I think I may have stumbled upon a bug in the Stack Exchange JS API

I'm having a problem getting its authentication to work properly, and I just discovered that the same problem exist in the official Stack Exchange API example in the documentation!

To see the problem in action, do the following:

  1. Make sure you are NOT signed in to Stack Exchange. (go here https://stackexchange.com/ the to header should not display your name)
  2. Go to https://api.stackexchange.com/docs/js-lib and press the "Run Example With Version XXXX" button at the bottom of the page
  3. You should see a popup appear with the message "Application Login Failure - An error occurred while login into an application" pressing the "show more details link will show "could not parse proxy url".

The second time you press that button, everything works since you got sign in on the first (failed) attempt.

This problem only occurs if you sign in at least once before to SE, so if you get a popup with the 4 ways to sign in to SE (SE, Google, Facebook, Yahoo), sign in should work.

To see this bug you now retry from step 1 (you won't get the 4 buttons now)

Any ideas about what to do next here ? Any help will be greatly appreciated!


1 Answer 1


Oy, that was an annoying one.

Subtle, as the bug only happened when you're not logged in but would be automatically logged in when you visit stackexchange.com.

The actual root cause was just over-encoding a url.

  • 2
    Sorry to dig up a skeleton here - but I'm currently hitting this issue again. Am I missing something? Jan 28, 2015 at 16:26
  • I, too, am still hitting this issue.
    – Michael C.
    Sep 10, 2015 at 20:29
  • I'm having this problem as well. Mar 12, 2016 at 21:47
  • 2
    Hi everyone, I'm facing this same issue is there solution for this...awaiting for reply Aug 16, 2016 at 8:01
  • @KellyJAndrews what is over-encoding a url ? Is it solved, can you please explain it. Jul 9, 2017 at 5:49

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