Though I’ve used this stuff for most of my life, I’ve never studied it formally. How does an interpreter work? The chapter on interpreters explains the basic mechanism using a mixture of prose and code. When I read the chapter I can sort of understand what’s happening, but I’m not great at mental simulation of running code. I need to run the code in a debugger, set breakpoints, step through execution, and watch variables change. Then it sinks in.
The GitHub repo for the book includes all the text and all the code. I’d like to put them side-by-side, so that as I read the narrative I can run and debug the code that’s being described. Here’s how I’m doing that in VSCode.
This is pretty good! But it wasn’t dead simple to get there. In a clone of the repo, the steps included:
- Find the HTML file for chapter 3.
- Install a VSCode extension to preview HTML.
- Find the code for chapter 3.
- Adjust the code to not require command-line arguments.
- Arrange the text and code in side-by-side panes.
Though it’s all doable, the activation threshold is high enough to thwart my best intention of repeating the steps for every chapter.
Whether in VSCode or another IDE or some other kind of app, what would be the best way to lower that activation threshold?