Google Page Creator: When It’s All Just Too Hard

    Kevin Yank

    Tired of building quick-and-dirty sites for your family and friends just so they won’t produce their own FrontPage monstrosity? Tell them to try Google Page Creator instead.

    The latest “beta” web application from the big G, Page Creator enables mere mortals to produces pages blessed by the goodness of CSS layout and (mostly) semantic markup.

    Of course, Google has never been the champion of standards-compliant approaches to Web development, and Page Creator is no different. Ugly spots:

    • It generates <font> tags (whoops, there goes the old gag reflex…).
    • It uses <b> and <i> instead of semantic alternatives.
    • It illegally puts <div>s inside tags like <h1>.
    • It doesn’t put alt descriptions on images (not by default, but at all!).

    On the bright side, it doesn’t use tables for layout, and it lets users create one-, two- and three-column layouts with a plethora of “skins” (CSS style sheets) within the browser with a very usable and AJAX-heavy interface.

    The most frustrating thing for me as a developer who cares about standards is that all the ugly bits above seem to be a result of conscious decisions by Google, rather than simple ignorance. Google could have built their product without any of the above shortcomings just as easily, but they didn’t.

    Google is actively soliciting feedback on this “beta” release of Page Creator, so if standards matter to you, let them know!

    Update: The site appears to be serving 404 errors to all right now, possibly to dodge a brutal digging.