Google Code Search is now live, a new service from Google designed to allow computer programmers and others seek out computer code from across the web.
How is it different from regular Google web search? In general, regular web search won't open up executables and other programming files to index what's inside of them. Instead, a regular search would only find code that was explicitly placed on web pages.
Google told me the new service has billions of lines of code indexed and that it supports regular expression searches. The FAQ gives you further details.
Reason for the service? Google said it's a combination of wanting to make an important information type more accessible, especially for the heavy subset of coders that already use Google. In addition, Google said it wants to help further develop a coding community, so offering a good code search engine helps with that.
Google's not the only one in the code search engine space, though it pitches having a bigger collection of code than other existing services. Coders will be the judge in short order. Some other coding search engines to check out:
- Koders.com (see more info in Koders Offers Search For Open Source Code and Conversation with Co-Founder of Vertical Engine Koders.com)
- Codase is (see short review in Codase For Seeking Open Source Code)
- WSFinder (for seeking APIs, see also Try WSFinder To Find Web Services & APIs)