Driven by user demand, Google has made several enhancements to its Google Sites wiki application, which launched in February to much fanfare and relief that the JotSpot technology did indeed still exist at Google, even as a shadow of its former self.
Here are full details and screenshots about the enhancements.
First is an auto-save utility that lets you save while editing, a crucial feature to save collaborators from losing data or documents in the event of computer crashes.
Start editing a page and Sites will automatically save your edits after a few seconds and notify you that the draft has been saved in a message displayed to the right of the editor.
There is also a nifty feature for changing URLs, so if you don’t like the one that was automatically generated when you hit save, you can change it. Just go to the “More Actions menu, select Page Settings and change the “Page URL” field at the bottom. Hit save and the page refreshes with the new URL.
So, when you’re editing a page, click the “Link” button to launch the link picker dialog. Look for the “Create new page” button at the bottom. When you click it, you can create a new page without leaving the current page.
You know how in Sites you are automatically sent to your Home page? Not cool when you’re used to customizing iGoogle or other Web pages. Now, you can customize your landing page by clicking “Site Settings” and “Other Stuff.”
But it’s good to see Google’s JotSpot guys move the ball forward. Table stakes or not, these features are going to get more people using Sites, which will in turn drive more collaborating knowledge working folk to other Google Apps, including Docs, Calendar and Gmail.
As a large company, Google is already there but it needs to continue to drive Sites forward to compete with the other heavyweights when they begin acquiring the indies.