The handy goodness of krugle

Krugle first caught my eye thanks to some RSS feed from wired magazine. What krugle hopes to be is simply a google exclusively to the coder world. It hopes to be an index of all the open-source code out there. In addition to meaningfully indexing code, it also hopes to index all the technical documentation, the numerous user forum posts , coder haven discussions, developer posts etc and make it all available under one site : Krugle.

Before I sing its praises, let me first say that krugle is still in a very limited beta test. It took me almost two months to get my beta login and also that all things considered I am a very recreational coder i.e I do not make a living writing code . But I will illustrate its utility with an example of how a krugle search helped me out.

But first a slight tangent. I recently started learning to use the seqhound bioinformatics API (http://www.unleashedinformatics.com/index.php?pg=products&refer=seqhound ) from Unleashed informatics. This very powerful API in JAVA, Perl and C++ endeavors to simplify the access to up-to-date biological sequence information and its web-service component has powerfull interfaces linking the different databases together. Particularly elegant is its cross-referencing of data between difference sources like NCBI , Expasy , Flybase and the several other Bio-informatics databases out there. But today I was experimenting with a particular API call, ShoundACCFromGI. The javadoc for this class helped me cook up a quick example.

My fledgeling program did compile but gave me an error when I ran it. Despite my "understanding" of the javadoc for this call I could not get the program to work. At which point I decided to give my new krugle access a whirl. A few seconds later ( the beta servers are tad bit slow but it might have something to do with teething troubles), I got an actual code example from the taverna project at ( http://www.taverna.org ) which had the exact same API call in some source file. The line it pulled up had the correct syntax, and told me that a simple change of the my code whereby I pass a string literal to my function and not a string object had me up and working real quick.

Needless to say "googling" around for examples and code snippets prior to my krugle search did not yield an appropriate example. Now I know this mistake could have been avoided by actually reading and understanding the javadoc for the class. But if you are like me and learn by looking at examples, then krugle can be immensely helpful. I have only started playing with krugle but as far as today goes Krugle made my day

Update:
A krugle report on RedHerring spoke of the other coder search sites, i.e Codase, Koders and Codefetch. I was curious as to the utility of these other engines relative to krugle. I tried looking for the same function call from the seqhound API on these sites using the most genereal options and I got no matches.

Now that very well could be due to their relative focuses i.e they may not yet have mined all of the "obscure" projects and all repositories of little use to mainstream coders out there. Also Codefetch mostly indexes printed books ( at least it seems that way). But all in all the all-in-one-ness of Krugle is a definite plus.

Another interesting observation was that Koders had an eclipse plugin. Now that would be a real nice utility from krugle..lets see how this one develops.
Krugle gets $6.1 million in funding : Other news on krugle from the Krugle Blog

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One response to “The handy goodness of krugle

  1. Hi there,

    I’m writing a column about search-driven development, and I’d like to use part of this blog post in my article (with a link back to you, of course). I wanted to make sure it was OK with you, and to get your full name to include in the write-up.

    Thanks,

    — Ken

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