Stack Apps is a question and answer site for apps, scripts, and development with the Stack Exchange API. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I was wondering why the chosen styling data is provided though the API. It makes sense to provide it, but I feel like we are only getting part of the information.

"styling": {
    "link_color": {
      "description": "color of links, as a CSS style color value",
      "values": "string",
      "optional": false
    "tag_foreground_color": {
      "description": "foreground color of tags, as a CSS style color value",
      "values": "string",
      "optional": false
    "tag_background_color": {
      "description": "background/fill color of tags, as a CSS style color value",
      "values": "string",
      "optional": false

It seems to me that we should be provided with stuff like background color, accepted answer color, no answer color, border styles, etc. Or, why provide any style information at all?

share|improve this question
Well, remember the rules: "Don't copy the look and feel..." so the more color info they provide, the more it will look like the real thing. – Nathan Osman Jul 9 '10 at 19:02
@George Right, but why do they provide any info at all then? – jjnguy Jul 9 '10 at 19:17
up vote 3 down vote accepted

This feature came about after some internal discussion.

The gist of it was, what's the bare minimum you need to make a question link look like it belongs to a given site? link_color, tag_foreground_color, and tag_background_color are what came out of that discussion.

The reason for restricting to just that subset of a site is that, as George Edison pointed out, we don't want people copying the look and feel of a site wholesale.

share|improve this answer
So, you decided that this was enough info to determine the site a link belongs to? Where do tags fit into that? – jjnguy Jul 9 '10 at 19:41
@jjnguy - we assumed the common case when linking a question would be to display its title (link_color) and the tags on it (tag_foreground_color and tag_background_color). – Kevin Montrose Jul 9 '10 at 19:45
...and this is not considered copying the look and feel? – Nathan Osman Jul 9 '10 at 19:57
@George - using the colors the API provides to style question links and tags is A-OK. – Kevin Montrose Jul 9 '10 at 20:18
Great! I just switched all my stuff to 1.0 when I saw that my stuff stopped responding. – Nathan Osman Jul 9 '10 at 20:23

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .