Have a gander at questions tagged with .

The tag wiki already provides guidance that API questions are, in general, off-topic here.

But there are a bunch of questions that are essentially asking if such-and-such site has an API. Some samples:

I can't imagine that we want these questions. They seem to me to be another form of "help me find a web app that does X".

On the other hand, an API is a feature of a web app/site, and so the argument could be made that asking about an API is asking about a feature and should be allowed.

Then again, following that argument, the only possible answers are "No, it doesn't" or "yes, it does" (with a link to the API documentation). Any further questions about how to work with the API would be out-of-bounds.

So, the question is, what do we do with these questions?

  • 2
    I don't agree that asking if a specific web app has a specific feature, in this case an API, is comparable to asking for a web app recommendation. Oct 18, 2015 at 17:53
  • Questions like "How do I accomplish {X} using {website's} API" are considered on-topic right?
    – xtoq
    Oct 26, 2015 at 14:41
  • 1
    @xtoq: No, not at all. That's very much a programming question. That's for Stack Overflow.
    – ale
    Oct 26, 2015 at 19:45

1 Answer 1


Short Answer

We should allow questions of the form Does {website X} have an API?.

Long Answer

We should start by revisiting the scope of the site stated in the Tour:

Web Applications is a question and answer site for power users of web applications. It's built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about web applications.

A web application API is a feature that power users could deal with in order to do certain advanced tasks that could require basic programming knowledge but not be comparable with a web application development like writing a macro, a spreadsheet custom function, a bookmarklet, etc. Asking questions about these type of elements is allowed in this site according to What topics can I ask about here?.

On the other hand, this form of question, as any other form, should follow the How do I ask a good question? guidelines.

  • 1
    Okay, fine, but what could the answers possibly be? "No", or "Yes, and here's the link". I don't think that's all that useful, and I worry that it will open the door for people to gripe about us not accepting other questions about APIs.
    – ale
    Oct 20, 2015 at 14:21
  • I agree that having answers of the type "No / Yes, and here's the link" isn't not what a power user would like to get but as we also are allowing basic questions we should "tolerate" that answers but should promote having well explained answers. In the case of "No" answers, should be included if there are alternatives and for "Yes, ..." should included other details according to the body of the question like how to start using the API and a brief example, if the OP described his/her research efforts, an explanation of what was missed could make the answer more helpful. Oct 21, 2015 at 12:45

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