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Which tools and technologies build the Stack Exchange Network?

I know this is kind of off-topic, but just curious.

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    why isn't this a community wiki question? – Mitch Wheat Nov 7 '08 at 23:49
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    That's like 255 reputation for a single question! I think more rubyists should use stackoverflow. And maybe then, people will understand this question. – Jaryl Dec 28 '08 at 19:01
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    For a more up-to-date answer to what Stack Overflow was built with see stackoverflow.com/questions/749358/… – Sam Hasler Apr 28 '09 at 17:08
  • @nicael no, that's not the proper thing to do. If you really want the new close as duplicate banner to kick in, the question should be reopened and closed again as duplicate, feel free to flag as "Other" asking to do this, but chances it will be done are not high. – Shadow9 Jun 9 '14 at 9:34

In case you don't know, the question asker is a notable figure in the Ruby community, so this question is quite a compliment! :)

As others have noted, we use ASP.NET and the MVC framework. We're not platform advocates, necessarily; that's what we know. We take a lot of inspiration from other sites built in Ruby and other technologies, of course.

Oh, and thanks for stopping by, Obie!

Edit: I created a blog entry to answer this


Simple to find out via curl -I:

curl -I stackoverflow.com

The most important parts to answer your question are:

Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.0
X-AspNet-Version: 2.0.50727
X-Powered-By: ASP.NET
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    A Simple firebug->net would be enough – Itay Moav Mar 5 '09 at 0:53
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    Hmmm ... curl -I to www.37signals.com and basecamphq.com is showing PHP/5.2.4 and PHP/5.2.6. but those products are not built with PHP, they are built with Rails. – Mike Berrow Mar 7 '09 at 5:24
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    The server is apparently using php for something, and unless they are using passenger it won't show a X-Powered-By. They are most likely proxying to mongrel from apache for their rails apps. – gregf Apr 22 '09 at 14:53
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    Sorry but I got this when i do curl -I stackoverflow.com HTTP/1.0 200 OK Cache-Control: public, max-age=32 Content-Length: 196001 Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8 Expires: Mon, 11 Jul 2011 04:23:33 GMT Last-Modified: Mon, 11 Jul 2011 04:22:33 GMT Vary: * Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2011 04:23:01 GMT X-Cache: MISS from atmosphere.sprout.lan X-Cache-Lookup: MISS from atmosphere.sprout.lan:3128 Via: 1.1 atmosphere.sprout.lan:3128 (squid/2.7.STABLE9) Connection: close – Deepak Lamichhane Jul 11 '11 at 4:25
  • Better yet , use this plugin - Wappalyzer . Tells you what all tools have been used in making the site . Gives the correct output 99% of the time :) – Caffeine Coder Oct 20 '14 at 7:21
  • at early time it was showing ASP.NET that was correct .. I read in wiki stackoverflow is written in c# but now when I open my PC Wappalyzer showing its's in PHP ¯_(ツ)_/¯ – Kishan Oza Mar 25 '19 at 5:02

ASP.NET MVC, listen to the podcasts at http://blog.stackoverflow.com/ for more information.

Check out this relevant PDC 2008 presentation by Phil Haack.


No, it's actually written in ASP.NET's MVC framework.


It's written in ASP.NET MVC, which bears some similarities to RoR as I understand it.


No, it is written on the .Net Platform. I know it uses ASP.Net MVC. If you want to get more information on the architecture and how it was built, check out some of the podcasts at http://blog.stackoverflow.com


Actually the best way to know what technology a web site is using is to install Server spy plugin in firefox which will tell you the web server used in a web page. so if it says IIS then it is using ASP. If Mongrel then rails. Apache can't tell you much you will need to do more research by looking at the extension in the uri, and also looking to the page source can give more details.

Mostly Rails web site, they will have prototype or script.aculo.us libraries in the html source.

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    IIS can also run PHP code via ISAPI, albeit that this configuration is probably not common – Otherside Oct 1 '08 at 9:45
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    IIS can also act as a proxy to Mongrel, so at best it gives you the technology that is most likely to be powering it. Also it won't tell you which version of ASP – bjeanes Jan 23 '09 at 22:06