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Can some of stackoverflow.com's JS and CSS be re-used on non-Q&A projects? For example, the the following features would be useful in a project I'm working on for a plugin gallery for our product:

  • markdown editor (for writing plugin descriptions/help text)
  • tag editor with as-you-type autocomplete (for tagging plugins)
  • popup help UI for markdown and tags
  • upvote/downvote/favorite vote-recording (and nice error handling if you can't vote!)
  • CSS for above that's clearly been honed to work on all kinds of crazy browsers

Can these and other SO features be safely re-used in other projects? If "some but not all are OK to re-use" then which pieces of SO's script and CSS are open-source licensed and which are not? I'm not asking about building an SO clone or using the server-side code or services, just wondering about the client script, CSS and a few images (like the upvote/downvote images).

I know that Jeff and co. have always been keen on developing hard scripty stuff as open-source in collaboration with other community members, so I am hoping these are OK to re-use but I wanted to get more clarification.

I know the user-generated content is clearly licensed CC-Wiki, but I couldn't find licensing info about the script and CSS code on stackoverflow itself, other than the WMD editor which is open-source (although is SO actually running an open-source version or a private fork, and if public then which WMD fork is SO using today?).

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1 Answer 1

markdown editor (for writing plugin descriptions/help text)

There's been some talk about releasing this under a "very permissive license", but no recent news AFAIK.

tag editor with as-you-type autocomplete (for tagging plugins)

No.

popup help UI for markdown and tags

No.

upvote/downvote/favorite vote-recording (and nice error handling if you can't vote!)

No.

CSS for above that's clearly been honed to work on all kinds of crazy browsers

No.

Of course, you can create code that has similar functionality as SOFU, but your code can't actually copy any of it.

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+1 plus, there are decent Open Source implementations of I think every component you mention. You'll just have to fetch and integrate them. –  Pëkka May 7 '10 at 14:59
    
Hi @Pekka - SO is using a lot of open-source-derived javscript and CSS, but in many cases there are many forks to choose from and/or SO has made significant improvements. The essence of my question is to find out if it's OK to re-use SO's scripts directly (sounds like answer is NO), and if I can't do this, then to get pointers to the right open-source projects (and which forks!) to "fetch and integrate". –  Justin Grant May 7 '10 at 20:47

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