This is a quick note for all my readers who design or develop Blogger themes — especially those of you who do it professionally.
On March 12, 2015, Google announced that they are shutting down Google Code, their open source code hosting service. The service is now closed to new projects, and will close entirely in January 2016.
Google Code's shutdown does not affect Blogger directly. But, if you add 3rd party customizations to your templates, you should be aware of how this can impact your work.
Many independent Blogger developers use Google Code to host the source code for their Blogger customizations. This includes popular add-ons like social media buttons, slideshows, and galleries that many designers rely on for their custom templates. It's worth checking your templates now for anything hosted on Google Code so you can start planning updates well before the shutdown.
How This Affects Code it Pretty Gadgets
If you only customize your templates with Code it Pretty stuff, you're mostly in the clear (and I'm flattered!). My Truly Simple Slideshow for Blogger is the only project I host on Google Code. Everything else is GC-free. Right now I have no plans to rehost the slideshow gadget, so it will stop working in January 2016. You're welcome to copy the source code and rehost it if you'd like to continue using it beyond 2015.
How to Check for Google Code in Your Template
If you're not sure if you're using code hosted at Google Code, it's easy to check.
In a Text Editor
Open your template in any text editor and search for "googlecode" (no quotes). If you find it, your template includes code that is hosted on Google Code. If not, you're in the clear!
In a Browser
Open your template in your favorite browser and use the browser's developer tools to search the source. In Chrome, it's under View > Developer > View Source. In Firefox, it's under Tools > Web Developer > Page Source. Search the source code for "googlecode" (no quotes). If you find it, your template includes code that is hosted on Google Code. If not, you're in the clear!
If you find Google Code links in your template, the first thing to do is determine what the custom code does — if you have a lot of custom stuff in there you may have some detective work to do. If you're stumped, try googling the Google Code link. That will usually take you to the tutorial that references it.
Once you've figured out what it's for, take a minute to decide if you still need it. Now's a good time to cut out extra fluff.
If you want to keep it, find out where you got the code from originally and keep an eye out for an announcement about the developer's plans going forward. Some developers may migrate their code to other hosts. Others may be able to change the code to eliminate the need for hosting. Be patient — Google just dropped this announcement on developers last week, and it will take time to make alternate plans.
Going forward, before you add anything new to a template, check it for Google Code sources first. If it has a Google Code link, it's best to consider it out-of-date now and save yourself the headache of having to remove or replace it later.