GitHub unveils its huge code search makeover

GitHub Code Search redesign
(Image credit: GitHub)

With developers typically spending more time reading and understanding code than actually writing it, GitHub has released a new code search tool that has been several years in the making.

After an early preview late in 2021, GitHub has finally announced the general availability of its new code search that has been rebuilt from the ground up.

Beyond a new, redesigned interface enabling developers to navigate more easily, many of the processes that go on in the background have been entirely rethought to make it more efficient and ultimately better at getting the right results.

New GitHub code search

The new search promises to be “about twice as fast” as it once was. It also looks to actually understand code, thus helping users to find more accurate and relevant results.

A redesigned code view also hopes to better align search, browsing, and navigation, regardless of your chosen programming laptop.

To coincide with the announcement, GitHub has published a search syntax guide to help users understand keyword qualifiers, slashes, and more, designed to refine results even better.

More formally known as Blackbird, the search engine was built in Rust and is designed to cut through endless duplication to narrow down the 115TB pot of content to just 28TB of unique content.

GitHub software engineer and article author Colin Merkel explained:

“Our goal with the new code search and code view is to enable developers to quickly find critical information scattered across their codebase, put that information into context, and ultimately make them more productive.”

Merkel also describes the new code search as “just the beginning.” Already, the developer platform is an early AI adopter, and its GPT-4-powered Copilot X is helping coders to write and correct code more quickly.

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!