Frequently Asked Questions
Enough with the blah blah blah already! I want to build stuff!
What kind of questions can I ask here?
If your question is about …
- the Stack Exchange API
- applications built on the Stack Exchange API
- scripts or browser extensions that work with Stack Exchange sites
… it is welcome here.
How do I ask questions here?
When you post a new question, other users will almost immediately see it and try to provide good answers. This often happens in a matter of minutes, so be sure to check back frequently when your question is still new for the best response.
Answers to your questions and comment replies to your posts will appear as a red indicator in your global inbox at the top left of every page; click it to view them.
If your question needs clarification, you will see comments in smaller type below your question.
If other users ask you for more information in the comments, edit your question using the edit link just below your original question.
Providing clarification promptly will help get you the best answers.
As you see new answers to your question, vote up the helpful ones by clicking the upward pointing arrow to the left of the answer.
Answers are normally sorted by vote score so the most highly voted answers float to the top. Other users will also vote on the answers to your question.
When you have decided which answer is the most helpful to you, mark it as the accepted answer by clicking on the check box outline to the left of the answer.
This lets other people know that you have received a good answer to your question. Doing this is helpful because it shows other people that you’re getting value from the community. (And if you don’t do this, people will often politely ask you to go back and accept answers for more of your questions!)
Civility is required at all times; rudeness will not be tolerated.
Treat others with the same respect you’d want them to treat you. We’re all here to learn together. Be tolerant of others who may not know everything you know. Bring your sense of humor.
Do I have to log in or create an account?
Yes. You must log in to participate here.
What is reputation?
Reputation is a rough measurement of how much the community trusts you; it is earned by convincing your peers that you know what you’re talking about. Basic use of the site, including asking questions, answering, and suggesting edits, does not require any reputation at all. But the more reputation you earn, the more privileges you gain.
|answer is voted up||+10|
|question is voted up||+10|
|answer is accepted||+15||(+2 to acceptor)|
|question is voted down||-2|
|answer is voted down||-2||(-1 to voter)|
A maximum of 40 votes can be cast per user per day, however, to reach the maximum you must vote on at least 10 questions. You can earn a maximum of 200 reputation per day. Please note that votes for posts marked “community wiki” do not generate any reputation, while accepted answers and bounty awards are not subject to the daily reputation limit.
The other way to gain reputation is by suggesting edits to existing posts as a new registered user. Each edit will be peer reviewed, and if it is accepted, you will earn +2 reputation. You can only earn a maximum of +1000 total reputation through suggested edits, however.
Amass enough reputation points and you will be granted additional privileges:
If you are an experienced Stack Exchange network user with 200 or more reputation on at least one site, you will receive a starting +100 reputation bonus to get you past basic new user restrictions. This will happen automatically on all current Stack Exchange sites where you have an account, and on any other Stack Exchange sites at the time you log in.
At the high end of this reputation spectrum there is little difference between users with high reputation and ♦ moderators. That is very much intentional. We don’t run this site. The community does.
What if I really want someone to look at my question?
Put a bounty on it. This costs a little reputation, and requires you to have at least 75 reputation, but it will push your post to the featured tab for 7 days and visually distinguish it from other posts. It will definitely get more attention, but we can't guarantee it will necessarily be acted upon.
Why are some questions closed?
Questions that are not a good fit for this site may be voted closed by experienced community members. Closed questions cannot be answered, but are eligible for improvement (and eventual re-opening) through editing, voting, and commenting. See How to Ask for guidance on editing your question to improve it.
Common reasons a question may be closed include:
This question covers exactly the same content as earlier questions on this topic; its answers may be merged with another identical question.
Questions on Stack Apps are expected to generally relate to the Stack Exchange API, applications that use it, or scripts that work with Stack Exchange.
This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, see the FAQ.
noise or pointless
This question does not add anything useful; having it present on the site is actively harmful because it distracts from other more useful questions.
Users with 3000 reputation can cast up to 12 close votes per day. When a question reaches 5 close votes, it is marked as closed, and will no longer accept answers. Closed questions may be opened by casting reopen votes in the same manner. However, you may only vote to close or reopen a question once.
Why are some questions or answers removed?
Questions that are extremely off topic, or of very low quality, may be removed at the discretion of the community and moderators.
Over time, closed questions that are not useful as signpoints to other questions may also be removed, as well as questions which have no significant activity over a very long period after being asked. For additional guidance, see How to Ask.
Answers that do not fundamentally answer the question may be removed. This includes answers that are …
- commentary on the question or other answers
- asking another, different question
- “thanks!” or “me too!” responses
- exact duplicates of other answers
- barely more than a link to an external site
- not even a partial answer to the actual question
If you wish to improve an existing answer, click edit. For additional guidance, see How to Answer.
What if I see bad things happening?
Each post and comment has a small flag link. Click the flag link to let us know about problems and we'll follow up.
We actively moderate our community, but we need your help to do so. Anything that is getting consistently flagged by our community members will be investigated and followed up on. And of course you can always email us directly if you feel the matter is urgent.
Most importantly, don't feed the trolls! Replying to abusive, off-topic, or inappropriate content only encourages it – whereas flagging allows removal without providing undue attention.
Can I use a signature or tagline?
Please don’t use signatures or taglines in your posts, or they will be removed.
Every post you make is already “signed” with your standard user card, which links directly back to your user page.
Your user page belongs to you — fill it with information about your interests, links to stuff you’ve worked on, or whatever else you like!
Other people can edit my posts?!
All contributions are licensed under Creative Commons and this site is collaboratively edited, like Wikipedia. If you see something that needs improvement, click edit and help us make it so!
All edits are tracked in a public revision history. To view revisions, click the edit date on the post.
If you are not comfortable with the idea of your contributions being collaboratively edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you.
May I promote products or websites I am affiliated with here?
Be careful, because the community frowns on overt self-promotion and tends to vote it down and flag it as spam. Post good, relevant answers, and if some (but not all) happen to be about your product or website, so be it. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers.
If a huge percentage of your posts include a mention of your product or website, you're probably here for the wrong reasons. Our advertising rates are quite reasonable; contact our ad sales team for details. We also offer free community promotion ads for open source projects and non-profit organizations.
How do I search?
Enter search terms in the search box that appears at the upper right of every page, and press Enter.
If you need to refine and narrow your search …
- To search within specific tag(s), enter them in square brackets:
- To find a specific phrase, enter it in quotes:
- To ensure that specific words appear in the results, use plus:
- To search just your posts:
For the complete list of advanced search options, with examples, visit the search page.