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New Google Sites Difficult? #newgooglesites

Tom H
 

I've looked at the beta New Google Sites off and on for a year or more because I have a couple of Classic sites that Google will migrate to New, perhaps starting as early as late 2018. So I had a look at it again and I'm feeling very different from the footer slogan:
Made with the new Google Sites, an effortless way to create beautiful sites.
There is no batch upload of HTML files nor is there any way to upload a single HTML file exported from Wikispaces. Inline images present a challenge because it seems you have to parse the text into image-free blocks, each of which goes into a text box or embed box and the images are then manually inserted between them. The result is a very linear, vertical flow which, I guess, is the strategy on which it can serve the range of screen formats and sizes from smartphone to PC.

I have tried three methods on my test site:
  1. Embed HTML - copy source and paste into embed dialog box 
  2. Textbox - copy from Chrome browser opened on downloaded Wikispaces page and paste into textbox
  3. Google Doc - copy from Chrome browser and paste into Doc
In each case, I've concluded that it is best to copy text only up to an image, then deal with the image, copy the next block of text up to the next image, etc. Otherwise, if you copy all over, you have to compare the imageless draft to the original and break up the textbox or embed box to insert the images. It is easier with Docs because it can accept inline images in the single doc. Moreover, you can right-click on the image in the browser, copy image and paste into the doc.

Google Sites integrates with Drive and Photos. I batch uploaded the Files folder exported by Wikispaces to Drive so that mix of JPG, PNG, PDF, etc can be readily got at through the Sites Editor UI for insertion on a page. Likewise, it should be possible to batch upload all the image types to Photos.

Having to create a new page for every Wikispaces page is going to be tedious and laborious. The easiest approach appears to be to use Google Docs.

That said, I have yet to find out how one can collaborate or discuss on the site. These are features of Classic Google Sites which, at the moment, looks more suitable and easier (for me) to use. But what will happen to a Classic site with the transition - will features be lost?

J Strum
 

I would love to know more about how you did this.  I am working with my former college to help migrate their sites over and its a literal mess from what the export process gave me.

Tom H
 

Can you be more specific? "How?" is a short question with a huge answer set.

Migrating to either Google's Classic or New Sites is bound to be a heavily manual process unless there is a Google Application Program Interface (API) for Sites. I don't know if there is; there might be in G-Suite for Education.  And somebody would have to develop the application that would transfer the Wikispaces export to the Site through the API.

J Strum
 

Thank you for your quick response!

1.) What format did you export from wikispaces to be able to migrate the data into gsites?
2.) How did you change the "point-to" targets to the correct location in Google Drive?
3.) How long did this process take you for one wikisite?

This is the site that I am attempting to move (1 of 7 that I offered to help with)
(just made you a member to see)

Thank you for your insight into this!



On Tue, May 8, 2018 at 3:12 PM Tom H <ve3meo@...> wrote:
Can you be more specific? "How?" is a short question with a huge answer set.

Migrating to either Google's Classic or New Sites is bound to be a heavily manual process unless there is a Google Application Program Interface (API) for Sites. I don't know if there is; there might be in G-Suite for Education.  And somebody would have to develop the application that would transfer the Wikispaces export to the Site through the API.



--
J. Strumwasser

Tom H
 

I see your one Wiki has 21 pages with no or few images and 544 files. Pages have Discussions - you will lose those unless you copy from your browser the original content.

1.) What format did you export from wikispaces to be able to migrate the data into gsites?
HTML Export but not necessarily for the pages because there is no batch import. You have to build a replacement page for each, one at a time. The other files can be uploaded in bulk to Gdrive; if the total well under 100MB, you could upload them to Google Sites. Your collection is over 300MB.

 
2.) How did you change the "point-to" targets to the correct location in Google Drive?
One at a time, manually. Unfortunately, Gdrive gives each file a unique and very long URL with no information on the "folder" structure within which one navigates in Gdrive. So there is no global search and replace technique that I know of to re-establish the links. The HTML pages in the export have relative links to the files which do work if you upload the set of pages and files to a root without changing their relativity. If you could fit everything within 100MB, then Google Classic Sites might be an option.

 
3.) How long did this process take you for one wikisite?
I did not say I had successfully transferred a Wiki to Gsites; I have not done anything more than play with Google to learn what problems I would run into. If Classic Sites was not going to be replaced by New Sites that has an uncertain functionality that is currently unsatisfactory, I might have committed to the effort.

I have no knowledge of G-Suite for Educators (Google Classrooms) because I'm not qualified for it.

Creuset
 

>One at a time, manually. Unfortunately, Gdrive gives each file a unique and very long URL with no information on the "folder" structure within which one
>navigates in Gdrive. So there is no global search and replace technique that I know of to re-establish the links. The HTML pages in the export have
>relative links to the files which do work if you upload the set of pages and files to a root without changing their relativity. If you could fit everything within
>100MB, then Google Classic Sites might be an option.

I read this message and was reminded of something which may help.  There is a Google Drive add-on that generates a Google Sheet with a list of file names and links?
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/extract-drive-links/klonacpfbangpegffkdopiilfdhgjhgo?utm_source=permalink
I've used it before and compared to opening every file and then copy and pasting each link to make the list it was an incredible time saver.

So, if I was going to use Google sites, or another similar site with very little storage, and use Google Drive to store the linked files,
I would first upload the files to Google Drive,
then generate a list of links (in a Google Sheet) using this add-on.
Then I'd use tweak that Google Sheet a little bit to create a CSV file (see below),
and save the CSV on my personal computer, not on Google Drive.
Then I'd get a downloaded copy of my wiki's HTML export, (from Wikispaces) again on my personal computer,
and then I'd use Windows Powershell to do a search and replace which would insert those Google Drive links

I already did something similar, just for changing filenames, and it worked just fine.  But we didn't use it because we decided to go with the CiviHosting package instead. Our site has a medium number of pages, but a huge amount of linked files and CiviHosting offered the best solution to the problems that brings.  And now we are using CiviHosting they are taking care of all the exporting, downloading, filename changing, wiki-export tweaking, uploading, etc - thank you CiviHosting!

If anyone wants to explore this route, this is where I found the PowerShell script to do the search and replace
https://powershell.org/forums/topic/script-to-find-replace-multiple-strings-in-multiple-text-files-using-powershell/ 
and there was a different version of the same question in which it explains a bit better what the CSV file needs to look like
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/25164000/how-to-find-replace-multiple-strings-in-multiple-text-files-using-powershell

Our wiki doesn't have a lot of embedded images, I'm not sure how that works. We just use links to files that open in a new page.
In the html export they look like this
<span><a href="/s/filename.ext">visible link text here</a>
So if it was 'd use the google sheet from above to make a CSV file which the Powershell script from the website will use to change s/filename.ext to full-Google-Drive-link-from-new-sheet. You have to adjust the Powershell script a bit as well, to point to wherever the files are stored.

The first couple of lines in my imaginary CSV file would look like this:

FindString,ReplaceString
s/20160630-Welch-Ruling-New-Trial-Granted.pdf,https://drive.google.com/file/d/15YSXl0OQfUje774qVN6uqdftAShEldyr/

It does all sound complicated, but the bark is worse than the bite, hopefully this will help some of you.

Tom H
 
Edited

On Wed, May 9, 2018 at 03:39 am, Creuset wrote:
There is a Google Drive add-on that generates a Google Sheet with a list of file names and links
Thanks for that! Extract Drive Links is actually a Google Sheets add-on and there are others that help to know what you have in Google Drive. I was initially deterred from installing EDL by the safety warning from Google that "this app is not verified" so I tried Drive Direct Links, which is verified, instead. Here's a screenshot of its output:
Screenshot of output from Gdrive add-on Drive Direct Links
Looks like the File and Direct Link columns are the keys for the PowerShell script.

To be sure that DDL was delivering the same as EDL, I went ahead and installed the latter. However, on running it, I encountered a script authorisation error so I would focus on the safer, working DDL add-on.

DDL and a couple of others will be a help managing the Google Drive accounts I have already, quite apart from the question of migration from Wikispaces.

Creuset
 

On Wed, May 9, 2018 at 07:19 am, Tom H wrote:
Drive Direct Links
No - thank *you*! The non verified script warning has always worried me, so this is really good to know. And DDL actually gives more info than the one I was using originally, so that's even better!