Reversible Formulas - Sketch-n-Script

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Are you interested to use JavaScript for generating content in your Google doc? If yes, this extension is for you:

https://mikaelmayer.github.io/blog/2019-02-13-google-docs-formulas.html

I would like to comment on the authorizations this extension requires, to ensure it conforms to Google docs Policy. This extension requires two sensitive authorizations.

  • Permission to access the UI of Google docs
  • Permission to communicate with an external server.

The first permission is straightforward, since the extension's purpose is to display a sidebar to trigger the execution of JavaScript formulas, and switch from/to formula to/from value display.

The second permission is more subtle. Fortunately, the project is open-source , so you can inspect that the only place when invoke UrlFetchApp, it's on Code.js line 1287. The variable url there is actually provided by users of the extension themselves, and is in no way invoked by the extension in a way to monitor your usage.

Being able to fetch URL means that it makes it possible to
1) Generate images from URLs, e.g. LaTeX formulas as highlighted in the example.
2) Fetch custom content within your Google doc. For example, if you write the following in your Google doc

test = (UrlFetchApp.fetch(“http://www.mocky.io/v2/5ca3eb514b00005600209882”).getContentText())

=test

After execution, you'll see "Hello world", which is the text that I saved in mocky.io at this particular URL. You can use your own.

I hope this help dismiss any doubt about the honesty of this Google doc extension, and if you are interested by the project, I'd love to have your feedback!

 

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