Sunday, February 02, 2014

Google Sites URL mapping

I manage a number of sites with Google Sites. It's clearly not a tool that Google feels heavily invested in. There are occasional fixes, typically years in coming, but there are still significant problems with the HTML generated by the WYSIWYG interface, and many UI fragilities with the editor and manager. I use it anyway.

I found one site unexpectedly redirecting/forwarding to a sub-directory page, in this case a "/home". I wondered what was causing this problem, which I certainly didn't want.

I eliminated the possibility of a problem at the registrar -- the thought was that maybe I'd accidentally added this subdirectory to a field in a zone forwarding directive, or maybe I'd put a redirect in an html page, or in the header of a server response on another host server … although this seemed unlikely.

But, no, those possibilities were not realities.

So, I was back into the mysteries of Google Sites. What was prompting this strange behavior?

The only difference I could find between this and other Google Sites, was that in the "web mapping" section I wasn't using the lower-case name of the sites subdirectory.

But instead of generating an error, Google Sites mistakenly interprets this as a redirect directly to the default directory, visible to the user as a "" directory, which was not desired.

It would be nice if they would fix this. And, in general, the mapping console could provide precise information about the nature of the mapping.

So, I deleted the old entry, added a new "web mapping" with a lower-case name, and all was fine.


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