An article at Wiredhas a ton of details about how Google's search algorithms, index, crawlers and so on evolved over the years. I highlighted many of the points in my Search Engine Land write up on it.
A WebmasterWorld thread quotes a piece on the Google Caffeine index, asking if that means it is live.
"The most recent major change, codenamed Caffeine, revamped the entire indexing system to make it even easier for engineers to add signals."
One webmaster asked, "Does this mean that Caffeine is now live:)?"
We thought it was live dozens of times, but nothing really has changed since then. I fully believe that when it goes live beyond one data center, Google will let us know. I just don't think that the quote above can fully mean it is live. I believe Search Engine Land will post a statement from Google on this topic later today - but as far as I know, it is not live.
Meanwhile, reading the Wired piece is both fun and educational.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.
Note: I just landed in Jerusalem, after an 11 hour flight. I am typing as fast as I can, so please excuse typos, grammar and any non-sense.