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I would like to build an applet for a cairo-dock that displays the SE global inbox, and count the unread messages, for which I would like to use the Py-StackExchange API.
I was surprised however to find out that each SE site uses its own user ID, and I got more perplexed when the main SE site provided a URL with what I believed to be a user name despite its completely differing format eg. http://stackoverflow.com/users/717441/benjamin on SO and http://stackexchange.com/users/4e669388-e5dd-4a17-a321-6b8bd733cb29 on SE.

I suppose there is a way to fetch data from all sub-inboxes since SE offers a global inbox (big assumption?). So, is there---and what is---my global user ID?

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I could be wrong, but I don't see any way to read the global inbox from the Stack Exchange API. –  kiamlaluno Aug 26 '11 at 18:46
    
I never understand why people would down-vote questions. At least provide a comment so others can at least learn something new. Thanks. –  Benjamin Aug 27 '11 at 11:06
    
I would not see any reason for down-voting this support request, as it doesn't seem so obvious what the answer is. I guess that who down-voted thinks the question doesn't show any research effort. –  kiamlaluno Aug 27 '11 at 11:33
    
@kiamlaluno: thanks. –  Benjamin Aug 27 '11 at 11:58
    
I really think you should have one user id, called the `sEx User Id` (which of course stands for "StackExchange User Id") –  bobobobo Aug 10 '12 at 16:05
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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Your network ID is the second one you listed, 4e669388-e5dd-4a17-a321-6b8bd733cb29. That doesn't matter though; each site has an inbox that gives you the same data, so you just pick a site and check the inbox for that one and you'll get all your alerts across the network. You don't need to provide your ID, you just need to be logged in and you can get the inbox data from http://stackoverflow.com/inbox (or a javascript-encoded version from http://stackoverflow.com/inbox/genuwine, which is almost certainly what you want)

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thanks for your answer :) –  Benjamin Aug 26 '11 at 19:28
    
thanks again. I'm a bit confused now as to how I can get the genuwine inbox using Python. I've looked into the API couldn't find any method returning this and if I request the url with eg. urllib2, it returns an empty list without requesting to log on. Am I missing something? Thanks. –  Benjamin Aug 27 '11 at 13:05
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@Benjamin The API doesn't currently support authentication, that's coming in 2.0. That route isn't actually part of the API (hence why it's on stackoverflow.com instead of api.stackoverflow.com), it's the route used by the actual inbox to fetch data. If you want to use it you'll have to find some way of simulating that you're logged in, which can be complicated; otherwise you'll have to wait for the new version of the API –  Michael Mrozek Aug 27 '11 at 14:59
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To be able to grab inbox content, you only need to be logged on SO. So you need only single UserID

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Thanks :) for this. –  Benjamin Aug 26 '11 at 19:27
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