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Screenshot / Code Snippet

Current Version: Beta build v1.0

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StackTracker, a cross-platform desktop notifier for the StackExchange API built with PyQt4

The application displays a task tray notification when someone has posted an answer or a comment to a question you are tracking on any of the StackExchange sites. Clicking the notification will open the corresponding question in your browser.


GPL - Full LICENSE file available in the repo (below)


Linux build: Download Linux ZIP (Requires Python 2.6 and PyQt4 to be installed)

Run >> python from the StackTracker folder

Windows build: Download Windows ZIP (May need Microsoft VC++ DLL installed)

Launch the StackTracker.exe.

Mac OS X build: Download Mac OS X tarball (Requires Growl to be installed)

Launch Only tested in Leopard/Snow Leopard on Intel-based Macs.


Matt Swanson,


Tools/Frameworks/Etc Used: Python, PyQt4, gVim

Repo: git clone

Release Notes

Please post feature requests or bugs in the answer section. Patches or pull requests are more than welcome.

Beta Builds

v1.0 (July 9)

  • StackTracker has now entered Beta status!
  • Support for API v1.0 release
  • Fixed bug in Mac OS X build involving exiting from the tray icon
  • Added Mac OS X build icon
  • Added default logo for all new Area51/StackExchange sites
  • Economized API calls
  • Added better handling of multiple alerts overwriting each other
  • Added notification when a question is autoremoved
  • Removed option to autoremove on accept answers
  • Code clean-up and refactoring

Alpha Builds

v0.4.1 (June 24)

  • Updating app to API version 0.9

v0.4 (June 23)

  • Fixed bug with gzipped API response that broke nearly all functionality :)
  • Added Mac OS X build

v0.3 (June 8)

  • Major UI changes
  • Windows build released and tested
  • Added settings for auto-removing questions and changing update interval
  • Shifted application design from a single window to a system tray icon
  • Added answer count and asked by fields to question list
  • Clicking on a question title in the window will now open the question in the browser
  • Throttling API calls to adhere to new "conscientious use" policy
  • Changed application icon
  • Adding error dialogs for bad input to question URL field
  • Added support for Python 2.5 JSON library
  • Fixed bug related to local time vs GMT
  • Fixed bug where the same question could be tracked multiple times
  • Code clean-up and refactoring

v0.2 (May 28)

  • Added support for other 'Trilogy' sites
  • Questions in the list are colored based on which site they are from
  • Changed input from question ID to question URL
  • Fixed Segmentation Fault when closing program
  • Fixed bug where invalid system clock could cause multiple notifications for same answer/comment
  • Various refactoring and code clean-up

v0.1 (May 26)

  • Initial build
share|improve this question
WHOAH! That's a good idea! Maybe I'll check you GIT out, to put a SuperUser version! – dag729 May 26 '10 at 17:38
Very nice. Similar to what I whipped up, although yours is much more polished. – Nick Presta May 28 '10 at 4:08
Amazing job. One feature you may want to incorporate down the road is auto-expiry for watches. That way, after say 8 hours, I am no longer informed of new data for a question and my list is less-cluttered. Just a thought. – Nathan Osman May 28 '10 at 4:46
@George Ya I am debating whether to do that or some kind of exponential backoff in the query time. My current plan is to add it as a user setting - 'Should questions auto-expire? After how long?'. It will likely come in v0.3 as I will be adding persistence of tracked questions. – swanson May 28 '10 at 4:55
Has anyone tried the Windows EXE? Is it working for you? I've tested it on a few computers at my home so let me know if there are any problems. – swanson Jun 10 '10 at 20:48
Any plan to release an OSX build :P? – systempuntoout Jun 22 '10 at 22:00
Ya, actually I have been trying to build PyQt on OSX all week -- I will try to get an OSX build out at some point. – swanson Jun 23 '10 at 3:48
@systempuntoout I added an OS X build, let me know if you have any problems - it seemed to work fine on the two Macs I tested it on. – swanson Jun 24 '10 at 3:13
@swanson cool, i'm going to try it this evening..thanks. – systempuntoout Jun 24 '10 at 6:30
The app is now API v0.9 complaint. Version < 0.4.1 will no longer work as API v0.8 has been killed. – swanson Jun 24 '10 at 20:27
@swanson now i can test it :). Sorry to have added some work to you twice in a day :)). – systempuntoout Jun 24 '10 at 20:35
@swanson works like a charm, need just a proper icon :P. – systempuntoout Jun 24 '10 at 21:22
Ya I didnt realize the Windows and OS X had different icon files -- Ill be sure to be add that in the next release. thanks for testing it out for me! – swanson Jun 24 '10 at 21:36
Is there support for notifications on new questions matching a tag? – Dan Dascalescu Oct 14 '12 at 8:07
Where is Linux build? – Jorge B. Jan 12 '15 at 11:14

Trying to run this on openSUSE 11.2, getting an error message:

sathya@shaman:~/Download/stacktracker> python 
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 1, in <module>
    from PyQt4 import QtCore, QtGui, QtWebKit, QtNetwork
RuntimeError: the sip module implements API v6.0 but the PyQt4.QtCore module requires API v7.
share|improve this answer
Does updating your sip module solve the problem? I haven't gotten around to making a standalone Linux install so you may need to update that module for it to run at the moment. – swanson Jul 9 '10 at 1:10
This is apparently a common problem with openSUSE and some other distros (gentoo) - an example: – swanson Jul 9 '10 at 1:18

I've got some problem using ST under Ubuntu 10.04.

This is what I get when I launch

>> python

enter image description here

This is the window while I enter the URL:

enter image description here

And this is the window after the URL to be tracked is submitted:

image really was repeated

Any thought and/or advice for the troubleshoot?

EDIT: Version 0.4 works! YAY!!!

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
Could you give me the full URL that you tried? If the app didnt crash in a blaze of fire, it's probably thinks that the URL is invalid (there is 'error checking' with a simple regex). Also what version are you running? The newest from github? The v0.3 tarball? – swanson Jun 23 '10 at 3:50
Actually the issue was the recent addition of gzipping the api response -- which doesn't play nicely with urllib2.urlopen. I am working on a patch that should resolve the issue. – swanson Jun 23 '10 at 4:15
This has been fixed in v0.4. Thank you very much for testing out the app and alerting me of the issue! – swanson Jun 23 '10 at 4:49
Thank you swanson, now it works! And I'm going to use it sooooooooo much! – dag729 Jun 23 '10 at 15:56

This leaks memory. After running it for 24h, it was using >400 MB

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