I use Zotero to catalogue all my academic journal and book references. Often I find links to articles in journals in Google Scholar, but the only way to get at many of them is through the University login system, which inserts a “proxy domain” to the journal’s URL. Once logged in you can continue to get articles from multiple journals, by inserting that string. For example, the journal “Mind, Culture and Activity” is at http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/hmca20 while content is only accessible to registered students of the University of Western Sydney (that I attend) via http://www.tandfonline.com.ezproxy.uws.edu.au/loi/hmca20.
To make this easier in the Chrome browser I prefer to use, I wrote and distribute an EZProxy Extension that sets up access after logging you in once. Currently there are over 1500 users of this extension.
But in June, Google changed its API for writing Chrome extensions and didn’t inform me. So yesterday evening when I went to make a small tweak to the extension, I discovered that it suddenly didn’t work! After five hours of digging through various developers’ forums, I found why, and it involved substantially re-organising and re-publishing my code. Their example apps have not been changed, so are now substantially incorrect and misleading.
Perpetual beta is okay for a community that is well connected and communicating. But when the platform sponsor is weak in notifying their ambassadors, especially part-timers like me, then it just pisses everyone off.
Nonetheless, my extension seems to work well again. Let me know otherwise, you’ll do a better job than Google if you do.
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