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Right now, question list API queries (such as /questions, /questions/unanswered, /user/{id}/questions and so on) also return at most 30 answers (apparently) for each question. While this might be useful under certain conditions, I think in most cases it's not. Most applications will only want to display a list of questions without any answer. Having to download 30- answers (well, sans their body) for each question seems like a waste of bandwidth and stackexchange computing power, especially when fetching answer-heavy question lists (such as /questions?sort=votes -- that query would be greatly reduced if there were no answers included).

This especially affects mobile devices where bandwidth is precious and processing power is both sparse and battery-consuming.

In conclusion, I think the answers should be taken away from question lists (maybe a parameter to bring them back if they're really needed). Or, at the very least, include a parameter that specifies no answers should be included.

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2 Answers 2

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Thanks Kevin :-) –  YOU Jun 9 '10 at 5:28
    
And what is the default? If false it will break current applications for sure. –  SztupY Jun 9 '10 at 10:00
    
Awesome, thanks Kevin! @SztupY: yes, the default is false. You can run a simple query and see for yourself. –  Felix Jun 9 '10 at 11:10
    
@Kevin: it doesn't seem like it's working. answers=true does not return answers: api.stackoverflow.com/0.8/… (I have no problem with this as I'm not using it anyway, but for other people that might use it) –  Felix Jun 9 '10 at 11:12
    
@Kevin: /answers/{id} and /users/{id}/answers now document this answers parameter, which doesn't make much sense to me. It doesn't seem to do anything though. –  ColinD Jun 9 '10 at 13:48
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@Kevin: I think it would make a little more sense to make the answers parameter a number, so that you can specify how many answers per question should be returned. The default being 0. –  Felix Jun 9 '10 at 14:20

Option like answers=true/false would be great. Because including answers save API daily rate-limit, on other side. So both can be happier adding an option answers=true/false, instead of just dropping it.

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