Sourcelabs' CEO, Bryan Sebastian and vp-marketing Cornelius Willis gave me the nickel tour this afternoon, and what they have is something the combines aspects of Google and a Wiki.
Both Google and Freshmeat are credited on the main search page. The underlying technology is entirely open source, starting with mySQL.
Specialization, a tagged structure, and the Wiki (which is homegrown) combine to make Swik special, Willis said.
For instance I'm personally interested in Community Network Service tools like Scoop, Slash and Drupal, but an early-morning Swik search under both that tag and CNS provided no data. Willis and Sebastian showed me how I could quickly use the engine's Wiki tools to add that tag to the existing Scoop entry in about 30 seconds. I can't do that with Google.
"An important part of Swik is transparency in terms of who is entering the information," said Willis. "You can click on the recent edits link and see in real time what’s happening, what sort of projects are being created, etc. That transparency is important. It also makes moderation easier."
Since the service was launched, Sebastian and Willis added, new projects are being added to the database at the rate of one every two minutes.
Between this and the Google API, Swik has the potential to be a very powerful tool for both open source developers and potential users of open source software, which is Sebastian's idea. "We see Swik as being a key part of accelerating the adoption of open source," he concluded.
Check it out.