We are starting with a very simple version 1.0 where we let you search StackOverflow and public code on GitHub. Devbook is a desktop app that works similarly to Spotlight on macOS. You hit a shortcut, a window appears and you can start typing. We built the first version with developers' productivity in mind. You can control the whole app without touching the mouse. Our goal with the first version was to minimize context switching you as a developer need to do when looking for basic information on the internet.
In the near future, we plan to add more integrations in which you can search and more features focused on improving customizability and general user experience.
The app is free right now. In the future, we will introduce a subscription plan. But we would like to always offer a free plan. Also, to fully use the app, you don't need to sign up.
Currently, we support only macOS. Happy to answer any question.
Given it is bound to a general shortcut ala Alfred (or Spotlight), would it make sense to integrate with the former for people who use it?
With the Free vim plugin¹, typing the question into your code buffer followed by `<leader>KK` should bring the answer up in a pager, `<leader>KP`/`<leader>KR` should paste it after/over (replacing) the question, and `<leader>KC` should toggle the explanatory comments. Seems like a greater ‘minimiz[ation of] context switching’ to me.
¹Emacs, Sublime, VSCode, IDEA, and QtCreator plugins with varying feature sets also available. No affiliation. https://github.com/chubin/cheat.sh#editors-integration
Wow, my mind is blown! I've been using cheat.sh for a little while now, but really only as a glorified man page interface...my mind is blown in a bunch of other ways that it can be used...Only now looking through what else is possible. I guess i should have actually read the manual on cheat.sh! Thanks for sharing! TIL
Can't really speak on integrations with Alfred and similar app right now. The idea is to build a separate app just for developers when they are searching for information.
This is actually from an Incognito window (same result in Firefox): https://imgur.com/tWCWQW1
> The idea is to build a separate app just for developers when they are searching for information.
Right makes sense but if I could have everything integrated with the launcher I use, it would extremely helpful, atm your default shortcut is the default shortcut of Alfred for example.
In other words: according to some approximation of the authority of the page, given the graph of links to that page, and their estimated authority in the domain of the searched keywords -- it's possible (and likely, I think?) they aren't using stack overflow's vote counts in their sort at all.
Just a heads up, the Google search API provides different results than the normal Google web search.  It uses a different index that isn't as big, and handles term matching a little differently. There will be a personalization element for different results, but there are a lot of results that Google just won't be return through the search API.
I also work a lot with the google API for Runnaroo  (and the Github and Stack Overflow APIs).
Also, can search on Github work without connecting accounts? By default Github allows you to search without logging in. So I was confused when I was asked to connect my Github account.
Yes. We want to release a VSCode (and other IDEs+editors will follow) extension that will understand your current working context. The goal is to eliminate browser as much as possible. This way, for example, we would be able to extract errors from your terminal and offer you answers even before you start searching.
> Unauthenticated search
Unfortunately, GitHub let you do only 10 searches per minute as an unauthenticated user. We seemed to go over that limit fairly often from our internal testing. Once you authenticate yourself you get limit of 30 searches/minute. Eventually, we want to build our own index and use our API.
Thank you for trying out the app!
> extract errors from your terminal
That sounds useful but challenging. Looking forward to seeing that ITF.
> github search
Y understood now.
StackOverflow and GitHub could be formatted with great effort, and stuff like language docs. But not blog posts which differ highly in formatting and need to display images, at that point, you're just outputting the webpage in an IDE. You'd also need a way to index/retrieve those blog posts.
But, you also want actual browser features, as tabs are useful for further reading or comparing various things, or something to look at later.
Just using multiple screen displays is good enough.
Later on, we want to add many other integrations and offer a single input to let you search in all of them. We want to let you search in your infrastructure and actions you can do with them (we built Sidekick for this - https://getsidekick.app), docs, your local code, your team wikis, other 3rd party dev tools like Sentry, etc.
Also, we want to add "context". With this feature Devbook will understand what you're currently working on in your code editor/IDE and will offer you suggestions based on that. For example, you might get errors in terminal, Devbook will parse them and automatically search for answers. This way you will have answers for you problem without even having to search for anything.
Side Note Tip (VSCode):
I was amazed the other day,that I can "search inside" the VSCode terminal window with "grep -rn mystr *" and then Ctrl+Click on the file results and VSCode will open it on the line numbers !
Agree on the SEO point and generally results from Google. It has happened to me many times that I wasn't able to find the link I needed just because Google decided I don't needed based on my previous behavior + other variables.
I love the concept but this is going to need to be a lot more accurate on basic searches for me to trust it with anything more robust.
I guess I'm too used to StackOverflow's UI - will be hard to switch!
But funny that a Pioneer company is building a dev version of the startup that got Daniel Gross into YC :)