Uroš Perčič (2010) A visual environment for learning C. EngD thesis.
People often experience difficulties with understanding some basic consepts when dealing with computer programming for the first time. Studies show that the use of visual tools for depicting different aspects of a computer program can aid in better understanding and easier learning process. Due to the lack of such programs for use with the C programming language, the goal of this assignment is to develop one that could provide functions for easier learning and would be used to assist in teaching introductory programming classes. The combination of Flex and Bison programs was used for implementing the source code parser and the Qt framework was used for creating the application's graphical user interface. The application was built for the Microsoft Windows operating system and it can also be compiled on several different platforms like GNU/Linux and Mac OS, due to the fact it is written in the C++ programming language. The result is a debugger which interprets the user's source code and seemingly runs the program. In the event of syntactic errors short and meaningful messages are displayed. The user can execute one command at a time and observe changes to the program's internal state while doing so (variable values, contents of the call stack). The debugger is also able to present certain data structures (linked lists, binary trees) in a simple graphical way.
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