How the Chromium and Android projects use code search

Since the Chromium and Android open-source projects are maintained by Google, they use publicly usable instances of Google’s internal code search:

Google surveyed Chromium contributors on how they used code search. Here’s what they found:

  • Chromium code search is critical to my work. 98% of developers agree.
  • What do you use code search for? Top answers: search, cross-references, browsing, understanding, sharing, history. Quotes:
    • “This tool is as critical as the code review tool to me”
    • “Everything. Without it I would be nothing. … I use it several times a minute while coding.”
    • “Everything. I open a tab probably every 10 minutes or so.”
    • “Everything! Browsing the codebase, refactoring, understanding history changes.”
    • “Everything? Constantly? Chromium is hella complicated.”
    • “Basically everything. It is how I understand the Chromium codebase.”
    • “Everything! Crucial to learning an area of codebase.”