Where to find python c-sources

John J. Lee jjl at pobox.com
Fri Oct 7 23:00:47 CEST 2005

Terry Hancock <hancock at anansispaceworks.com> writes:

> On Friday 30 September 2005 04:37 pm, John J. Lee wrote:
> > "Tor Erik Sønvisen" <tores at stud.cs.uit.no> writes:
> > > Thanks for the answers... And yes, I have searched google! 
> > 
> > How odd -- the most useful link (the viewcvs page for this source
> > file) is the very first link for me when I search for socketmodule.c
> > 
> > Does google vary in its results across the globe?
> Of course you meant to be snippy and sarcastic,

I really was wondering if such results varied, because it seemed hard
to believe somebody wouldn't do a similar search.  And the idea that
he might have been too lazy didn't enter my head <wink>

> but you've actually
> exemplified the reason why so many people don't find such a thing
> with Google.  Like all search engines, you have to know the right
> keyword -- to a fair degree of precision -- in order to find what
> you're looking for.

Oh, come off it.  It seems hard to imagine that trying socketmodule.c
when looking for socketmodule.c requires some expert search-fu that
I'm supposed to posess.

> This is very unlike asking a question of a human being.  *People*
> respond much better to general subject headings such as "socket
> module" or "python sources" rather than looking for something
> ultra-specific like a particular file name.

He wasn't looking for general information.  He told us he was looking
for socketmodule.c, for Pete's sake!  And "python sources" *does*
takes you to the Python sources.

> Researchers take this
> training with them when they approach Google and treat it like
> a magic librarian -- they give it the same thing they would come
> to a human librarian with.

You conjure up in my mind a nice picture of an be-cardiganed gentleman
in an oak-panelled corner of the British Library, in his early
seventies complete with pipe, dust, and technophobia.  Seems an
unlikely image for somebody with an email address containing the
string "@stud.cs." and stating their interest in reading networking
code written in C <wink>

Still, going back to researchers-with-pipes ("researcher" meaning
"collator of information" rather than "creator/discoverer of original
ideas"), I perhaps naively assume that such Google-phobic researchers
must nowadays do other work for a living.  Who'd want to employ a
researcher who can't efficiently use search engines and other
databases these days?  But as I say, I could well be naive here... I
recall my not-astonishment at trying to find a book in a local (but
not small) public library, and finding that the librarian was unable
to do so, despite their apparent enthusiasm at my request, and initial
proud promises that the databases they pay for would find it even if
none of the regional libraries had a copy (due in this case I suspect,
and hasten to add, to the databases simply lacking the relevant
records, rather than incompetence on the part of the librarian).  I
walked round the corner and found it on both Amazon and Google in
around a few seconds each time.  I had been led to believe books were
something of a library speciality...

In fact, rambling a little further, I can honestly say (in the
certainty and enjoyment of offending any librarians reading <0.75
wink>) that I've never knowingly extracted any useful information from
a librarian, who in legend are supposed to have such old-style
researcher-fu as you refer to.  This applies even to pre-Google days,
despite having spent a fair amount of time in libraries, and asking a
fair range of questions over a period of years: some very specific,
some quite general and wooly; some particular, some about general
search strategies and techniques.  <sarcasm level="0">Perhaps that
just reflects my interests or level of competence in one way or

> Seriously, though, for anybody new to using search engines, it
> is a very useful rule of thumb -- search for a specific word
> likely to appear on the page you are looking for, and not
> elsewhere.

It's quite true that has to be learned.


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