Archives / 2006 / October
  • Developers harness the power of Google Code Search... and look up dirty words

    Google has unleashed its latest free search product onto the unsuspecting public: Google Code Search. What new wonders will come from combining this powerful new tool with the software development community? Will we use our knowledge to spot hidden bugs in one another’s software, eliminating software crashes and possibly saving the lives of those that depend on our programs? Or will coders around the world enter a new era of greater collaboration, creating amazing new software that transforms the the way people live?

    Or we could, you know, look up dirty words in each others code: Fucks per programming language and license. [:)]

    According to Google Code Search PHP developers are the most profane while Python, Java and C# (my language of choice) come out the cleanest. C# ends up winning (or losing depending on your perspective) by a nose. Take that fuckers.

    More seriously, I don't see Google Code Search changing the world when it comes to the reuse of existing code. Expressing what you are looking for in a class or library in a regex that searches over code is something that strikes me as being very hard to do. I believe the majority of the time you would be better off using plain old English in Google's regular search to find what you’re looking for.

    Google Code Search isn't without merit however. A place where I can see it being quite useful is when working with an API for the first time. If you're unsure of the way a specific property or method works, and the code example in the MSDN reference isn't any help, Google Code Search provides a means to get a list of real world examples to learn from.

    Finally, and I guess since it is Google I shouldn't be surprised, but Google Code Search has managed to find and include the code I've written and made public on this site, despite being zipped! If anyone deserves a P/E of 60, it's Google.