Friday, September 14, 2012

The YouTube API on Stack Overflow

Many of you are already familiar with the terrific Stack Overflow website, which has become the de facto resource on the web for all types of programming questions. And many of you have been asking YouTube API questions on Stack Overflow for some time now, but haven’t received any official responses from the YouTube API Developer Relations team. That’s because, for the past five years or so, our focus has been on providing developer support via our dedicated Google Group. We’ve decided that instead of continuing to maintain a dedicated Google Group for YouTube API questions, it would help more users if we focused on responding to Stack Overflow posts.

We encourage all developers who have questions about the YouTube API to start posting on Stack Overflow today using the tag youtube-api. You can use this new question template to pre-populate the tag for you so that you don’t forget. While we’ll do our best to find and answer relevant questions that aren’t tagged with youtube-api, you’d be making our job easier (and you’d get a quicker answer) if you tag things correctly from the get-go.

Here are a few tips for folks new to Stack Overflow:

  1. Before posting, search to make sure your question hasn't been asked before. To do this, put [youtube-api] as the first part of your search, then type in some keywords that describe your problem or question.
  2. If you need to ask a question, make sure you apply the youtube-api tag, as well as the tag that indicates the language that you're using. If you're using PHP to access the API, your question should be tagged youtube-api as well as php.
  3. Make sure you watch your question after posting it, as experts that can provide you with an answer might leave comments to ask you for clarification.

Stack Overflow prides itself in being a destination for questions and answers, and not a place to file bug reports or feature requests. We ask that developers do not post on Stack Overflow for those sorts of things, and instead make use of the templates we have for filing a bug or filing a feature request in our existing public issue tracker. (Be sure to check the list of existing open issues before filing a duplicate.)

On October 15, we’ll be switching the existing discussion Google Group into archive-only mode, meaning that it will no longer accept any new posts. You don’t have to wait until October 15 to start asking questions on Stack Overflow or to file reports in the issue tracker, though.

For those developers who mainly “lurked” in the discussion Google Group and used it as a way of getting official announcements about the YouTube API, we have a number of other communication channels to recommend. Subscribing to this blog’s RSS feed is a great idea, for instance. You can also follow us on Google+ at If you’d like to submit a question to one of our weekly YouTube Developers Live broadcasts, you can do that for the next upcoming scheduled show. Finally, for those who prefer to get updates via email, we will be keeping the announce-only Google Group active, and we’ll continue to post important messages there.

Jeff Posnick, YouTube API Team