Going Beyond grep for Searching Source Code

For developers who live on the command line, a shell prompt (bash or zsh) and an editor (vi or emacs) are the only IDE (integrated development environment) we need. For searching trees of source code, grep and maybe find will suit our needs.

grep will search whatever files you may have, but it wasn’t designed for source code, and so it doesn’t always deliver optimal results. Although grep is ubiquitous, there are other useful ways to search your source code. I created one of them, ack, back in 2004, and another, ag was adapted from ack in 2012. Let’s take a look at what they offer . . .

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Ack and ag (silver searcher) are amazing tools. To Vim users who love plugins I’d like to share this plugin https://github.com/mileszs/ack.vim enjoy!