I want to create a userscript that will change Stack Exchange Chat but I will need to first study Stack Exchange Chat Design before I start to develop. I have found Stacks but since Stack Overflow's main components are different than Stack Exchange Chat, is there Documentation to study Stack Exchange Chat? It will be appreciated.


Access to Chat Code. The question is requesting access to chat code but I want to study Stack Exchange Chat design system like on Stack Overflow Main exactly since also Stack Exchange Chat Design CSS File is minified, so I cannot understand anything even If I unminify it, I can't understand anything because there are no comments in CSS File. Also, is the SO chat open source? wasn't helpful because it asks for the same reason as the above comment.

  • 2
    There is no documentation for Chat.
    – rene
    Jun 13, 2021 at 17:48
  • @rene So, Is there any resources to study Chat Design System or even any suggestions?
    – Ghost
    Jun 13, 2021 at 17:55
  • 2
    No, you need to reverse engineer it on your own / study existing scripts: stackapps.com/questions/tagged/chat
    – rene
    Jun 13, 2021 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


Sadly, our chat product doesn't have the Stacks library integrated. Most of Stack Overflow’s more actively-developed, or entirely new products have Stacks, so referencing all its atomic classes would work in those contexts. Not in chat though!

It’s rare you’ll find comments in production CSS, since they’re generally stripped to save the amount of bytes that are ultimately shipped to the user. Since chat grew organically, and hasn’t been touched in a significant manner in a bit, we don’t have the documentation you’re looking for. Honestly, I’d like it too—and I work here 😛

  • 2
    For your "main" sites javascript the Dev domains serve the JS files before minification, for example full.en.js. I admit I never looked at the CSS files (I'm not that much of a front-end dev) but today they are already minified. Also the bonfire files (both JS and CSS) were never served before minification AFAICT. Isn't it something you can reconsider? As in: serve on the dev.* domains both CSS and JS files for the sites and chat in their plain, un-minified version? Maybe worth trying to get a definitive No from Nick.
    – rene
    Jun 13, 2021 at 18:14
  • 8
    "Hey, uh, balpha? Yeah, we're looking for the chat documentation, any idea where... oh, it doesn't exist? It's all just in your head? Okay, thanks anyway."
    – Mithical
    Jun 13, 2021 at 18:29

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