Do Stack Overflow and the other Stack Exchange sites have an API for posting questions or comments to the site? Everyone else has one (e.g., Twitter, Netflix, etc.).

If not, are there any plans to implement an API for posting content? It could perhaps use OAuth.


Update: December 8th, 2014

The API now supports write actions as of v2.2. See more in the related blog post:

What’s new in this release?

  • Creating questions and answers
  • Voting
  • Editing, Deleting, and Flagging
  • Improved OAuth UI on mobile devices
  • …and lots more

To answer your first question, the API does not currently support writing actions.

However, the API roadmap indicates that these features are currently being developed. I've quoted and summarized the relevant excerpts below:

Version 2.0

For version 2.0, the biggest new feature will be user authentication. Currently leaning towards OAuth2.0, although this is subject to change. As a consequence, access to some private information (inbox notices, some voting records, maybe contact information, etc.) and privilege restricted information (deleted posts, flags, and so on) will be possible.

With any luck, we'll be working on this version sometime this calendar year. Given the scale of the planned changes, [SE expects] it to take a full 2 months to get it into a beta-able state.

Version 3.0

Version 3.0 will be all about write access. Frankly, write access is incredibly dangerous, and quite complicated, so it really needs a whole release just to itself.

[SE has to keep good quality and not break any existing apps with these changes.]

[SE has to also work on API support various display extensions, like MathJAX.]

[There may be scaled down permissions based on rep compared to using the SE sites themselves.]

  • Thanks for the answer. It's very helpful. – dan Apr 22 '11 at 0:32
  • Is there a date about when to expect version 3.0 out? – Roberto Aloi Sep 15 '11 at 13:21

I'm guessing you a) haven't been here for 16 months and b) haven't seen http://stackapps.com ... but no, they haven't exposed that, and it's rather on purpose.

  • Thanks for the link. Is this the only feasible approach to posting questions from the command line then? github.com/danchoi/ask_stack – dan Apr 22 '11 at 0:30
  • Using a screenscraper app to post data to a website by hooking the DOM and using javascript? Yeah, pretty much ... – jcolebrand Apr 22 '11 at 0:33
  • OK that is good to know. – dan Apr 22 '11 at 0:39
  • Do you really want to do that? What's the deal with you can't open chrome? Trying to post surreptitiously? – jcolebrand Apr 22 '11 at 0:40
  • 1
    I just want to write my SO questions and answers in my normal Vim environment. It's a million times easier that way when you want to use code examples and indent the code 4 spaces to get formatted correctly by Markdown. Also, I avoid the web browser when I can help it. I use elinks and curl a lot. – dan Apr 22 '11 at 0:44
  • Then you are missing out on quite an internet. But alas, I won't try and persuade a man who lives in a cave beside his own home to come into his home, and I won't persuade you to give you your terminal. I live in my IDE and miss it terribly everywhere else but for the web I make a few concessions (such as SO) ;) – jcolebrand Apr 22 '11 at 0:51
  • 1
    I use the internet all the time! And SO has been great to me. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to interact with a webapp from the command line or Vim when I find that more efficient and convenient, right? I'd say the same for twitter and gmail. github.com/danchoi/twail github.com/danchoi/vmail – dan Apr 22 '11 at 0:58
  • BTW this book might help explain why I am so leery of the GUI web browser amazon.com/gp/product/1555581234 if you haven't already read it. But maybe you have. – dan Apr 22 '11 at 1:00
  • The unix philosophy is not likely to gear me to working with the command line. I've preached for and against it for years. I use the thing that does the job that I need done. They're tools and toys. I adapt. – jcolebrand Apr 22 '11 at 1:02
  • OK that's fine. But for some reason, unix-style tools are the best tools in my box, and I've used IDEs and GUI tools aplenty. BTW you can have the last word. – dan Apr 22 '11 at 1:05

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