While you may know Sando as a software search tool for Visual Studio many are unaware that Sando is also a research-enabling framework. Sando was built to be extensible, for open source enthusiasts who want to support new languages, but also for researchers who need to quickly prototype new search ideas.
You may wonder, why do researchers need to prototype their code search ideas? Because code search is a software engineering problem, involving aspects of program analysis, information retrieval, and even natural language processing, it's necessary for researchers to ground their new approaches in the reality of the engineering issues. They need to test their new search algorithm(s) on realistic source code bases, because it's difficult to simulate the complexity of the system through thought experiments alone.
So, if you're a researcher interested in code search or a developer looking for an open framework to experiment with have a look at my demo (above) on Sando from the 2012 Foundations of Software Engineering Demo Track. I'll cover not only how developers use Sando in their day-to-day work but also how Sando can be used to quickly realize your kooky research ideas. Happy searching!
David Shepherd leverages software engineering research to create useful additions to the IDE.