I still remember when I used ack for the first time. It was shortly after I moved to SF, and Brian Rue swore by it. I was as skeptical before trying it as I was blown away after – usually at least 10x faster than grep, and better at ignoring useless files by default.
Adam Morse just told me about Ag (aka “The Silver Searcher”), which somehow embarrasses ack on performance, the same way ack embarrassed grep years ago. It also knows about .gitignore files, and can plug in to vim and TextMate just like ack.
On mac, it’s just…
ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/Homebrew/homebrew/go/install)"
brew install the_silver_searcher
And you’re off! (other install methods available). I don’t have time for extensive performance tests, but at first glance,
ag looks 20 times faster than
ack, and 200 times faster than
|time grep -inrH “testing” .||time grep -inrH “emissary” .|
|time ack testing||time ack emissary|
|time ag testing||time ag emissary|