A Clever Way To Search For External Libraries

If you need to build something that’s in every single other app or website, chances are, someone has already done the ground work for you.

There are a ton of open source libraries out there, but unless the library you need is in an SEO-friendly blog post or on StackOverflow or your co-worker or friend told you about it, you might opt in to re-inventing the wheel. Of course your wheel won’t be as great as what’s already out there, since you won’t have the time to work out the kinks and make it perfectly round!

When I was in the CodePath Android bootcamp, founder Nathan Esquenazi¬†mentioned a clever way for us to search for external libraries that I’d like to share.

Let’s say you’re interested in incorporating Android’s Roboto font into your project. You can of course write the views with the custom typeface yourself, or just follow these steps:

Search

On Github, just search for a term that best describes the functionality of the library you’re looking for:

github search roboto

Select Language

Once you get the results, select the specific language you need:

select java language

Sort

Depending on your search, you might get hundreds of results. To find the best / most popular libraries in the community, sort the results by most stars:

sort by most stars

Select and Repeat

Now you can take a look at the most popular libraries and find the one that best fits your needs! Keep in mind that if you’re not happy with your results, you might have a used a bad search term. In that case, repeat the search with a more generic keyword.

Sit Back and Relax

Well, that external library just saved you days of work. Enjoy the extra time!

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