Switching from Oracle OpenGrok to Sourcegraph

Switching to Sourcegraph’s query syntax

Wildcards vs. regular expressions

Oracle OpenGrok provides wildcard support for searches. For example, to find all strings beginning with foo, you can use the wildcard search foo*. Similarly, OpenGrok provides the ? operator for single character wildcards.

Sourcegraph, provides full regular expression search, with support for the RE2 syntax. The same search above would take the form foo.* (or in this case, just foo, since Sourcegraph automatically supports partial matches). Much more powerful regexp expressions are available.

(Note that Sourcegraph also provides a literal search mode by default, in which there’s no need to escape special characters. This simplifies searches such as foo(, which would result in an error in regexp mode.)

Selecting repositories and branches

Oracle OpenGrok provides a multi-select dropdown box to allow users to select which repositories to include in a search. This scope is stored across sessions, until the user changes it.

Sourcegraph provides a search keyword (repo:) that supports regexp and partial matches for selecting repositories. As examples:

  • To search for the string “pattern” in all repositories in the github.com/org org, search for pattern repo:github.com/org.
  • To search in a distinct list of repositories, you can use a | character as a regexp OR operator: pattern repo:github.com/org/repository1|github.com/org/repository2.
    • Note this query could be simplified further using more advanced regexp matching if the two repos share part of their names, such as: pattern repo:github.com/org/repository(1|2).

Sourcegraph also allows site admins to create pre-defined repository groupings, using version contexts.

Searching in non-master (unindexed) branches, tags, and commits

Oracle OpenGrok can only search in the version of code that is stored on disk. To search across multiple revisions or branches, an OpenGrok administrator must explicitly add each of those copies of the code to OpenGrok.

Sourcegraph allows users to search on any Git revision, even if it is not indexed. Users can append @<git rev> to the end of any repo: keyword to specify which version to search. For example, to search on feature-branch, use pattern repo:github.com/org/[email protected], and to search on a commit abc123, use pattern repo:github.com/org/[email protected].

Sourcegraph also provides the ability to search on multiple Git revisions in a single repository at once, using : characters to separate revision names in the repo: field. For example, search both feature-branch and abc123 in a single query using pattern repo:github.com/org/[email protected]:abc123.

Special characters

Oracle OpenGrok doesn’t index most single-character strings (such as for special characters like {, }, [, ], +, -, and more), and non-alpha-numeric characters generally.

Sourcegraph indexes all characters, and can search for strings of any length. Using the default literal search mode, any search (including those with special characters like foo.bar, try {, i++, i-=1, foo->bar, and more), will all be searchable without special handling. Using regexp mode would require escaping special charactes.

The only exceptions are colon characters, which are by default used for specifying a search keyword on Sourcegraph. Any search containing colons can be done using the content: keyword (for example, content:"foo::bar") to explicitly mark it as the search string.

Boolean operators

Oracle OpenGrok provides three boolean operators — AND, OR, and NOT — for scoping searches to files that contain strings that match multiple patterns.

Sourcegraph also provides AND, OR, and NOT operators.

Search keywords

Both Sourcegraph and OpenGrok allow users to add keywords for scoping searches. Below is a mapping from OpenGrok syntax to Sourcegraph.

OpenGrok Sourcegraph
Search text full:pattern pattern
Search symbol definitions def:pattern pattern type:symbol
Search symbol references def:pattern Available through hover tooltips and Find references panels on code pages
Search for repository names Not supported pattern type:repo
Search for file names file:pattern file:pattern
Search commit messages hist:pattern pattern type:commit
Search code changes (diff search) Not supported pattern type:diff
Scope searches to a language pattern type:c pattern lang:c
Case sensitivity Not supported case:yes or case:no
Scope searches to forked repositories Supported through the repository selector fork:yes, fork:no, or fork:only
Scope searches to archived repositories Supported through the repository selector archived:yes, archived:no, or archived:only
Scope searches to repositories that contain a file Not supported pattern repohasfile:foo
Scope searches to recently updated repositories Not supported pattern repohascommitafter:"3 months" or pattern repohascommitafter:"june 25 2017"

Sourcegraph also provides keywords to scope commit message and diff searches to specific authors or timeframes in which a change was made.

To see an exhaustive list of Sourcegraph’s search keywords, see the search query syntax page.