Is there an API function to get the contents of the user's inbox? For example, my inbox looks kind of like this:

2 comments on Bash Prompt keeps disappearing

What does that PS1 accomplish that PS1='\u@\h

comment on Get the current response from a RequestContext

When you say 'get_request()' you are referring

Is there a way to get this information? I'd essentially like to mimic the functionality of the inbox in my external application.

Otherwise, it looks like I'll be making a lot of queries and storing info in a local database and watching changes... not fun:

for question in get_user_questions():
    archived_question = None
    if has_archived_question(question):
        archived_question = get_archived_question()
    for comment in get_question_comments(question):
        if archived_question and comment not in archived_question.comments:

    for answer in get_question_answers(question):
        if archived_question and answer not in archived_question.answers:

        for comment in get_answer_comments(answer)

ad infinitum. I can only imagine how many queries this will generate just to simply find all new comments and answers for a given user. Is there an optimized way of doing this?

1 Answer 1


Currently, no. However, as an extension of the authentication mechanism being introduced in version 2.0 of the API you will be able to get access to the inbox data directly via the newly introduced /users/{id}/inbox route.

  • So, essentially, I need to flood StackExchange with recursive requests and locally cache info in order to determine actual changes, as opposed to reputation changes? Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 2:23
  • @TKKocheran: Well... or wait a few days until v2.0 of the API goes into beta. It really shouldn't be that long from now. Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 3:19
  • Oh, ok, good to know. I was thinking months or years and not days :) Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 4:05

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