Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 28th Aug 2012 19:20 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
General Development "Coming from a background in higher-level languages like Ruby, Scheme, or Haskell, learning C can be challenging. In addition to having to wrestle with C's lower-level features like manual memory management and pointers, you have to make do without a REPL. Once you get used to exploratory programming in a REPL, having to deal with the write-compile-run loop is a bit of a bummer. It occurred to me recently that I could use gdb as a pseudo-REPL for C. I've been experimenting with using gdb as a tool for learning C, rather than merely debugging C, and it's a lot of fun. My goal in this post is to show you that gdb is a great tool for learning C. I'll introduce you to a few of my favorite gdb commands, and then I'll demonstrate how you can use gdb to understand a notoriously tricky part of C: the difference between arrays and pointers."
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REPL - a key to success
by 108adams on Tue 28th Aug 2012 20:14 UTC
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As a casual programmer in Python I cannot praise enough the REPL idea: the fact I can experiment, build and check quite complicated procedures and just check the syntax when dubious (will IF work this way in this context...)

In fact I have moved TWICE this way: first, learning Python and moving from early stages of C++ and compilation to REPL, and the other time leaving LaTeX for InDesign. Ohhhh, the moment of a sweet freedom, when I just could click and have a widow killed instead of (change a parameter, recompile, check pdf, change it a bit more, recompile, check pdf, curse, find another parameter in a TeXbook, da capo x 20)...


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