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Thread: Search engine for stuff including weird symbols?

  1. #1
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    Dec 2006
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    Search engine for stuff including weird symbols?

    Hey everyone, lets say that hypothetically I'm having trouble figuring out what .+ means in regex.

    When I google search for "regex .+" with or without the quotes, I get results related to regex, but nothing related to .+

    Google does this a lot; it strips out symbols because they have a different meaning for search engines, or it's easier to code for the google team, or whatever. But I need a search engine that is programmer-friendly.

    Anyone know of one?

  2. #2
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    I don't know of one, but I figured I would respond to this message so I could stay subscribed to it. I want to know too.

  3. #3
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    I'm pretty sure there's a way to tell Google to take characters literally, but I don't know how. I'm pretty sure it was one of the first things I learned when I first got access to the internet at college years ago. I think I forgot how in the years between leaving college and first getting internet access at home.

    I've tried lots of things over the past few years (such as escaping with a backslash "\.\+"), but nothing seems to have helped. I even tried rummaging through Google's other pages to see if I could find the info, but never seem to be able to navigate through Google's pages to get to the info I want.

    However, whilst writing this post, I've realized I probably should have just asked Dave. I'd bet he'll know and I'm sure he'd welcome the opportunity to mock me for not knowing.

  4. #4
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    Thought thats what escaping a string was for.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, but how do you escape characters for Google? That's the question.

    (Turns out that Dave didn't know either, by the way.)

  6. #6
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    May 2009
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    Hello, I've been wondering the same thing.
    'Google Code Search'? It uses regExp which I am not very familiar with:
    http://www.google.com/codesearch

    I'm making a custom search thing that I am working on in another thread, so I wanted to subscribe to this. ill think about this some more tommorow. Thanks.

  7. #7
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    Well, it's not that I want to search code, I just want to search the entire internet...

    This is a good find though. I wonder what it's used for? I cant say I've ever needed to search any open source code.

  8. #8
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    May 2009
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    Verdagon, I see your point, it would be nice to search the whole web. Your question got me curious because I have tried this before, so I tried again on a few of the other major search engines with no success.

    In regard to Google code search, I'm still a learner of php and javascript, so from that perspective it could be helpful for me to see syntax in the context of a program. I understand you want to find written examples and discussion of code and perhaps tutorials -- basically 'everything'. I'll post back if I think of something else.

  9. #9
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    I know that many members of this forum would shun the notion of buying a book on their chosen subject, but if the manual isn't enough for you then a well-written book can provide you with all (or at least very nearly all) the information and examples you could want. Well-written, accurate, informative books are worth their weight in gold.

    I know it doesn't solve the problem with Google in any direct sense, but I'd imagine you'd need Google for such problems less often. You'd probably come up with better solutions based on information from good books rather than an arbitrary selection of Web-pages, too.

    Maybe Google treats special characters the way it does to mitigate some potential security problems?

  10. #10
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    I've developed a search engine that allows you to search for special symbols.

    www.symbolhound.com

    SymbolHound is a programmer-friendly search engine. Unlike Google, it will not strip out the .+ , so you should be able to find reasonable results. Good luck, give it a shot and let us know how it works!

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