EagleSoft Ltd. v2.0 Soft-Launch!

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EagleSoft Ltd. v2.0a Soft-Launch!

    For those unaware of recent events within the tech industry and Google, in August 2020, Google announced that all Google Sites websites would be required to transition to their New Google Sites system by September 1st, 2021. Prior to this, in 2016 an updated Google Sites experience was deployed, and an announcement in 2017 was sent out that the previous 2016 Google Sites system (now referred to as "Classic Google Sites") would be replaced soon. In August 2020, details on the transition to New Google Sites was released. Full details below in the email screenshot.

   EagleSoft Ltd. is a Google Sites website with a custom URL. This blog (EagleSoft Labs) in turn is a Blogger blog, with a subdomain of "blog" nested under the primary domain. EagleSoft Ltd. is a Google Sites website; therefore, it was required to migrate it to the New Google Sites system.

A wave of migrating crows Classic Google Sites websites for the Fall

    Although I had a year's worth of notice about the transition deadline, in typical Engineering fashion, I procrastinated until 2 weeks before the Sept 1st 2021 deadline to do the migration 😐. The 1st week was just a single day of auto-converting the website to the New Google Sites system, followed by some more procrastination and finally tweaking and editing around the new website in the web builder interface a week before.

     Apparently the New Google Sites system is too simple, too concise, too barebones, and is more tailored to say, Bloggers creating simple websites, not beautiful ones like the old EagleSoft Ltd v1.0 site was. The New Google Sites system lacks some of the great features that Classic Sites did, and is too barebones for power users such as myself. Armed with the knowledge about the New Google Sites regressions from some colleagues, I quickly plowed through a few late nights of work fixing up and reformatting the site to work in time before the deadline.

Among the features deprecated in New Google Sites:

  • Google Gadgets support removed
    • Allows embedding of code-based functionality for extension of the website
    • Example gadgets
      • (3D)PDF embedding
      • Anti-spam based website contact form
      • RSS Readers
      • Blog Feed

  • Table creation tools removed
    • Still possible via hacky manual workarounds
    • Embed HTML code with table-based HTML tags
      • <tr>
      • <td>
      • <table>
      • Etc

  • Themes
    • EagleSoft had a very nice theme co-designed with an old RMU colleague
    • Themes in New Sites are too simple and barebones (no CSS support)
      • Main font
      • Color for all text
      • No color for URLs or special headers
      • No gradient for navigation bar handling
      • Paragraphs double-spaced by default
      • Most theming (such as for URLs) has to be done manually

  • Auto-generated Site Map page gone
  • Loss of page-level permissions
  • Un/ordered lists have a decreased max depth of nested bullet points

  • Sites attachments gone
    • Auto-migrate tool moves old attachments into a Google Drive folder
    • Breaks old hotlinked URLs

Among some of the few good features added:
  • Section-based website layout design
    • Good for easy laying out of images and textboxes in a table-like format
    • Bad for inability to put website images in-line with text without hacky workarounds
      • Manually write HTML text code and embed images in-line with <img src="foobar.png"></img> tag pairs
      • Hotlink Google Sites static image attachments via this trick

  • Google Docs-based multi-user collaboration
  • Edits to the site's webpages are made on draft pages
    • Press Publish button to see changes, review, and then publish if good to the live website
  • Increased max depth of nested page categories for site navigation bar

    Other than these few new features, the New Google Sites system needs improvement and is too barebones from the previous iteration. The auto-migrate tool from Classic to New Google Sites can be buggy and easily breaks formatting, requiring manual editing and hacky workarounds to restore prior formatting and functionality. I do not recommend using the New Google Sites system yet as a previous user until if/when some of the old functionality is restored... although it is required to do so now or have your Classic Google Sites archived and taken down. New Google Sites is good for very barebone, simple sites for new users though.

Pictures from old EagleSoft Ltd. v1.0 .
Has far better theming and default formatting

    To make a long-story short, the EagleSoft Ltd. v2.0 deployment is somewhat a downgrade in terms of theming, formatting, and functionality, and it took a few late nights last week to scramble, to reformat, and to fix up as much as I could by the September 1st New Google Sites migration deadline. Fortunately, I got a majority of everything restored...    on August 31st, one day before the deadline ☠.

EagleSoft Ltd. v2.0a Change Log:
  • Migrated website to New Google Sites system

  • Page level permissions
    • Removal of private pages
    • Change of certain unlisted pages ("anyone with the link") to public pages

  • Regressions in theming
    • No top navigation bar grey/white gradient
    • Manual theming of everything (URLs, headings, normal text)
    • Double-spaced text in most places

  • Google Gadgets regressions
    • Fixed broken contact form
    • Changed contact form from Google Gadget to embedded Google Forms document
    • Embedded 3DPDF forms for 3D models of some subpages broken
      • To fix/replace with workaround later, if possible
      • Remove embedded documents (just allow for downloads)

  • Improved site navigation bar
    • Moved following page categories (and its subpages) under Retro category
      • Sega Genesis/CD/32x
      • Sega Dreamcast
      • Nintendo 64
      • Nintendo Wii
      • Ti-84

  • Overall site edits
    • Fixed typos and grammatical errors
    • Fixed broken links
    • More un/ordered lists for concise paragraphs
    • More colored text as appropriate
    • Minor changes and improvements to content in main page categories
      • Retro
        • Sega Genesis/CD/32x
        • Sega Dreamcast
        • Nintendo 64
        • Nintendo Wii
      • PC

  • Breaking of hotlinked images parented underneath the old website's URLs (http://www.eaglesoftltd.com/) across the internet
    • Due to Google Sites attachments being migrated to Google Drive
    • On forums etc.

  • Hacking in of tables via HTML embed tags
    • EagleSoft page links inside may be broken

   Overall, things are functional and back to working order although with regressed theming and formatting, other than the broken 3DPDF gadget pages, some formatting that needs polished, EagleSoft Ltd page links within tables that need verified, and hotlinked images across the internet that will need fixed. These small issues will be fixed in the coming month.

Any major EagleSoft Ltd. site issues or feedback, contact me on the new contact form.

Enjoy the new website!



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