The Stack Exchange API allows users to programmatically query and connect to the Stack Exchange Network of sites.
The API is currently in version 2.3. We’re collecting feedback from users of the API, using a survey, to guide what we need to improve in future versions. We’re also interested in hearing from people who have used other APIs so we understand what they prefer.
For the current users of the API, the survey asks about:
- Satisfaction with the existing API
- Comparison of the Stack Exchange API to other APIs you may use
- Problems you have experienced with the API
- The architecture and format of APIs that you prefer to work with
- Changes you’d recommend (open-ended question)
- Other suggestions on how we can improve the API (open-ended question)
For non-users of the API, the survey only asks about preferred architecture and formats and other suggestions for improving the API.
We are sharing this survey on Meta Stack Exchange, on Stack Apps, and on our LinkedIn and Twitter accounts in order to reach people who currently use or might be interested in using the API. We investigated sending an email to users who have registered on Stack Apps or who have requested an API key, but we weren’t confident it was going to reach all of them for a variety of reasons, like if they didn’t opt-in to email communications, we had outdated email addresses, etc.
- The survey is completely anonymous. We aren’t collecting any personal information; we are not collecting IP addresses.
- We are using Qualtrics for the survey.
- We will leave the survey up for at least a week. We may extend it if we feel we need more responses. While collecting a statistically significant sample size would be nice, we’re not doing any analyses that require statistical precision. This survey is intended as a feedback tool to guide our development.
- We may share our findings from this survey in future Meta posts when we post about the next release of the API. We don’t have an estimated timeline for this yet.
- Learn more about our commitment to supporting the API.
We will be monitoring this post for at least the next week and will update this when the survey is closed.
UPDATE - The survey is closed as of August 10, 2023 at ~9am CT
Thank you to everyone who shared their feedback.
Gist of what we learned:
- Our existing API isn't terrible. Folks are relatively satisfied, will continue to use it, and find the documentation and functionality good/average (note that this was on a scale of Excellent, Good, Average, Poor, and Terrible).
- The problems you've encountered are across the board, but no single problem stands out as something everyone has experienced.
- REST and Websockets are the preferred architecture; JSON is the preferred output
- We received a good number of open-ended suggestions for us. We are also reading through the items that starball provided over on Meta Stack Exchange.
Next steps for our team are to review the data and comments and then start working on a plan. As we have more details or opportunities for feedback, we'll post a new question.