Developers can use Google and other search engines to find source code, but its not easy. Krugle, a Silicon Valley startup, claims to have come up with a better alternative—a search engine for source code and code-related information.
The tool, also named Krugle, is designed to deliver easy access to source code and other highly relevant technical information in a single, convenient, clean and easy-to-use interface, according to company officials. Krugle works by crawling, parsing and indexing code found in open-source repositories and code that exists in archives, mailing lists, blogs and Web pages.
Its based on a combination of open-source and proprietary technology, according to company officials. On the open-source side, its based on the Apache Software Foundations Nutch and Lucene Web search projects, as well as on the ANTLR (ANother Tool for Language Recognition) parser generator.
While the Krugle search engine itself is not open-source, company officials said it participates in the open-source projects from which part of Krugles code springs, as well as in other development communities.
"Today, programming is more about efficiently assembling and integrating code than it is about writing new code from scratch," said co-founder and CEO Steve Larsen in a statement.
"Finding, evaluating and downloading the right code is a common developer task that consumes massive amounts of developer time," added Ken Krugler, co-founder and chief technology officer of the Menlo Park, Calif., company. "This process has difficulties because of the way software projects and components are currently accessed on the Internet."
Krugle does more than just search code, though. Developers also must sift through project information, documentation, license information, tips and hints, and so on, when making decisions regarding what code to use. The company claims that its search engine can deliver the precise information programmers need to solve their immediate problems.
"The implications of the open-source movement are dramatic and cant be understated," said Chris Shipley, executive producer of the Demo conferences, in Phoenix. "Everyone agrees that open source is the wave of the future, and Krugle is riding that wave by helping programmers find the code they need to do their job."
Beta testers can sign up for the search engine on Krugles Web site. The project is scheduled to go live for testing March 8 at the OReilly Emerging Technology Conference in San Diego.
Krugle is not the first program to attempt to tame code searching for programmers. Both Koders and Black Duck Software, with its protexIP/development, offer similar functionality. Krugles scope and focus on developer search issues, however, makes it stand out.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is the editor of Linux-Watch.