Google is adding yet another nifty tool to their already formidable repertoire. This one aimed at coders and developers, Google is launching Google Code Search, which will be designed to specifically help programmers search through source code, either as a reference or to help create new programs. Supposedly, the engine will be able to differentiate different types of code, and even locate particular useful blocks or techniques inside of them, letting someone browse thousands of programs for particular ways of doing things. It even can properly search according to the legal issues of using the code:
Searchers can seek out specific programming terms or computer languages and dive deep into compressed code to locate specific features. Users also can narrow a search to find software code based on specific licensing requirements, which is a big deal in warding off future patent litigation.
You can actually see this beast in action yourself at Google's site. It's likely to be updated often, and it's possible that in the future Google may even create a desktop application that can search the code database, such as with Google Earth.