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Back in version 1.1 of the API, we used to be able to do:

http://api.stackoverflow.com/1.1/questions?help

...which would return information about the method in JSON format. However, attempting to do the same with v2.0 of the API fails:

http://api.stackexchange.com/2.0/questions?help

I get an error indicating that the site parameter is missing. Adding it simply causes the method to return questions from the site and not documentation.

Is this an oversight or was the feature dropped? If it was dropped, can we please have it back? It serves a very important purpose - generating glue code for libraries that provide access to the API.

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1 Answer 1

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This was dropped intentionally.

The problem is that maintaining this sort of meta-api is both intensive (lots of v1.1 was spent not breaking v1.0 because of the way introspection was working) and of very little utility.

Yes, it's useful for generating wrappers; but those wrappers are written once per version, and not updated meaningfully. If we were breaking the API interface constantly there'd be some utility, but that's not a policy we're willing to pursue.

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Isn't it possible to format the API docs in JSON rather than HTML. Or are the docs static pages that are updated seperately to the API? –  Jonathan. Mar 9 '12 at 0:32
    
Is it okay if I screen-scrape the HTML documentation then? –  Nathan Osman Mar 9 '12 at 2:06
    
@Jonathan. the docs are all hand written at this point, yes. More or less static, there are some helpers for repetition. –  Kevin Montrose Mar 9 '12 at 18:37
    
@George - you're free to download the pages and do whatever, I wouldn't re-scrape them terribly frequently; we're not guaranteeing their structure anyway. –  Kevin Montrose Mar 9 '12 at 18:38
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@KevinMontrose: I totally understand - I'm simply trying to avoid errors that arise from human transcription since manually entering the methods into my library's request class is tedious and error-prone. –  Nathan Osman Mar 9 '12 at 19:26
    
@KevinMontrose, couldn't you hand write a JSON meta-api, and then build the docs from that? –  Jonathan. Mar 9 '12 at 19:42

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