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I know that I can use some kind of 'css beautifier' to unminify the minified css in the source of StackOverflow. But they miss what would be invaluable to me — comments (for browser-specific fixes, etc).

It would be great if some knows how to access the original CSS files used by StackOverflow, and can share the links. Thanks.

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Hmmm, I wonder what sorts of angry rambling comments Nick has put into the various source files. – Adam Rackis Mar 19 '12 at 14:52
Is this really a bad thing to ask? Why would someone downvote this question? – its_me Mar 19 '12 at 14:52
Downvotes are weird on meta. Even weirder on support questions like this. I just upvoted, but I suspect a lot more downvotes are on the way – Adam Rackis Mar 19 '12 at 14:53
Access to these files is...uuhhh...difficult...they let Trogdor sleep in front of the safe. – Time Traveling Bobby Mar 19 '12 at 14:55
I have no idea how the team feels about releasing CSS files, but I will point out that the Stack Exchange software generally is not open source. – Pops Mar 19 '12 at 14:58
@Popular - and somewhere Richard Stallman just shed a tear – Adam Rackis Mar 19 '12 at 15:01
The unminified JavaScript files are available from the dev. subdomain, but it doesn't look the the original CSS is. I wonder if the source language isn't CSS, but something like SASS or LESS. – Jeremy Banks Mar 19 '12 at 15:01
@JeremyBanks : Thanks, that definitely gives some hope. – its_me Mar 19 '12 at 15:10
@PopularDemand - Aren't CSS files almost required to be "open source", since they have to be sent for browsers to read them? Also, I'm not sure I would really consider them "source", since they are just formatting definitions. More like a textual graphic design format, which I suppose makes them...art? – cdeszaq Mar 19 '12 at 15:44
@cdeszaq In a sense, yes, but as the OP pointed out, some of the content he's looking for may not be available in minified format. – Pops Mar 19 '12 at 15:50

1 Answer 1

up vote 10 down vote accepted

As Jeremy Banks guessed, the CSS is actually written in LESS. The LESS source script is available at http://dev.stackoverflow.com/content/stackoverflow/all.less. This is SO-specific; the other sites are available in other content folders (for example, Unix and Linux's CSS is at http://dev.stackoverflow.com/content/unix/all.less)

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It helps heaps, thanks a lot! – its_me Mar 19 '12 at 15:56
These links are redirecting me to the login page (though the JavaScript files are still available). Do they still work for you, or has something changed since you made this post? – Jeremy Banks Mar 19 '12 at 17:48
Weird, they work when I try through coral cache. In spite of the filename, those don't look like LESS to me. I think that's the LESS compiled as CSS, just pre-minification. – Jeremy Banks Mar 19 '12 at 18:00
@JeremyBanks It doesn't work if I'm logged out (I go to the login page), but if I'm logged in it works fine. It does look like that's just plain CSS (although I suppose that's also legal LESS); I'm not sure why – Michael Mrozek Mar 19 '12 at 18:20
@MichaelMrozek You (as a moderator?) have access to the dev. site? I get bounced when I try to log in. – Jeremy Banks Mar 19 '12 at 18:21
@JeremyBanks No, sorry; I meant I needed to login to the regular Stack Overflow and then it worked, although now that I try again it appears to work even when I'm logged out of everything. Maybe it was a fluke? Does it work for you now? – Michael Mrozek Mar 19 '12 at 18:29
@MichaelMrozek It doesn't. Logged in or logged out of the parent site, I still get the login page on dev.. – Jeremy Banks Mar 19 '12 at 18:32
@JeremyBanks It works for me on some computers, doesn't work on others. I have no idea why, they all resolve to the same IP – Michael Mrozek Mar 19 '12 at 18:35
Endless login loop detected, abort, retry, login? – Ben Brocka Mar 19 '12 at 19:35
Does this include the handheld Less / CSS? I'm trying to configure a wiki with a new skin that is nicer looking for handhelds like what SO has. Mine currently looks horrible on my BlackBerry Curve 9330.. – ShoeMaker Jul 22 '12 at 19:08

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