Community Blog What Is Source Code and how to read it

What Is Source Code and how to read it

Source code (also called source program) refers to a series of human-readable computer language instructions.

Source code definition

Source code (also called source program) refers to a series of human-readable computer language instructions. In modern programming languages, source code can be in the form of books or tapes, but the most common format is text files, which are typically used to compile computer programs. Source code is run through a compiler, turning it into machine code (also called object code) that a computer can understand and execute.the object code consists mostly of 1s and 0s, so it's not readable.

How to read source code

1.Run the virtual source code first

The first step in virtual source code reading: let the project compile and run smoothly by yourself. This is especially important. Some projects are more complex and depend on many components. It is not easy to build a debugging environment, so not all projects can run smoothly. If you can compile and run it yourself, then the scenario analysis, debugging code, debugging, etc. mentioned later will have the basis for expansion. As far as my experience is concerned, whether a project code can successfully build a debugging environment, the efficiency is very different.
After running, try to simplify your environment as much as possible to reduce the interference information during the debugging process. For example, Nginx uses multiple processes to process requests. In order to debug and track the behavior of Nginx, I often set the number of workers to 1, so that when debugging, I know which process is to be traced.

2 .Clarify your purpose

Although it is important to read the source code of a project, not all projects need to be seen clearly from beginning to end. Before you start reading, you need to clarify your purpose: whether you need to understand the implementation of one of the modules, or the general structure of the framework, or the implementation of one of the algorithms, and so on.

3 .Distinguish between main and sub-plots

With the clear reading purpose above, you can distinguish between the main line and the side storyline during the reading process. For example, if you want to understand the implementation process of a business logic, use a dictionary in a function to save data. Here, "how the data structure of the dictionary is implemented" is a side story, and you don't need to delve into its implementation.

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