Tuesday, 27 July 2010

DuckDuckGo, a *fast* and *awesome* web search engine (in Perl!)

More than often we hear people in the Perl community asking for more Perl applications and solutions instead of just modules. Well, Gabriel Weinberg (YEGG, on CPAN) did just that!

His new creation is called DuckDuckGo (DDG for short), a search engine with lots of cool features, like:

  • It's blazing fast! Google's search results doesn't quite make it for me, but I could get to the "right" result in the list (even in other pages) really fast, so is was one of the biggest blockers for me in switching to other engines. No more :-)

  • Official sites are labelled and displayed on top.

  • No ads above results, and actual privacy! Unlike Google, DDG does not track users, nor displays "sponsored links" on top of your search.

  • Zero-click info is an amazing way to find what you're looking for in your search without having to follow any links. Let DDG do the hard work for you!

  • Several goodies ready for you: go to the first result prepending a "!" to your search, find your IP address by simply querying "ip", get random numbers, test a regexp, and much, much more!

  • site:, filetype:, inurl:, AND, OR, and all your favorite advanced operators work too!

  • Keyboard shortcuts and customizations let you setup fonts, colors and much more! If you don't like to use the mouse, you can do everything via the keyboard.

  • Encrypted search, just use https:// instead of http://
Read the About and FAQ for more features and information, and give it a try. You might be surprised :-)

Want to help promote more Perl-based solutions? Sick and tired of Google search? Switch now!


Oh, did I mention it is **fast** ??

Cheers!

5 comments:

  1. Google didn't have ads either when it first started. However, you can't do a search engine cheaply, someday you've got to make some money to at least cover the
    costs. DuckDuckGo will have ads someday, in one form or another. Or it might get bought by Google ;)

    Official sites are labelled and displayed on top.

    Wonder how those are selected and, in case it's automatic, how soon scammers will learn to abuse the system.

    Every other point is covered by Google already, no real reason to switch...

    Oh, and a dealbreaker for many people: it doesn't work without JavaScript.

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  2. Another perl based search engine http://blekko.com is comming :)
    http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=926813

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  3. @pronik: As for ads, I totally agree. Their promise is to not fake the ads as "first results", like Google does.

    I don't know how they manage to put official sites on top, but every automatic indexing system has potential errors and might be abused. Google itself was hit more than a couple of times by this very issue. The key thing is how they'll act on it, and only time will tell...

    I don't think every other point is covered by Google search. Can Google test regexes for you? Does it let you browse results easily via the keyboard just by pressing up and down keys? Can it create a random password for you just by searching for "pw" (optional length)? Or show you your ip by querying "ip"? Or be as well integrated to Wolfram Alpha? I must confess I've been using it for a week know and don't plan on going back to google unless I have to. That said, google labs do offer some nice goodies that I look forward to seeing in dukgo too. But, to me, the zero-click info in particular is *the* killer feature =)

    As for javascript, yes, but I don't think this is an issue for regular users. And the zero-click info works even with js disabled =P

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  4. people are used to Google, and this is ok. Google search is a nice system. But remember when we used Altavista or other engines? I remember being very resistant to Google, what really got me was fair results and an amazing speed, and until a couple of weeks ago I couldn't see myself looking somewhere else.

    My point here is, we shouldn't be afraid or resistant to trying out new solutions to old problems. Who knows, we might actually like them! Google itself does it all the time, it's how we grow :)

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  5. @aero: awesome! I look forward to it, too! :)

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