm also surprised that they are generating XHTML rather than HTML. There's no benefit in this case, and given that Ian Hickson, author of Sending XHTML as text/html Considered Harmful [hixie.ch], works for them, they should know better.

    They use embedded <st

  • by cswiii (11061) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @10:19AM (#14784127)
    1. Highlight the entire agreement that you have to agree to abide by.
    2. Delete it.
    3. Enter the text "I agree that Google will pay me $1 Million Dollars (*cue Dr. Evil*) if Page Creator is ever unavailable for me to use."
    4. Profit!
  • Email Address (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SteveX (5640) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @10:21AM (#14784140) Homepage
    Unfortunately your gmail address is also the name used in the URL for your page. At least MSN Spaces set it up so your email address wasn't part of the site URL.

  • 100 Mb free hosting sounds tempting, but I don't need YA application to build my pages, I just want to create locally and then upload via ftp. TFA doesn't specify.
  • Doesn't anyone design pages to be light on bandwidth? Christ, I did a quick basic page and the resulting source code it sent to my browser contained well over 500 lines of stylesheet, browser tweaks, and other stuff, resulting in 12k of source in total. All for a title and a bit of hello worldy text.

    Is it just me, or is the generated source possibly trying too hard?

    Just a thought. I myself am a fairly minimalist person when it comes to web design, both from the design itself and the underlying source cod
  • 100mb eh?! (Score:2, Funny)

    by wwmedia (950346)
    100mb eh?!

    looks like google is going to become a dump for the warez comunity!

    1. open an account
    2. upload 100mb part of archive
    3. repeat untill latest hollywood movies is uploaded onto several accounts
    4. spread the links for the uploaded files far and wide!
  • Well, most hand picked google mail beta participants being the geeks at heart to some degree, I do not think this service will be of much need but having a 100 MB web page at your disposal for quick scratches, is really nice from a free service.
  • I was waiting for this service to go live so I could recommend it to actors who want to put their resumés online. Unfortunately,

    A. No tables (!)
    B. It won't FTP to other domains.
  • "Doesn't Work with Safari".

    I had forgotten.
  • The produced pages [googlepages.com] claim to be XHTML 1.0 Strict... but it isn't [w3.org]! The mistakes are pretty bad such as not closing <img> and <br> tags. Also there is so ugly HTML like empty <p></p> tags that you'd think would be easily removed. Also, I don't see any support for the semantic web such as annotating your page with rel="". The battle for web-standards will be won on the web-designer front: when the tools produce correct pages that'll give impetus for everyone to produce clean pages and fo

  • I tried to embed an Adsense block into the page and it doesn't show. Probably because scripting is not allowed, but I haven't experimented further. Will they make scripting exceptions for Adsense? Will they not allow personal Adsense accounts on the page? They do on Blogger.

    I put a Google Search box (part of the Adsense program) in and it seems to work, but I can't test it myself without violating my terms of service with Adsense :-(
  • by greggish (319517) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @12:09PM (#14785183) Homepage Journal
    I just threw this up real fast...

    http://beveryevil.googlepages.com/ [googlepages.com] ...just linked some images relating to google's censorship in China. I like the idea of having google host it with "googlepages.com" in the url. :)

panic: kernel trap (ignored)

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