Facebook’s Graph Search takes on Yelp, LinkedIn, and, yes, Google

Associated Press, January 16, 2013



Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new search feature that’s designed to entice people to spend more time on his company’s website and will put the world’s largest online social network more squarely in competition with Google and other rivals such as Yelp and LinkedIn.

Called “graph search,” the new service unveiled Tuesday lets users quickly sift through their social connections for information about people, interests, photos and places. It’ll help users who, for instance, want to scroll through all the photos their friends have taken in Paris or search for the favorite TV shows of all their friends who happen to be doctors.

Although Zuckerberg stressed that “graph search” is different from an all-purpose search engine, the expanded feature escalates an already fierce duel between Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. as they grapple for the attention of Web surfers and revenue from online advertisers.

“This could be another reason not to use Google and another reason to stay on Facebook for longer periods,” said Gartner analyst Brian Blau. “I don’t think Google is going to lose its search business, but it could have an impact on Google by changing the nature of search in the future.”

Facebook’s foray into search marks one of its boldest steps since its initial public offering of stock flopped eight months ago amid concerns about the company’s ability to produce the same kind of robust earnings growth that Google delivered after it went public in 2004.

Although Facebook’s stock has rallied in recent weeks, the shares remain below their IPO price of $38. Investors seemed let down by Tuesday’s news, causing Facebook’s stock to slip 85 cents, or 2.7 percent, to close at $30.10. Google’s stock gained $1.68 to close at $724.93.

If the new search tool works the way Facebook envisions, users should be able to find information they want to see on their own instead of relying on the social network’s formulas to pick which posts and pictures to display in their fees, analysts said.

Until now, Facebook users were unable to search for friends who live in a certain town or like a particular movie. With the new feature, people can search for friends who, say, live in Boston who also like “Zero Dark Thirty.” And Facebook’s users will be able to enter search terms the same way that they talk, relying on natural language instead of a few stilted keywords to telegraph their meaning.

Only a fraction of Facebook’s more than 1 billion users will have access to the new search tool beginning Tuesday because the company plans to gradually roll it out during the next year to allow time for more fine tuning.

Not all the interests that people share on Facebook will be immediately indexed in the search engine either, although the plan is to eventually unlock all the information in the network while honoring each user’s privacy settings.

That means users can only see content that’s available to them through other’s privacy settings, Zuckerberg pledged.

“Every piece of content has its own audience,” Zuckerberg said.

Though the company has focused on refining its mobile product for much of last year, the search feature will only be available on Facebook’s website for now, and only in English.

Facebook’s decision to make its foray into search slowly reflects the formidable challenge that it’s trying to tackle. The “social graph,” as Facebook calls the trove of connections between people and things, is “big and changing,” Zuckerberg said. There are 240 billion photos on Facebook and 1 trillion connections.

Indexing all this, he added, is a difficult technical problem the company has been working on.

Although Facebook isn’t trying to fetch information across the Web like Google does, it’s clearly trying to divert traffic and ad spending from its rival. Facebook is hoping to do this by making it easier for its users to quickly find many of the things that are most important to them: movie, music and restaurant recommendations from friends and family; photo galleries of people they care about; and new connections to old friends and other people with common interests.

It’s the kind of personal data that has been difficult for Google to collect, partly because Facebook has walled off its social network from its rival’s search engine. Instead, Facebook has partnered with Microsoft Corp. to use its Bing search engine to power traditional Web searches done through its site. That partnership remains.

“For a certain set of searches, this is going to be far more powerful than Google,” predicted Ovum analyst Jan Dawson.

Yelp Inc.’s online business review service also could be hurt if Facebook’s search feature makes it easier for people to find recommendations from the people that they trust instead of relying on the opinions of strangers posting on Yelp. Facebook’s search tool also will allow people to find people who worked at a specific company – one of the advantages of LinkedIn Corp.’s online service for professional networking.

Yelp’s stock fell $1.36, or 6.2 percent, to close Tuesday at $20.61 while LinkedIn’s stock added 39 cents to finish at $117.91.

Facebook doesn’t have plans to show additional ads as people use the new search tool, but analysts said that is bound to change. “If the appropriate privacy protections are in place, this could be a significant boost in value that Facebook can provide to its users and, in time, that will provide some really valuable new advertising avenues for advertisers,” Dawson said.

Google is trying to overcome its social network disadvantage with Google Plus, a service that the company launched 19 months ago in attempt to glean more insights into people’s relationships and counter the threat posed by Facebook.

Helped by Google’s aggressive promotion of the service, Plus boasts more than 135 million people who post information and photos on their profiles. But Google Plus users still aren’t sharing as much or hanging out on its service as long as Facebook users do, raising questions about whether Google will ever be able to grasp the Internet’s social sphere as firmly as Facebook does.

Facebook now must prove it can master the intricacies of search and picking the right ads to show to the right people at the right time – complicated tasks that Google has honed during the past 14 years to establish itself as the Internet’s most powerful company. It currently produces 10 times more annual revenue than Facebook. Though neither company has released its 2012 financial results, analysts are projecting $52 billion in 2012 revenue for Google versus about $5 billion for Facebook.

The search tool is laying the foundation for Facebook to close the gap, said Chris Winfield, co-founder and chief marketing officer for online ad agency BlueGlass Interactive.

“They can just chip away incrementally,” Winfield said. “The can start by just taking away one in every 100 Google searches, then one in every 20, then one in every 10.”

In an opinion apparently shared by many investors, Forrester Research analyst Nate Elliott doubts the search feature will prove to be a boon to Facebook. He views it as little more of a way for Facebook users to find new friends online more quickly and make new connections that ensure the social network remains relevant.

“It’s vitally important, but it’s also unsexy,” Elliott said. “If Facebook thinks people are going to start searching Facebook when they would have searched Google, then they I think they are going to wake up in a year and find they are sorely mistaken.”



WELL i just read this article in FACEBOOK ENGINEERING and i think this is a great job facebook did (not to mention like always) , so i am sharing this article so that you can feel the innovativeness and the story behind making this awesome prototype and system GRAPH SEARCH BETA ……

Under the Hood: Building Graph Search Beta
by Lars Eilstrup Rasmussen on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 12:41am ·


This morning we announced the beta of Graph Search, a new product that lets you explore the content your friends and others have shared with you on Facebook in entirely new ways. With Graph Search, you simply enter phrases such as “My friends who live in San Francisco,” “Photos of my family taken in Copenhagen,” or “Dentists my friends like,” and Facebook quickly displays a page of the content you’ve requested.


Graph Search has been the main focus of Facebook’s search team for more than a year now, but the project’s origin goes back much further than that. In Facebook’s early days, people could search for basic things like friends, groups, and events, but the systems that powered these searches weren’t comprehensive, nor were they able to scale with the site’s growth. As people shared more and more content, we saw that we needed to give them better ways to explore and enjoy those stories and memories. And we knew it was going to get harder and harder the longer we waited.



The challenge

In 2011, Zuck asked the search team to design and build a new system that would recreate the ability to search the entire social graph. This was an interesting challenge because–compared to large document collections like the Web–the data in our databases have significantly more explicit structure than free-flowing text. Therefore, a traditional keyword-based search product might not be the answer.


We debated whether to start by building smaller products targeted at specific use cases like recruitment search or local search. Such products are fairly well understood and could help educate us on the way to more ambitious projects. But in the true spirit of the Hacker Way, we decided to go for bust: could we build a single, structured search mechanism that would allow people to search everything we knew about the social graph at the time, and scale with Facebook’s incredible growth? We had to find out.


The prototype

This project presented two parallel challenges: what would such a product look like, and what infrastructure would we need to build to support it?


For the product part, we discussed and debated, and built several simple prototypes of graphical UIs that allowed users–click-by-click–to build up structured, database-like queries. But they all seemed too complex and not quite up for the full scope of Zuck’s challenge to us.


Then an idea emerged around the title of each page on Facebook. We wanted people to be able to construct their own views of the particular Facebook content they were interested in. If a person simply entered the title of the content they were looking for, could we then build a system that would understand the searcher’s input and find the content for them?



We thought it was particularly beneficial that such a system could be integrated nicely with the site’s existing main search feature: the search field atop each page. People already knew this was the place to search on Facebook, and although search was extremely limited before Graph Search, we still received hundreds of millions of queries every day.



In about a week, a few of us threw together a simple proof-of-concept: a naive, exponential-time ‘parser’ written in Javascript that could mimic the experience we were looking for as long as the searcher input no more than a few tokens. I remember the day we showed Zuck the idea during the summer of 2011. He said, “You will never make that work, but if you can it’ll be awesome.” (Zuck knows how to inspire…)


We of course wanted to take on the challenge, but none of us had built anything remotely like this before. So we hit the books. We combined various parsing techniques to build a substring parser: suppose a user inputs, say, “friends New York” and that we have defined a comprehensive set of all the potential page titles our system can handle. Our parser could then generate exactly the Graph Search titles that contain the user’s input, including things like “friends who live in New York” and “friends who have visited New York.”  If we could find a way to appropriately rank those suggested titles for the Graph Search typeahead, we would have a good start.


Another month or so of coding later, we had a prototype that gave us the confidence that we could in fact build the system that we put into beta this morning.


The Infrastructure

In parallel to all this, the search team’s systems engineers went to work on building the necessary infrastructure. Challenge number one: scale. More than 1 billion people use Facebook each month, they have shared more than 240 billion photos on the site, and formed more that 1 trillion connections of thousands of different types. Every day, people share billions of pieces of new content, and Graph Search needs those indexed within seconds of their creation.


Secondly, we owned too much code running too many services already. At Facebook, we move as fast as we can, often building infrastructure targeted at very specific use cases. I believe strongly that the company’s considerable success has depended on this. But it comes at a cost: by the time we started the Graph Search project, the search team was responsible for maintaining three separate search systems backing various search features on the site that we had built over the years. The maintenance burden already had taken up considerable amounts of our limited engineering time, and it seemed ill-advised to add a fourth system to that mix. We desperately needed to consolidate.


And then of course there was the question of actually answering Graph Search queries. Using traditional information-retrieval systems to mix keyword and structured queries is fairly well understood. But we needed the system also to find answers more than a single connection away, such as “restaurants liked by my friends from India.” Here we were in luck: one of our three existing systems, Unicorn, was designed exactly with this in mind.




The search infra team decided on a two-stage approach: first build out Unicorn to manage all the existing search experiences on the site and then, build out Unicorn further to meet all the requirements of Graph Search. Today, we are far enough along now to launch Graph Search as a beta, but we’re still missing is the ability to index all of the posts and comments people have shared on Facebook–they make up by far the biggest dataset we have for Graph Search and Unicorn. The team will be writing more about this challenge on the engineering blog soon.



When you share something on Facebook, you get to decide exactly who can see that content. This, of course, is why Graph Search is such a powerful experience: a lot of what you will find is content that is not public, but content that someone has shared with a limited audience that happens to include you. It is also part of what makes Graph Search an interesting technical challenge for us. The system has to do an extraordinary amount of privacy checking in real time to deliver the experience we want.


One challenge in particular is worth calling out. Consider the relatively simple Graph Search query, “Photos of Facebook employees.” For starters, we make sure that only photos that the owner has shared with the person conducting the search can be seen on the photo results page. But we have also to make sure that each photo features at least one person who has shared with the searcher that they work at Facebook! Otherwise we would implicitly be revealing content that the searcher does not have access to. The more complex the Graph Search query, the more work we need to do to ensure the system returns only content the searcher already has access to.


Launching beta

Toward the end of summer 2012, Graph Search was starting to take shape. By then we had added designers to the team and the product started both looking and feeling quite real. Little by little, colleagues from outside the search team started actually finding real uses for the product, and we began planning when and how to release it to the public.


Personally, I enjoy looking at photos of my girlfriend and me almost every day, which is so easy using Graph Search. And couple of months ago, I used it to find a dentist in town by looking through the ones my friends like. Didn’t hurt at all!



The future

Today’s Graph Search beta is just the beginning. We’re starting with a focus on people, photos, places and interests, but are looking forward to incorporating posts and Open Graph actions, as well as making Graph Search available on mobile and in every language. We’re excited to be able to keep making search more useful, fun and central to how you explore existing connections and make new ones on Facebook. 


Over the coming weeks, different search team members will be writing in more depth on the challenges they faced while building their particular components of Graph Search. If you’d like to try out Graph Search during the beta phase that begins today, visit and request to be on the wait list.



Lars Rasmussen, the head of engineering for Graph Search, with some of the search team.

    I think if you r nerdy like me and interested in SEARCH tech you will find this article really interesting …and also shortly you will be able to enjoy this amazing facility on your favourite site FACEBOOK 😀


In the last post I told you about some scams and also some protective softwares , web apps…so now if you are interested to know the encryption and to be precise the main subject (which i find really brain teasing and interesting) CRYPTOGRAPHY …then Here I am suggesting and strongly recommending to do this course ..Its free and its from One of the best university in the world i.e STANFORD and also if you find yourself interested after doing the this course you can look into the site i m telling you for another courses …the main site where you can find all these course is
   now most of you guys probably heard about it or perhaps you are one the registered students but if you don’t know about it , trust me you are missing alot …so i recommend you to check this awesome site and its out standing courses ..but here is the course link i was mainly recommending you :

Cryptography I 
I think this is great and i am hoping that you will like it too



There are things almost as certain as death and taxes: crime is one of them. And there are certain events that always seem to trigger certain kinds of cybercrime. One is disaster, natural or man-made.     Well something like this happened before , there was the serious impact of ‘Superstorm’ Sandy on the East Coast of the US. And this type of scam happened quite a lot before, so I won’t go belabour the point about Sandy-related 419s, phishing attacks, Blackhat SEO, and even out-and-out hoaxes with no apparent cash motive. This graphic, featured in Urban’s blog, is actually a doctored still from the disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow, and the  that the number of sites registered with names potentially associated with the hurricane had already reached 1,100.

Then there’s the release of new technology. We tend to expect to see all significant new technology become the subject of social engineering attacks, though personally I would not be at all disappointed if that failed to happen for once. But I’m not holding my breath. We’ve already seen scams specific to the new iPad mini (but ‘free iPad’ scams via Facebook apps, email, SMS and so on, are a persistent feature of the threatscape, not surprisingly given the popularity of tablets in general and that particular product specifically). Then there’s Windows 8. While I agree that  there are lots of good things in the latest version of Windows – the fact is that there is much more to being safe online than the operating system, though having a well-secured and maintained OS is no bad thing.

Secure as Windows 8 seems to be – though it’s clear that the search for ways in which to compromise it has been underway since long before its public release, and there are already reports of exploits – it has already been

used extensively for social engineering attacks of various kinds. Trend Micro has sounded the alarm on fake anti-virus passing itself off as a Win8-specific security program, and both Trend and Sophos have flagged email messages offering a ‘free upgrade’ to Windows 8.

However, the link in one such email takes you to a form that looks a lot like this. I got this screen capture few days before ,  it would seem the phishing scam, unlike the storm, has not yet passed. If you complete the form, your information is redirected to an unknown address. And you may notice that the form doesn’t mention Windows 8: it’s so generic that it could be used for almost any scam, with a little bit of careful social engineering in the initial phishing message. (The phish message flagged by Trend and Sophos is actually pretty unconvincing.)

But here’s a slightly different angle of attack.  Some of my facebook friend told me last thurseday that “…a friend of mine recently received a call from a female who sounded foreign … who claimed Microsoft was having them call everyone about a nasty virus all people with Windows 7 were experiencing…”

As it happens, I’ve heard about  calls rather like that before.  From some news i come to know that several people in UK , Neitherland , USA ,New Zealand and Australia are recieveing such calls  from scammers who claimed that they could help me with a virus that was epidemic in this region, though they were unable to tell me which virus.Well according to the news most of the call they recieved were from India . Well thats one way a shame but what we should focused onto is how much these attacks are spreading these days . unless you wanna be victim I suggest you to be more serious and careful about this issues

Now the question is can we expect scam calls like these, offering help with a Windows 8 virus or perhaps with other Windows 8 problems? I don’t know, but it’s certainly far from impossible. As more people get to hear about the older forms of the scam, the scammers are likely to seek new variations, and it’s a short step from 7 to 8…


Well some of my friends ask me some times that whats the difference between http://  and https://   the answer is almost simple and some of you i guess already know that its because those sites are secured by SSL encryption…if you are interested in ethical hacking or cryptography you may already know that its one of the most popular and important security features these days and the reason we can do safe transection in internet is because of these cryptographic development . So now let me tell you what these famous SSL encryption is and why its soo popular and important and some of its unique advantages….

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is the World Standard for Web Security. SSL technology
confronts the potential problems of unauthorized viewing of confidential information,
data manipulation, data hijacking, phishing, and other insidious Web site scams by
encrypting sensitive data so that only authorized recipients can read it. In addition to
preventing tampering with sensitive information, SSL helps provide your Web site’s users
with the assurance of having accessed a valid Web site. Support for SSL is built into all
major operating systems, Web applications, and server hardware—meaning that SSL’s
powerful encryption technology helps provide your business with a system-wide, liability
limiting security blanket for fortifying consumer confidence, boosting the percentage of
completed transactions, and enriching the “bottom line.” Due to recent advances in SSL
technology, there is a variety of different kinds of SSL. In this paper, we will discuss some
of these advances to help you decide which would be best for your organization

+ SSL Overview
SSL became the standard over a decade ago to ensure the privacy of online
communications. A special data file called an SSL Certificate is created for a specific server
in a specific domain for a specific entity. Similar to a passport or driver’s license, SSL
Certificates are issued by trusted authorities such as VeriSign. Every entity that receives an
SSL Certificate must pass some form of authentication that verifies it is who it says it is.
With the explosion of phishing and other fraudulent Web activity aimed at stealing
people’s personal information, identity authentication is more important now than ever
before. The level of identity authentication verified by an SSL Certificate differs from one
SSL Certificate to another, and from one Certification Authority (CA) to another.
With SSL, a private and public key system encrypts the connection between two parties,
such as a consumer and a Web site bearing an SSL Certificate. When the consumer’s
browser points to a Web site secured with SSL, a secure handshake between the two
systems authenticates both parties. Each session uses a unique session key for encryption
(the longer the key, the stronger the encryption). Once this connection is established the
two parties can begin a secure session guaranteeing the privacy and integrity of their
communications. This security is particularly important when people are sharing sensitive,
confidential information over the Internet, an extranet, or even within an intranet. In the
case of e-commerce, a secure SSL connection is critical to doing business, as most Internet
users are afraid to share information with a Web site that doesn’t offer SSL protection.
A small purchase here, a smaller purchase there, and a reluctance to change age-old buying
habits or reveal personally identifying information characterizes an enormous segment of
the world’s viable online consumer population. The question remains: Will potential
customers feel secure enough in their Internet dealings with your Web site to take a
meaningful plunge into the world of transacting online?

+ Server Gated Cryptography: Enabling Strong Encryption
for the Most Site Visitors
If your reputation in the online community depends upon the stringent safeguarding
of information processed through your Web site, then your Internet security solution
should include the strongest encryption available to each Web site visitor. Encryption,
as mentioned above, is the process whereby data is transformed into a code that will
be indecipherable to an unauthorized viewer. The stronger the encryption, the more
difficult it is for someone to eavesdrop on your online communications. This is especially
important if you accept any kind of online payments, connect to a bank or brokerage
account, transmit health records, must meet a governmental or other regulatory
organization’s privacy and security standards, or process any kind of potentially
sensitive information.
Industry experts recommend a minimum of 128-bit encryption be used for all secure
online sessions. Some Web server-client browser configurations enable sessions with
up to 256-bit encryption protection, the strongest level of encryption commercially
available today. The strength of encryption enabled for any session depends on what your
customer’s browser and operating system support, as well as what your host server
systems will support. If your consumer’s browser or operating system doesn’t support
higher levels of encryption, the session will default down to the highest level that
it can support.
For years the U.S. imposed export restrictions prohibiting browser manufacturers from
distributing products that supported higher levels of encryption. Although most export
restrictions were lifted in January 2000, there are many consumers, especially outside the
U.S., who are still using older browsers (such as those before Microsoft Internet Explorer
5.5 (export)) and operating systems (such as certain early Windows 2000 systems),

which may default to weak, lower encryption levels. The Yankee Group, in 2005,
estimated that tens of millions of Internet users connect to the Web using substandard
encryption levels.1
SGC is an SSL extension originally created for financial institutions exempted from the
U.S. encryption export restrictions. With SGC, encryption levels are controlled by the
server and not dependent on the client system. Once these original export restrictions
were lifted, SGC-enabled SSL Certificates are now issued to all types of Web sites, not
just authorized financial institutions as in the late 1990’s.
VeriSign offers market-leading SGC-enabled SSL Certificates so virtually every visitor to
your Web site will be protected by the industry recommended minimum of 128-bit

+ Extended Validation SSL (EV SSL): The Gold Standard
for Authentication
While more and more people are comfortable searching the Internet, there remains a
significant disconnect between the numbers of surfers and those psychologically disposed
to transact business online. As a Gartner 2006 survey revealed, security concerns led
almost half of online customers to alter the way they use the Internet, at a cost of almost
$2 billion to the online business community.2 Clearly, too many potential e-commerce
clients remain distrustful or fearful of revealing personal or financial information to an
unseen and personally unknown entity. They need assurance and are increasingly
demanding it before they proceed through a personal revelation or financial transaction.
These and similar observations led a group of CAs, browser providers, and WebTrust
auditors to establish the CA/Browser Forum for developing a new SSL standard—one
that the online consumer world could easily comprehend and embrace. This consortium,
which includes representatives from both Microsoft and VeriSign as well as others,
created Extended Validation (EV) SSL. This new standard aims to combat the growth of
Internet threats such as phishing attacks. EV SSL requires a rigorous process of Web site
authentication and is considered the “gold standard” in the e-commerce industry for
authenticating the legitimate identity of a Web site. In order to issue EV SSL
Certificates, a CA must pass a rigorous WebTrust audit. VeriSign remains at the forefront
in the development and implementation of this new standard.

An EV SSL Certificate offers the online business and consumer a highly endorsed and
widely recognized level of protection from increasingly sophisticated Internet spoofing
scams. EV SSL contains a number of user interface enhancements aimed at making the
identification of an authenticated site immediately more noticeable to the end user.
New high-security browsers display EV SSL Certificates differently than traditional
SSL Certificates. Rather than the subtle padlock symbol displayed by traditional
SSL Certificates, EV SSL Certificates trigger the browser address bar in high-security
browsers to change to an eye-catching green color. This change is immediately evident
to an end user and delivers a confidence building effect. noticed that after
implementing EV SSL Certificates from VeriSign, its Microsoft® IE7-using visitors on
average completed transactions 8.6% more often than those using legacy non-EV-enabled
browsers. And, after deploying VeriSign EV SSL, realized an 11%
increase in completed transactions by IE7 users to their Web site.

In addition to the noticeable green color, a security status bar prominently displays the
name of the owner of that Web site and the CA who has issued that EV SSL Certificate.
This field reveals both names in turn when a visitor first arrives on the Web site.
Like its traditional SSL predecessors, an EV SSL Certificate facilitates secure encrypted
communication between a Web site and a consumer’s browser. It also authenticates the
genuine nature of the Web site so all visitors know they have indeed reached the site they
intended to visit and not a counterfeit site.
You gain the benefit of this gold standard for authentication as well as the powerful
protection of SGC encryption with VeriSign SSL Certificates. VeriSign offers a certificate
with both of these SSL advancements.

+ Browser Support for EV SSL
Microsoft, the first browser manufacturer to support this new standard, integrated
the EV SSL interface enhancement with Microsoft IE7. Although relatively new to the
market, IE7 has already garnered 31% of the browser market. Additionally, Firefox 2.0
users can download an extension that enables them to see the green address bar when
they encounter a VeriSign EV SSL Certificate. Within a month of this extension’s release
over 55,000 Firefox users had downloaded it. As of August 2007, no other CA offers
this benefit.
+ Third Party Trust Marks: Inspiring Consumer Confidence
Virtually all shoppers acknowledge their concerns about identity theft, credit card fraud,
and other Internet scams. They have a reason to be concerned. During the one-year
period ending July 2006, the monetary loss from identity theft scams totaled $56.6
billion with an average cost per episode of $6,383.4
The good news is that consumer awareness of solutions to security issues is likely to
increase as both the Internet security industry and certain governmental agencies get
the word out. To be sure, online consumers are already becoming increasingly savvy
about Internet security. Many now expect to see a familiar third party trust mark
identifying an online retailer’s Web site as a secure and viable shopping avenue. Inclusion
of an established third party trust mark on one’s Web site is now essential for guiding
shoppers from the “surfing” stage through the completion of a transaction.

Research has shown that the majority of online shoppers recognize the VeriSign
Secured™ Seal and indicate they would make an online purchase because of that seal’s
presence.5 If you purchase a VeriSign SSL Certificate for your Web site you are entitled
to display the exclusive VeriSign Secured Seal. Displaying the seal should increase
your customer’s confidence in your Web site and increase the number of completed
transactions you experience. Also, visitors can click on the seal to verify your site.
One week after posting a VeriSign Secured Seal on their Web site, Opodo, a leading
pan-European travel service saw a 10% jump in completed sales

Once you secure your Web site with a VeriSign SSL Certificate, all you need to do
to benefit from the VeriSign Secured Seal trust mark is download and install it.



You can make writing code as complicated as you want, but at the end of the day, all you really need is your favorite, trusty text editor. You can use a simple one like Microsoft’s Notepad, but oftentimes it’s helpful to have a text editor that has syntax highlighting/coloring, support for multiple languages, a robust find and replace feature, and other features and options that make writing code just a tad bit easier.

If you’re in search of a good, free text editor – you’ve come to the right place. Below you’ll find 12 first-class free text editors that are designed with coders’ needs in mind. Whether you use a Windows, Mac, or Linux machine – you’ll find a few options here that will satisfy your code-authoring needs.



NOTEPAD++ - screen shot.


NOTEPAD++ is the premier replacement for Microsoft’s Notepad. It has an auto-completion feature (for most supported languages) that guesses what you’re trying to write, a tabbed interface which is great for working with multiple files without cluttering your task bar, a powerful RegEx find-and-replace feature, code folding, support for a large array of languages (even Assembler!) and much more. These are just some of the features that make NOTEPAD++ my personal default text editor.


Bluefish Editor


(Mac, Linux)


Bluefish Editor - screen shot.


Bluefish Editor is a robust, open source text editor geared towards programmers and web designers. It’s known as being a fast, lightweight text editor that can open 500+ documents with ease. It has a built-in function reference browser (for PHP, Python, CSS, and HTML) so you can quickly learn about with particular syntaxes.  Check out the Screenshots section to find movies/screencasts (such as learning about working with remote files) and screen shots of Bluefish Editor.



TextWrangler - screen shot.

TextWrangler is a multi-purpose text editor for the Mac OS. It is a programmer-friendly text editor and Unix/Server Admin text editor. It has a useful “plugin” system allowing developers a way for extending TextWrangler’s built-in features. It also has a function browser so that you can quickly find and jump to the function you’re looking for (very helpful for those really long files). 



Smultron - screen shot.

Smultron is an easy-to-use text editor. Its simple interface makes it perfect for the minimalist coder. It has the basic features you’d expect from a text editor such as syntax highlighting/coloring but also has cool, helpful features such as the ability to split the viewing pane in two so that you can view files side-by-side, a code snipplet library to allow you to store your often-used code blocks, and a full-screen mode that’s intended to make you focus on the task at hand.



Caditor - screen shot.

Caditor is an open source portable text editor written in the .NET framework (C#) that puts speed and performance at the forefront of its design. It has a convenient search box built into the tool bar of the text editor’s interface so that you don’t have to open another dialog box to perform a search. It has other handy features common to developer-oriented text editors such as line numbering, a compiler feature to allow you to hook it up with your compiler, and FTP feature.



gedit - screen shot.

gedit is the official text editor of the GNOME desktop. Unlike Microsoft’s built-in text editor (Notepad), gedit is a more feature-packed text editor geared towards usage for programming and mark-up. With its syntax highlighting, tabbed interface for editing multiple files, and spell-checking feature – gedit is an excellent, free text editor for coders.

GNU Emacs

(Windows, Mac, Linux)

GNU Emacs - screen shot.

GNU Emacs (more commonly referred to simply as Emacs) is a cross-platform, extendible text editor geared towards programmers. One of its defining features is Emacs’s ability to be extended – offering you the ability to use it as your project planner and debugger, among other things. It has a file-comparison feature (M-x ediff) that highlights differences between two files (useful for figuring out changes in a file made by coders who don’t document/comment their revisions).

Crimson Editor


Crimson Editor - screen shot.

Crimson Editor is a light-weight text editor for Windows that supports many languages. It has a “Macros” features which lets you record a sequence of tasks so that you can reuse the sequence with a click of a button. It has a built-in FTP feature, allowing you to upload/download files from your FTP server. Crimson Editor is a solid option for Windows users.



ConTEXT - screen shot.

ConTEXT is another excellent, light-weight, freeware (meaning it’s free – but close-sourced) text editor for Windows. It has countless of handy features such as text sorting (helpful when you need to sort things in alphabetical order, for example), ability to export configuration options so that you can share your configuration or import it into several machines, and a macro recorder for repeating a sequence of tasks. In 2007, ConTEXT development was turned over to David Hadley but continues to be freeware.


(Windows, Linux)

SciTE - screen shot.

SciTE, written on top of the open source Scintilla code-editing component, is a speedy text editor aimed for use in source code editing. It has a standalone .exe version which you can use for portable storage drives (i.e. USB flash drives) so that you can conveniently carry it around and use it on any computer without having to install it. SciTE is a compatible with Windows and Linux operating systems and has been tested by the developer on Windows XP and on Fedora 8 and Ubuntu 7.10.

Komodo Edit

(Windows, Mac, Linux)

Komodo Edit - screen shot.

Komodo Edit is a freeware, cross-platform text editor created by ActiveState. It is a simple text editor based on the popular integrated development environment – Komodo IDE. It has a convenient and flexible Project Manager feature to help you organize and keep track of your project files.


(Windows, Mac, Linux)

jEdit - screen shot.

jEdit is a text editor that specifically caters to programmers. It’s written in Java and runs on any operating system that supports You can download a ton of plugins (check out the Plugins Central on jEdit’s website) to extend its built-in features. jEdit was designed to combine the best features of Windows, Mac, and Unix text editors.

GNU Emacs

GNU Emacs splash screen
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GNU Emacs is an extensible, customizable text editor—and more. At its core is an interpreter for Emacs Lisp, a dialect of the Lisp programming language with extensions to support text editing. The features of GNU Emacs include:

  • Content-sensitive editing modes, including syntax coloring, for a variety of file types including plain text, source code, and HTML.
  • Complete built-in documentation, including a tutorial for new users.
  • Full Unicode support for nearly all human languages and their scripts.
  • Highly customizable, using Emacs Lisp code or a graphical interface.
  • A large number of extensions that add other functionality, including a project planner, mail and news readerdebugger interface,calendar, and more. Many of these extensions are distributed with GNU Emacs; others are available separately.

    Best Text Editors



     Vim editor is a powerful and one of my favourite editor available on all major platforms.  it’s also an ideal editor for writing Ruby code. Though you may not see the advantage of learning Vim, you’ll quickly see the benefits if you start using it.

By not having to leave your keyboard to use the mouse, you can quickly issue commands and continue editing. Vim even maps some of the home key keyboards to cursor movement keys, so you never even have to leave the home row. In short, you can edit much faster with Vim.


  • Available on all major platforms
  • Powerful text editor intended for writing code
  • Has the Vim tutor available to assist in learning features


  • Keyboard-controlled, making for a steeper learning curve
  • Syntax-highlighting and automatic indentation are turned off by default and must be turned on


  • A free, powerful text editor available for all major platforms.
  • Distribution includes a number of plugins to add commands.

 the text editors above share many similar features. Keyboard and macro junkies often pit Emacs and Vim against each other, and most if not all of the rest put presentation and ease of use first, while still providing powerful tools for the plain text and coding pro. The real measure of a text editor is how it meets your needs, and if our original comment thread is any indication, you can’t go wrong with any of these options. If you’d like to point out the finer features that make your text editor of choice the best—whether it made the list or not—You can give your view in comments.