Screenshot / Code Snippet


More screenshots can be found in the extension gallery.


Stacked Odds is an extension for Chrome that stacks the odds in your favour when looking for questions to answer on Stack Exchange sites.

This extension for Google Chrome is designed to integrate as fully as possible into the site and provide an alternative method for finding questions that you can answer.

It takes your previous answer history and uses it to infer what you might be able to answer. The extension adds an extra tab to the "Question" list and the "Unanswered" question list to display the relevant questions.

Once setup, the functionality can be accessed via the relevant tab on the Unanswered page or Questions page. For more information on using the plugin see the Users Guide.


Dual licensed under the GPLv3 and MIT License.


You can download the packed extension.

If you are updating from a previous version (before 1.1.60), it is reccomended that you regenerate the data by opening your profile, clicking "stacked odds" and pressing "update stacked odds data"


The extension requires either Chrome 5 or Chrome 6. Future and previous version of Chrome may also work but are not supported.


The best way to contact me is adding a comment here. Sending an email to anything at my domain (JacobEssex.com) will work but is probably slower.


An overview on some of the code can be found in some documentation. The documentation isn't complete, but should help explain things. There are other ramblings about other relevant subjects on the Google Code wiki.

The code can be downloaded from the SVN repository.

  • Screenshots look good! Please consider listing Stacked-Odds on StackList. Jul 19, 2010 at 19:43
  • 3
    + ok, I took a look at the docs and that is worth an up. keep working on those and maybe talk a bit about why your app needs such sweeping permissions and make grovelling assurances that you are not 'evil' and maybe you will get people to expose their pink insides to your network enabled script. ;-) Jul 19, 2010 at 23:39
  • A vauge bit about permissions can be found here, an explanation as to how it worked and what was changed is here
    – Yacoby
    Jul 20, 2010 at 10:25
  • 1
    I'm getting this error on the relevant tab: "Error:No tags defined"
    – jjnguy
    Jul 22, 2010 at 13:42
  • Setup seems to go fine up to and including answers but no questions are downloaded? stops at setup stage 3 Jul 22, 2010 at 13:49
  • Never mind, i checked fiddler and sure enough, it is downloading and finally completes the stage. You need to present some progress report to keep the user from freaking out. And I notice you are batching the questions in groups of 4. The url length restriction has been relaxed, but to be safe you can maximize throughput with the Soapi.VectorizedIdList(docs- soapi.info/code/js/stable/docs/symbols/…, demo - soapi.info/code/js/stable/VectorizedIdList.htm) Jul 22, 2010 at 13:57
  • 2
    same 'no tags defined' - i have defined tags. also, it is not apparent where/how to use the extension. I had to look on the screen shots to figure it out. I would say that you are not doing yourself any favors by hiding it away back there. maybe add the 'relevant' tab to all pages or be sure to guide the user there with a notification. Jul 22, 2010 at 14:10
  • 1
    @code it took me a while to find the tab too. I wonder what the error we are getting means.
    – jjnguy
    Jul 22, 2010 at 14:13
  • although i have yet to get it working, i am very impressed by the quality of your work. this gives me a bit more motivation to trudge through the difficulties of providing a quality library. do not hesitate to communicate any needs/wants/ideas regarding soapi.js Jul 22, 2010 at 14:13
  • @jjn - yacoby's work is a prime example of why i want to abstract away as many of the peccadilloes of the API as possible. The less he has to worry about sweet talking the moving target api, the more he can concentrate on the logic required to add value. This guy is a model of the reason I make so much noise. Jul 22, 2010 at 14:18
  • Thanks for your responses. The current download (r40) has some bugs which are fixed in the svn version. I will put together another download tomorrow. Most issues reported have been fixed.
    – Yacoby
    Jul 22, 2010 at 23:22
  • new version up on the site. not very well tested. If you had an older version installed you should regenerate the data by going to your profile page, clicking on the stacked odds tab and pressing "update stacked odds data". The main thing that hasn't been done is the question update number doesn't increase very well.
    – Yacoby
    Jul 22, 2010 at 23:50
  • will respond directly to answers later on today (I feel dog tired)
    – Yacoby
    Jul 22, 2010 at 23:56
  • @jjnguy The no tags defined error is because you need to define some relevant tags (just the main ones like Javascipt and PHP or something, don't bother adding subtags like [jquery]) on settings page. This is an unfortunate necessity that I never got around to removing because I ran out of time to write the statistics code. I think I wrote some thing on why it works like it does on the wiki
    – Yacoby
    Jul 23, 2010 at 22:57
  • 2
    @code The generation has been improved. It takes slightly longer but the UI now updates... and it requests far more data at once.
    – Yacoby
    Jul 23, 2010 at 22:59

6 Answers 6


Yacoby - I like the idea (and your choice of libraries ;-)),

You might want to try and make these requirements a bit more focused, if possible.

I realize that I can examine the code and figure out if you are up to hanky panky, but not every one can, and even if they can may not be inclined to, all of these result in a quick, no-brainer 'cancel'.

If you can get that 'browsing history' issue resolved, one way or another, you have a keeper on your hands.

  • It needs the data on all websites as the code has to support all possible, present and future, stack exchange sites. IDK why it wants browsing history, but I will take a look.
    – Yacoby
    Jul 19, 2010 at 19:43
  • @yac - i haven't written any chrome extensions yet, but is there no way to define a list of top level domains that you need access to? A version of an extension needs only to support existing and reasonably expected additions. Updates can handle those that are unexpected. So, cover stackoverflow, meta.stackoverflow, superuser, serverfault, stackapps and stackexchange and you have all current sites and when new TLDs are announced for area51 sites you can publish updates. You are not going to find many people willing to provide access to ALL data on ALL websites under any circumstances. Jul 19, 2010 at 19:48
  • @code poet I will consider doing that when this gets a bit further on in development. It isn't too much of an issue to support multiple builds, one with limited access to only the current sites as there is only one file that needs altering.
    – Yacoby
    Jul 19, 2010 at 19:57
  • @code poet thanks for pointing it out though. It wouldn't have occurred to me.
    – Yacoby
    Jul 19, 2010 at 19:58
  • @yac - cool, let me know when you get on out, I would like to try your extension without exposing the flavor of porn i surf and my credit card numbers ;-) Jul 19, 2010 at 20:23
  • @code poet. The first issue (Your data on all websites) is fixed in the latest svn version. The second issue I have a bug report filed in chrome's issue tracker.
    – Yacoby
    Jul 20, 2010 at 10:01
  • @yac - right on. will give it a go tomorrow. Jul 20, 2010 at 10:29

It seems I can't get this one working on my Super User account.

For some reason it remains stuck at:

Setup Stage:             3
Downloading Tags         314
Downloading Answers   582
Downloading Questions   534

Any idea what might be causing this?


Seems like @Ivo I'm getting stuck too! =(

Tried thrice so far. Refreshed the page and clicked enable stacked-odd..

enter image description here


Extension Permissions

One of the main unfixed issues is the fact that when installing the extension it says that the extension has permission to access browsing history when it doesn't.

Verifying that it doesn't have this permission

I have written a bit about it (with links) on the stacked odds google code page.

If someone is really worried that the manifest file in the svn repository is not the same in the packed extension, download the extension to a known directory rather than installing it and open it with a unzip program.

The manifest file in the crx archive should match the manifest on the svn at revision it was built with (the revision is the last numbers in the version string). To access browsing history "history" must be to the manifest file. It isn't there.

Bug Report

I think it is a bug with chrome rather than anything I have (or have not) done. As such I have filed a bug report.

  • Can't it access the history of individual tabs with the "tabs" permission?
    – SamB
    Dec 27, 2010 at 22:56


This was added failry late on, so doesn't list many changes. Plus I can never remember what I did between versions.
The version numbers are not very important. They increment when I feel I have made a major enough change. The last number in the version string is the svn revision number which is far more relevant.

This update contains only a few fixes for mostly minor things, mainly UI related. The main change was the move to the Google Chrome extension gallery.

  • Fixed issue with rep formatting
  • Fixed issue with number formatting
  • Page now goes to the top when loading a new set of data


This is an improvement mainly thanks to code poet and jjnguy

  • Fixed major bug in generation of stats
  • Improved stats
  • Vastly improved error messages

One problem: if I go to, for example, https://tex.stackexchange.com/questions#tab=relevant before choosing any tabs on that site, it gives me an error message directing me to the URL https://stackoverflow.com/users/1189/#tab=stacked%20odds.

That is, it tries to send me to the Stacked Odds tab of my tex.SE user page, but it uses the domain name for SO instead of the one for tex.SE. (As it happens, this results in a 404 rather than giving me some error about there being no such tab or not being able to mess with other users options, but I assume that this just means user 1189 was deleted from SO due to inactivity.)

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