Sunday, November 20, 2005


Back when Sun launched OpenSolaris, I was pretty psyched about the whole thing, but one of the things that actually interested me the most was their online source browser. For those who haven't played with it, it's pretty much a reimplementation of LXR, which you may have seen in use over at

Of course, at the time, the code to this part of the OpenSolaris web site wasn't available, so I just sort of wrote it off as "pretty cool, I wonder if it'll ever be released".

Well, apparently its code was actually released last week, it's called OpenGrok, it's written in Java, uses Lucene for its searching, and calls out to exuberant ctags to parse source code in a dizzyingly large variety of languages.

I just downloaded it and pointed it at a copy of the Subversion source code, and I've gotta say it's pretty cool. The instructions were pretty straitforward, just run a simple command to index your code, edit a few lines in WEB-INF/web.xml, drop the war file in Tomcat's webapps directory, and away you go.

It'd be nice if it had actual Subversion support built in (so far just CVS and SCCS), but that's on the todo list. Other than that my only complaint is that it requires Java 1.5. Requiring Java at all is a pain, but I can get over that, considering that it comes from Sun and all. The Java 1.5 thing really sucks though, since it means there's like zero chance it'll work with the open source Java implementations.

Also slightly annoying is the fact that while the code is available, there doesn't seem to be any way to contribute changes back, or at lease none that's mentioned on the web page. It's basically just source and binary distributions with some instructions on how to get started.

Hopefully a public source repository and some mailing lists will show up in the future, because it's really a neat tool, and I'd love to at least keep track of its development, if not actually contribute to it.