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Blueprint: Bringing Web Search into the Development Environment

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Uploaded on Sep 30, 2009

You can download Blueprint for Adobe Flex Builder at http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/bl...

The ready availability of online source code examples has fundamentally changed programming practices. However, current search tools are not designed to assist with programming tasks and are wholly separate from editing tools. This paper proposes that embedding a task-specific search engine in the development environment can significantly reduce the cost of finding information and thus enable programmers to write better code more easily. This paper describes the design, implementation, and evaluation of Blueprint, a Web search interface integrated into the Adobe Flex Builder development environment that helps users locate example code. Blueprint automatically augments queries with code context, presents an example-centric view of search results, embeds the search experience into the editor, and retains a link between copied code and its source. A comparative laboratory study found that Blueprint enables participants to write significantly better code and find example code significantly faster than with a standard Web browser. Log analysis from a three-month field deployment with 2,024 users suggested that task-specific search interfaces may cause a fundamental shift in how and when individuals search the Web.

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