Inspired by Jeff's tweet about crowd sourced documentation I've started a Chrome extension to add data from Stack Overflow to existing online documentation.

It's early days at the moment, but I think it's still useful. The extension currently adds lists of relevant Stack Overflow questions to:

  • Microsoft's MSDN .NET docs
  • Microsoft's knowledge base
  • Oracle's Java docs
  • The jQuery docs
  • Python's standard library docs and PEPs

The idea is that, hopefully, the questions that get displayed next to a namespace/class/function will fill in any gaps that are left by the documentation.

I'll be adding more languages and documentation sites over time, as well as opening it up to anyone who wants to add their favourite language or docs site.

You can download the extension from the Chrome webstore.

Here's a couple of screenshots:

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Questions expanded

  • Blog author here. Great to see this in action! Will this do class level mappings or just namespaces? Jul 4, 2012 at 0:26
  • 1
    It's class level as well. At the moment basically anything that has its own page in the docs is fair game. The parser is pretty simple at the moment and only looks at URLs in the questions. I'd like to expand it out to look at code and class references, but I'll need to find a way of doing that without introducing loads of noise. Not every C# question that contains code declaring a string would be interesting to someone reading the page for string.
    – alnorth29
    Jul 4, 2012 at 6:45
  • @alnorth29 Looks like a great extension, but why does it need to access my data on all websites? Can't you limit it to only stackexchange & documentation domains?
    – Paul T.
    Jan 4, 2013 at 14:59
  • @alnorth29 It seems that extension was removed: "Item not found. This item may have been removed by its author". Why? :( BTW: I found the source code for interested: github.com/alnorth/stackdoc
    – user11153
    Jun 11, 2014 at 9:39
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    @user11153 Hiya, I removed the extension as it wasn't getting much use. People were installing it, but never clicking on the links it provided. I interpreted that as people not finding it useful, and I didn't have time to maintain the DB for an extension that wasn't any use. Maybe a few improvements to the UI could have helped, but I didn't think it was worth the effort.
    – alnorth29
    Jun 11, 2014 at 11:04
  • 1
    @alnorth29 Ok, sad but I understand your decision.
    – user11153
    Jun 11, 2014 at 11:09


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