So now it's 2011 and we should be getting some API updates. As a company you must have some kind of plan. So can you either say the API is never going to be updated or give a time frame to at least a month?

The current read only app is quite limited to what the sites already offer and while there have been some amazing apps. It seems to have slowed to a trickle (why would anyone develop for an API that gets no publicity, no updating and little support)

So how about an update with some read only additions leading to eventually a writeable API.

I'm hoping that noone says six to eight weeks, it was funny the first time only.

EDIT: I am guessing that it will take 4 hours for Kevin to reply and Jeff about 7 hours. Based on the recent closed questions, otherwise it just proves the lack of support.

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    Just because the stream of new apps has slowed to a trickle doesn't mean the usage of those apps has. Commented Jan 12, 2011 at 18:08
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    I know that, but it means the innovation pretty much has. Besides it would just be nice to have an updated API, with features such as global inbox.
    – Jonathan.
    Commented Jan 12, 2011 at 18:34

3 Answers 3


This isn't an answer, just an agreement with the original poster (though I might have couched my feelings in slightly less confrontational language). The API is beginning to feel rather like abandonware. My reasoning…

  • Since the competition winners were announced, the API's not even been mentioned on the blog
  • We've had no official word on updates and upgrades, except a panel discussion answer that intimates writing support might never arrive. Most feature requests are either closed, or put into a nebulous "planned" state
  • Apps and wrappers have had no publicity or support from the SE team
  • The API has repeatedly randomly broken (I've reported at least 2 such incidents, and others have beaten me to more), leading to panicked debugging sessions that end up being due to a defective code update to the API. Most of these seem due to using SE having a more advanced internal version, and leaves developers feeling like they're barely second class citizens.

Inevitably, this had lead to stagnation in application development. You had a group of people excited about Stack Exchange development - excited enough to pour thousands of collective hours into free stuff that gets the Stack Exchange name out there, adding new features and value to the platform. That interest is fading fast, and not in the normal "post release" slump. Really, who's interested in a platform that pushes out an API, then says nothing at all for over 6 months? For all we know, it may never be upgraded again, leaving work against the platform defunct and dated.

You started well with the API. Don't let it all die off. Remember, once you've alienated the people most enthused by your work - those people who evangelise it with work of their own - it's almost impossible to get them back.

  • Yes I probably could have written it less confrontationally and it would have been better :/ You should put this as a question and I'll delete this question.
    – Jonathan.
    Commented Jan 13, 2011 at 18:44
  • blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/01/… does mention the API :)
    – badp
    Commented Jan 14, 2011 at 1:16
  • Apps and wrappers have had no publicity or support from the SE team - well, there has been publicity for the API in the form of sidebar ads... Commented Jan 14, 2011 at 4:55
  • Users don't use the API.
    – Jonathan.
    Commented Jan 14, 2011 at 18:01

Since the competition winners were announced, the API's not even been mentioned on the blog

There is an entire site dedicated to applications on our API -- and you are on it! I refer people here all the time when they are looking for functionality we don't offer.

Apps and wrappers have had no publicity or support from the SE team

See above.

(and that doesn't even cover the times I've mentioned it on other child meta sites)

Of course this site is also linked as "api/apps" from the footer of every site we operate and prominently on the blog.

So how about an update with some read only additions leading to eventually a writeable API.

The API will absolutely be revised this year. The trick is that we're still changing a lot of things about the core engine, so it's better to wait until things stabilize and roll out a stable API after we've worked out all the kinks.

The emphasis on any public API is not speed of revision but stability. Anything else, but I'm sorry, that's not the way I'm comfortable running this company.

  • 1
    Updates like this is great, at least now we know the clockwork is moving :) Maybe a link to StackList (stacklist.quickmediasolutions.com) or creating a similar official site/adopting Stacklist would be good, stackapps.com is crowded with developer stuff and closed questions, and not particularly user friendly, or even a little banner(like the "Welcome, sign in" one) at the top of all the sites for just one day. But I apologise as I hadn't realised you kept linking back here.
    – Jonathan.
    Commented Jan 13, 2011 at 23:05
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    @jonathan do you want apps to be the default tab on this site? Commented Jan 14, 2011 at 0:52
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    @Jeff It might be better, but I think to separate places is best. Also stackexchange site software was designed for questions not app listings.
    – Jonathan.
    Commented Jan 14, 2011 at 1:19
  • @jonathan see also meta.electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/353/… Commented Jan 15, 2011 at 0:45
  • @Jeff I realise that you've been showing stackapps around. And thanks, however I think for ordinary users, say from the non programming related sites they won't be able to find apps here. We need a site with filtering options(not just tags), that are designed to list apps
    – Jonathan.
    Commented Jan 15, 2011 at 11:51
  • @jonathan apps is now the default tab on stackapps.com Commented Jan 16, 2011 at 7:03
  • @jeff, now what would really be great is if each user could set the default, that way developers can go straight to the active after setting it to the default. Whereas the default default would be the apps tab.
    – Jonathan.
    Commented Jan 17, 2011 at 18:14
  • I can confirm, Jeff app[s] advertisement is pretty effective. Commented Jan 18, 2011 at 10:10

Quoting Kevin in this answer:

Now, all that aside I do think its about time for another API version. We froze version 1 a little less than 6 months ago, and I guess a biannual API revision (or beta, or something) is just as good a schedule‡ as any.

I also don't think its worth blocking on writing (which has actually gotten harder, now that a few sites have custom post renderers). I'd like for the next version (perhaps just a point release) to be a refresh, exposing new features, fixing all the little issues with v1.0, making it easier to tweak [app] performance, etc. Maybe add user authentication, as while there are some tricky issues there in the absence of writing I'm more open to experimentation.

Its just a matter of finding the time.

I do believe something is going on, probably under the radar, but I might be wrong.

From my experience it was a "good enough" support, the serious bugs were updated promptly; this depends by the type of app[s] you have shipped, for paid apps "good enough" could be not enough :).

The StackApps Advertising proposal I made (Bounty awarded) is still waiting an official answer and it was a little bit frustrating to be ignored like that.
Anyway, if your app is really good, eventually will become popular with or without the SO promotion.

This brilliant question by Steffen describes pretty well the status of the API.
There is a lot of work to do reading the feature-request tag, and it would be cool to hear from Jeff if Kevin would continue to update this awesome Api.

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