Programming Language Research Search Engine

I've built a search engine dedicated to searching sites about programming languages (with an emphasis on theory) using the Google co-op services. You can find the search engine at:

Now you don't have to append your Google searches with extra superflous terms like "fish language" or "cat language" or "mixin types", you can just type in "fish", "cat" or "mixin".

There is still a fair amount of work to be done to fine-tune it, and increase the number of sites it searches. Let me know though if you can think of ways it can be improved.

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Nice! I planned on doing

Nice! I planned on doing something like this myself, but nver got around to it. Where can we see the list of the sites being searched etc.?

Language List

A list of the language sites searched is now available at

Try googling nice

I couldn't resist:
Try nice on google, now try nice on my search engine.

The list of sites isn't publicly available yet. Google doesn't publicize them, and I am trying to figure out the best way to make the current list available as a feed. It currently searches 80 sites. I've got the home pages of about 50 programming languages, the home pages a few well-known researchers in the field, citseer,,, some usenet groups (like comp.lang.functional etc.), and a few other odds and ends I deemed relevant. I'll post here when I have public feeds other people can use.

Thanks Frank

I just added several dozen new sites to the engine many of which I found on Frank Attanassow's page at

I've also labelled the links into different topics to help people refine their searches. I'm currently trying to get search engine redirection working so that I can let people point to the google CS curriculum search at


Your web page design doesn't seem to work with Blazer (Palm browser)

Sorry about that

Thanks for pointing that out. I am not sure I will be able to fix it, but thanks for telling me.

Browser Problems

Many of the slightly more uncommon browsers have problems with the site. Google hosts a separate interface at which should work better (in theory). Let me know if that does the trick for you.

New URL and Domain

I just purchased a new domain (for Programming Language Research Engine) which redirects to the Google interface at the nasty url above. I've also recently added a couple dozen more sites for some languages I overlooked like Cobol, F, XSLT, and SQL. I even put the Brainf**k homepage in there because it turns out to be a popular language to test the engine on!

Related ABACUS google custom search engine

On the home page you'll find the google custom search engine for ABACUS -- Authorization-Based Access Control for Usable Security. I included in this various relevant sites, including relevant language sites, such as (hint hint) itself, which you may want to consider including it yours.

Adding E

I've just added E to the list of language searched. Specifically: the page at Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Unfortunately I don't understand what "authorization based access control for usable security" means and how it relates to programming language theory. Would you be able to tell me more? Also what sites does your search engine search?

Capability security

Unfortunately I don't understand what "authorization based access control for usable security" means and how it relates to programming language theory.

See my draft presentation on capabilities in C#. Capability-based design has consequences for any language hoping to be secure, as I briefly outlined on the Cat group.

Sorry for not responding to

Sorry for not responding to your post on the language group. I just did so. I did not realize you were talking about "capability based design". Are you saying that "capability based design" is the topic that the Abacus search engine searches?

Thank you for sharing your powerpoint presentation. Do you have anything a little more concrete to share?

Do you have anything a

Do you have anything a little more concrete to share?

There is very little .NET-specific stuff. I have ported a version of the web-calculus to to ASP.NET (the web-calculus is essentially object capabilities across the web).

You would also be interested in the Joe-E language, which is an effort to make a few small changes to Java in order to make it capability-secure. Their paper should be most informative as to how even small seemingly benign Java "features" can have large, unpredictable and unpleasant consequences for security.

Python is also moving to a capability-secure design, so their rationale might convince you to make such small changes to Cat.

E is a secure, distributed programming language built on the Java VM, which also must "tame" the Java class libraries and suppress those Java classes which violate capability security. There are a number of links on that page including Mark Miller's dissertation "Robust Compisition", and a series of Google Techtalks on ABACUS/capability-security. This is really the most authoritative site on ABACUS/capabilities.

Emily: capability-secure OCaml

I forgot to mention How Emily Tamed the Caml. This is a paper that describes how they made a capability-secure version of OCaml. This is perhaps the most relevant to you and Cat, as Cat is also a largely functional language which would require only one or two changes in order to make it fully secure (like OCaml). If you only read one paper I cite, it should probably be this one.


Thanks for pointing that out. I've just added the language study links from that site. Do a search for "syntax" at and your suggested link appears in the number 3 position.

D does not come through as programming language

If you search on D, you find no references to the D Programming Language in the first few pages of links (after which I stopped looking). So, you might want to add

Also, it would be useful to get a count of how many hits are returned for a given search (a la Google and most search engines). Right now, that I can see, it doesn't give this number.

Otherwise, good tool.


Thanks for the suggestions and encouragement. I have problems getting D to show up. It has to do with the Google pagerank algorithms, and the fact that Jeffrey D Ullman is considered more networthy than the D language ;-)

However, I decided to try using subscribed links so that typing D will give a link to D at the top (if you don't see it when you try the engine at first you may have to force a refresh).

I am unfortunately unable to display the number of hits returned, that is in the hands of Google. I suspect that it is a tough calculation to return efficiently for custom search engines.

Very nice job!

Very nice job!

I think these would be good additions:

Tim Sheard's homepage


I've added your suggestions except for CiteULike. I am not yet convinced of the value of adding that site to the index, but I am open to persuasion.


On second thought, I agree with you about CiteULike.

Two others I've just remembered are the Squeak and Slate websites. Other than that, you have everything I can think of covered.

Add to sidebar

Should a link to the PLRE be included in the side bar? In the search page?

I`d love to see either

I`d love to see either development, but I`m of course biased. If I was to choose I would add it to the search page as an option next to Google. I could pass you the html for a search-box which used a radio button to select the engine if you wanted.

Alternatively you could make your own Google CSE (Custom Search Engine) which was customized for LtU and if you added me as an editor, the search results from the PLRE would be automatically integrated (or so they claim on the Google custom search engine home page).