Right now, question list API queries (such as /questions, /questions/unanswered, /user/{id}/questions and so on) also return at most 30 answers (apparently) for each question. While this might be useful under certain conditions, I think in most cases it's not. Most applications will only want to display a list of questions without any answer. Having to download 30- answers (well, sans their body) for each question seems like a waste of bandwidth and stackexchange computing power, especially when fetching answer-heavy question lists (such as /questions?sort=votes -- that query would be greatly reduced if there were no answers included).

This especially affects mobile devices where bandwidth is precious and processing power is both sparse and battery-consuming.

In conclusion, I think the answers should be taken away from question lists (maybe a parameter to bring them back if they're really needed). Or, at the very least, include a parameter that specifies no answers should be included.

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  • And what is the default? If false it will break current applications for sure.
    – SztupY
    Jun 9, 2010 at 10:00
  • Awesome, thanks Kevin! @SztupY: yes, the default is false. You can run a simple query and see for yourself.
    – Felix
    Jun 9, 2010 at 11:10
  • @Kevin: it doesn't seem like it's working. answers=true does not return answers: api.stackoverflow.com/0.8/… (I have no problem with this as I'm not using it anyway, but for other people that might use it)
    – Felix
    Jun 9, 2010 at 11:12
  • @Kevin: /answers/{id} and /users/{id}/answers now document this answers parameter, which doesn't make much sense to me. It doesn't seem to do anything though.
    – ColinD
    Jun 9, 2010 at 13:48
  • 1
    @Kevin: I think it would make a little more sense to make the answers parameter a number, so that you can specify how many answers per question should be returned. The default being 0.
    – Felix
    Jun 9, 2010 at 14:20

Option like answers=true/false would be great. Because including answers save API daily rate-limit, on other side. So both can be happier adding an option answers=true/false, instead of just dropping it.

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