Search Engine for Open Source Code: Ohloh

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Ohloh by Black Duck is a type of FOSS website which provides a Search Engine in a comprehensive environment to search free code. A FOSS is a Free and Open Source Software which is free and licensed to be used by anyone. Ohloh currently is a public directory of 16,651,326,963 lines of freely available source code which can be used by anyone in their development. One can even join the team to add new projects and correct or review existing ones. See the below screenshot.

As Projects and Code on Ohloh is available for editing and reviewing by public, this makes Ohloh one of the largest and accurate collections of open source code. It is a community for developers and Analysts which lets them search for the code, analyse the history of code and updates, and help them generate various reports about the activity. Ohloh lets you search source code and provides various filter options along with it to make your search result precise.


The various Filters that Ohloh provides are:

  1. Definition: The various options that definition provides are Method, Object, Struct, Constructor, Class, Enum, and many more. So when you check on any of the definition options and search for a particular keyword, you will get only that type of result. It is a cool feature, see below screenshot. My search string was Dim a As Integer. It gave me the result very precisely as you can see from the screenshot. Ohloh_2
  2. Languages: Ohloh supports all coding languages. So if you want to search only C code, you can select C from this list and it will list out only C code from the directory.
  3. File Extension: It lets you select the file extensions from more than 100 types of files extensions.
  4. Projects: The same way, you can check out the projects and select from them. There are more than 100 projects listed in Ohloh directory.

Once you search for any code, it will give search results along with the name of files and project from where the search result has come out. You can then even download this file and use the code. Ohloh lets you Browse all the files of any project. See screenshot below, I had simply clicked on Browse button and was able to view all the files of that particular project.


Now, if you click on any Project name, it will open a separate window wherein you can see the details of that project. You can see the Project Summary, Language used, a graph depicting Lines of code including comment and blanks, monthly and yearly activity of the project, commits per month, Ratings, and Contributors per month. This way it helps analysts to analyse and keep a track on the Project they upload.

Other search engines for source code you can check out NerdyData and SymbolHound.

Overall Review

Ohloh is a cool search engine, specially for open source codes and designed to help developers and Analysts. People can upload their projects in Ohloh public directory, and this uploaded code can be used by developers for development or they can work on this code to further enhance it. It provided analysts the data on how their code is being used and its efficiency. Try Ohloh if you are interested in open source coding, click on this link.

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