Google has unveiled a new service that allows developers to search for software code.
Google Code Search has indexed several billions lines of code from archives hosted on the web, as well as software control repositories from services like SourceForge and Google Code which host open source projects.
"We will try to make this useful for everyone from computer science students to serious programmers and even hobbyists and code enthusiasts," Tom Stocky, a product manager with Google, told vnunet.com.
The search giant has also published an API that allows third-party developers to integrate a code search box into their development tools.
Google Code Search allows programmers to familiarise themselves with a programming language by finding code samples to get a better understanding of the functions.
"They used to have to think of all the software that was relevant, download it, unzip all the files and search from there. Now they can go to Google Code Search and search from there," said Stocky.
The new service allows searches to be limited to specific languages such as Java or C++ as well as software licences.
Google is not the first to unveil a code search service. Book publisher O'Reilly launched a beta of its Code Search service last month that allows users to search a combined 2.6 million lines of code published in its books.
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