A bit over a month ago, Apple’s MobileMe users were sent this message

Letter From Apple

The letter from Apple that announced the "death" of our current .Mac HomePage pages

that said in effect “despite what we told you, and what you’re paying $99 a year for, we’re going to stop fully supporting your old .Mac HomePage web sites on 8 November” – in particular images, movies and files that were shared on the site would no longer be displayed.

The folder set up on .Mac was as shown here – and the folders of interest are Movies, Pictures and Sites. The folders Movies and Pictures that hold the media items displayed on the pages in the Sites folder are outside of the Sites folder.

MobileMe Home Folder

Arrows point to folders to be copied - Movies and Pictures are copied into the Sites folder, and the Sites folder itself duplicated

On a page in the Sites folder that was created with .Mac HomePage or iPhoto, a reference to an image might look like

<img src="/rogerkiwi/.cv/rogerkiwi/Sites/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2002-10-09%2019.58.01%20-0700/ImageDCP_3428.jpg-thumb_140_105.jpg" border="0" alt="" width="125" height="105" />

Note the strange path to the image, with rogerkiwi appearing twice and two other folders’ names starting with a .. Who knows what the rationale for this was, but it worked until Apple’s announcement was implemented. Fortunately the fix is very simple**:

Copy your Pictures and Movies folders into the Sites folder.

  1. Or if you have lots of empty space on your MobileMe site, Copy the Pictures and Movies folders into the Sites folder leaving the originals in place in case of an “oopsie”
  2. Make a copy of the Sites folder so that you can easily restore things in case the next step results in an “oopsie”.
  3. Using TextWrangler, open its “Multi File Search” dialog (press ⌘- shift – f)
    TextWrangler Multi File Search

    Settings for making the needed changes to .Mac HomePage files

    1. Click the “Other…” button and navigate to the Sites folder on your iDisk volume and choose it so that it
    2. appears listed at the bottom of the dialogue box
    3. In the Find box enter /.Pictures/
    4. In the Replace box enter /Pictures/ (we are just removing the leading . from Pictures)
    5. Click Replace All button and the Confirm dialogue comes up

      Confirm Replace All

      This dialogue box comes up when you click Replace All - Have it Save the changes to disk and show the results

    6. Click Proceed and wait for the Results window to come up. It will list all of the files that were changed, and how many changes made in each file.
  4. That should be it- you can confirm that it worked by visiting one of your pages. Without the fix in place it might look like this – my images are missing, but all of Apple’s page backgrounds and image borders are in place, but with the fix in place it looks and works as expected. Note that it could take a few minutes or more for these changes made locally on your Macintosh to synch themselves back to Apple’s MobileMe servers.

This worked for me to implement a couple of days after Apple made the changes on 8 November to allow my various pages made over the years using iPhoto and .Mac HomePage to continue to be displayed. I kind of like the progression of styles over the years that are displayed by these pages, and didn’t really want to have to recreate them all from scratch again.

** So simple in fact, that one wonders why Apple couldn’t have implemented some type of RewriteRule so that things could stay as they were, or run a script on everyone’s sites to make the needed changes, or at least made available a script that users could run to do this.

Update:

I forgot to add that if you have any pages with Movies embedded in them that were made with iPhoto or .Mac HomePage, you need to repeat the above Find and Replace in TextWrangler to replace /.Movies/ with /Movies/

Find and Replace for Movies

Find and Replace for Movies

Update 2:

Note that you can not delete the Pictures and Movies folders when you are finished – you can not delete any folders at the Root level that you didn’t create yourself. But you can delete the contents of the Pictures and Movies folders if you need to.

  7 Responses to “Fixing your .Mac Homepage Sites”

  1. You’re so right when you say that Apple could have done this for .Mac subscribers rather than go back on their earlier word and just pull the plug as they did.

    Thanks for figuring this out and for sharing it. I’m in the process of following your lead (it’s taking forever because accessing my iDisk is sooooooo slow), but have also taken the precaution of copying everything to my local machine as well, just in case there’s another surprise waiting down the road.

  2. I haven’t found any unexpected side effects on my sites since doing this. I’ve also amended the post as I forgot to write that you also need to do the same with Movies – change /.Movies/ to /Movies/ if you have any pages that had Movies included in them (I had a couple).

    Roger

  3. THANKS!
    EXCELLENT! Is it safe to trash the Pictures and Movies folders that are not now in the Sites folder?

  4. I’ve added an Update 2 above here – you can’t delete the Pictures and Movies folders since you can’t delete any folder at the Root level that you didn’t create yourself.

    But you can delete the contents of the folders.

  5. I know it’s been almost nine months, but I look forward to fixing my .Mac Homepage sites now that I have learned from this page how to make these simple changes. Seems almost like Apple deliberately intended to cripple our existing homepages, given that the fix was so easy.

    Of course, the impending elimination of MobileMe and the iDisk feature means that next June 30, Apple will indeed go back on their October 8, 2010 statement that “your content will not be deleted.”

    At least my .Mac Homepages will look good until the content is deleted.

    Do you think there is any way to preserve these pages even after MobileMe and iDisk is fully phased out?

  6. I haven’t looked too deeply into this yet, but have the same concerns as you do. Since some of the design elements on those pages come from Apple’s servers, I expect that just copying all the pages to a different server won’t work properly, but that’s going to be my first attempt anyhow.

    But t is a bummer that these historic olde pages are going to disappear after all this time :-(

  7. […] as it has until now with the same designs and themes. This follows on from an earlier post  – http://lisaandroger.com/2010/11/fixing-your-mac-homepage-sites/ describing how to keep them working after Apple made the Pictures folder go away. Hopefully the […]

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