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25 May 2009, 16:00

Search engine for Debian sources

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Peter De Wachter has created a Debian source code search engine for developers. It lets them find out quickly what files contain, for example, the usb_device structure required for accessing USB devices.

This not only enables programmers to search for the correct header file, it also lets the developers of the libusb USB library see what other Debian packages would be affected by any changes in the structure. The OpenGrok search engine used by the project allows both full-text searches and special searches, such as for definitions or external symbols. Searching can be restricted to a specific file path.

De Wachters says, however, that the search engine's database is currently limited to Debian unstable (Sid), because there isn't enough space on the server to take the current stable release (Lenny) or testing (Squeeze). It also appears the front end of the search engine isn't totally watertight yet – braces have to be preceded with a backslash, for example, otherwise the database will issue an SQL error message.


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