Don’t worry, I’m working on a post about my summer at Northwestern University. It’s just a lot of writing, thinking, and recalling, so it’ll take some time. Meanwhile, this post has a very important message I wanted to get out.
Google Blogoscoped published “Google Slowly Closing Page Creator” a few days ago, which got me thinking. How much do I use Google Page Creator? For its intended purpose (creating pages), not much. But I use it quite a bit for hosting miscellaneous images and bits of XML (like gadgets and FeedFlare units) that I use all over the Web. So what will happen if Google migrates me to Google Sites?
The bad possibility—one that I sincerely hope they avoid—is that I will be moved from http://voyagerfan5761.googlepages.com/ to http://sites.google.com/site/voyagerfan5761/. Links all over the place will break. Images will be missing. My blog feed will be missing FeedFlares. Countless emails will no longer look right. Sure I can fix much of the damage, but that assumes Google will migrate my files, too.
My hope is that, using the custom domain feature of Google Sites, migrated Google Page Creator users will simply have their back-end replaced, while the public-facing part of the site (pages and files) appear to remain the same. No broken links, no discontinuity, no user aggravation.
I guess my point in writing this (there are other discussions, too; here’s one from FriendFeed and one from Labnol) is to try and get Google’s attention. Please, Google, please let us know more details about your migration plans. If migration is going to break links and change URLs, please tell us now so we can begin preparations!
Update (12:51): I nearly forgot about files! Of course accessing existing files is covered under not breaking links, but I totally forgot to mention that there’s a possibility of them being deleted in the move or (worse, I think) migrated but hidden in the interface, making deletions, changes, and new uploads impossible. (Thanks, Tony!)
Update (17:46): Ionut at Google Operating System posted on this a few hours ago, and I see he found a Google Groups thread that explains in a bit more detail what will be happening. Google Page Creator sites will be redirected to their Google Sites counterparts. However, it still doesn’t mention how files will be handled…