SourceForge hopes to make it easier for developers to find existing open-source projects through an agreement with Krugle that boosts the search capabilities on SourceForge.net.
SourceForge has embedded Krugle's search mechanism into its site so visitors can more easily search through any of the 145,000 open-source projects hosted on the Web site, said Laura Merling, vice president of marketing and business development at Krugle.
Better search on SourceForge could help developers spend more of their time developing. Research that Krugle has seen shows that many developers spend about a quarter of their time trying to find out if someone else has already developed a capability they need, Merling said.
Previously, SourceForge users would receive a list of documents when searching. They'd then have to download the documents and search within them. Now, search results on the site include a logo and the words "search code." When users click on that, they're brought to a new page that is co-branded by SourceForge and Krugle.
On that page, users can search for specific words within the code or in other sources such as related documents. Users can also search there for other open-source projects.
Because Krugle designed its search technology specifically for searching for code, it returns superior results compared to other search services, Merling said. "We have parsers that look at the code and evaluate it as if it's code," she said. By contrast, most search mechanisms, including the one SourceForge used previously, are text-based systems that often don't look at the code itself, she said.
The agreement will also improve the search results on Krugle's own Web page, where developers can search through a wide array of online projects, because Krugle now has access to SourceForge project metadata, she said. That means Krugle will display better results than other "generic search engines" that might simply scrape project data, she said.
The agreement is an indication of a broader trend in search, Merling said. "If you look at the big play of where search is going, there are going to be these specialized search engines that give people who have a unique interest more information about what they're searching on," she said.