Wednesday, June 8, 2005
Interview with Jorn Teutloff, Koders.com
Santa Monica-based Koders.com (www.koders.com) recently announced the launch of its search engine for open source code. I talked with Jorn Teutloff, one of the company's co-founders on the purpose of Koders.com.
BK: What's Koders.com all about, and why a search engine for code?
JT: Koders.com is the web's largest search engine for identifying and accessing open source that developers can leverage in their own applications. We currently index over 190 million lines of code from more than 28 thousand projects in hundreds of open source repositories, including SourceForge, Novell Forge, Apache, Mozilla and others. Koders.com is the first free tool of its kind to allow developers to easily navigate the fragmented landscape of OSS code that is hidden away in repositories that your standard consumer-oriented search engines cannot index.
Koders.com is also our company's first product in a lineup of sophisticated tools and services that enable code reuse and enhance developer productivity. Today's organizations are under tremendous pressure to bring applications to market faster, at lower development cost, and with fewer defects. Unfortunately, software applications have a tendency to become more and more complex, which negatively impacts all three dimensions - time, cost and quality. Code reuse, meaning the practice of leveraging existing software source code versus building it from scratch, is proven to lower expenses and result in better applications brought to market sooner.
Koders.com facilitates reuse by making it easy to find and use existing source code.
BK: How is Koders.com different from projects like SourceForge and other open source clearinghouses?
JT: The differentiators here are both breadth and depth. Koders.com indexes tens of thousands of projects across a wide variety of repositories of which SourceForge is only one. Koders.com really is a meta-search engine, a search engine of search engines, which aggregates the results from multiple sources and brings it all together in a very intuitive, user-friendly interface.
In addition to casting a wider net, Koders.com indexes code at a much more granular level than some of the other clearinghouses. Whereas their indexing stops at project titles and description, Kodes.com digs much deeper. Our crawlers index at the code level, meaning we find search terms wherever they appear in the repository. This deep-level indexing produces much better results because our search engine finds code that other search engines miss entirely.
BK: How long has Koders.com offered its services, and how are people using your service?
JT: The Koders.com web-based search engine has been running in beta mode since October of last year, and is free to use for anyone. Obviously we are getting a lot of developers who are coming to the site to find code to be repurposed for their own applications, but we are also receiving feedback from developers and students who use the site to discover new projects and learn from what the best of the best have created. In that regard Open Source Code is also a fantastic learning tool.
BK: What's the revenue model behind Koders.com, and how do you make money?
JT: Our revenue model has three dimensions; first, there is the revenue generated through banner advertising on the Koders.com search results pages. Second, we are working on an Enterprise Edition of the search engine to be released this Fall. The Enterprise Edition, which indexes the code base within and outside of the firewall of an organization, is currently in beta with a select few customers. Third, we are planning to syndicate data and analyses generated from the Koders.com search traffic. These reports will provide analysts, the media, even application developers, with trends and insights into most common searches, most popular projects, most popular languages, etc. In essence, we are able to identify what's happening in the OSS community and pinpoint areas of opportunity.
BK: What is your background, and why did you decide to found the company?
JT: Darren Rush started Koders a couple of years ago after developing the search engine as an internal tool that he and his team could use on various application development projects. After experiencing their own dramatic gains in productivity, it was a small step to make the search engine available to the OSS community. My own background is in management consulting with a focus on strategic planning for Internet, mobile and wireless applications. Together, we are working on taking Koders to the next level - which in the short-term means to bring the Enterprise Edition to market and solidifying the foundation for a profitable company.