Google in its never-ending streak of launching new services/product released one more offering Google Code Search. Here is the news coverage. I did give a quick try. It seems that the search relies on the comments, which are embedded in the code or the code itself. If you fire a very plain English query like how to read a file in PHP, it does not lead much useful search results. It seems very much key word based rather than heuristics or context based like the general search engines are. Perhaps it could be useful for those who want to look for the usage of particular function or particular class in various code snippets spread in open source code bases or sample codes hosted in various sites. Firing a query for PreparedStatment does give some useful results when you click some of the programs listed in the search results.
So don’t count much on the Google Code search for the solution of any programming problem you have. I think it will take some more time when we have the search engines, which will take a problem definition something like “Write a program in PHP to convert degree Celsius to Fahrenheit” and give you a ready made or close to ready made code. Still a handy utility.