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Code Explainer

An online tool for beginner programmers to explain code.

Code Explainer Display


Requires Node.js and npm to install

To run the code locally, install the needed dependencies with npm install and start the application with npm start. To run in development mode with nodemon and other developer tools, use npm run dev instead.

Use and Function

The application runs primarily off of a set of JSON "Rules" that determine what each keyword links to. When the contents of the editor change, the list of needed keywords updates and a request is send to the app to retrive the given rules.

In order to be able to cover all possible keywords, the rules are divided into two primary collections: tokenRules and regexRules. The tokenRules are used for keywords that have a constant value such as JavaScript's let and console. The remaining types rely on both the type of token and a regular expression to decifer which rule to apply.

Database Setup

  1. Set the environment variables DB_URI to the database you wish to use.
  2. Have the names of each of the following collection prefaced by the paired language in camelCase. Ex javascriptTokenRules
  3. Follow the schemas setup in the models folder and as listed below

Each rule should follow the given format:

Token Rule:

  "tag": "unique-identifier",
  "token" : "storage.type:let",
  "tokenType" : "storage.type",
  "tokenValue" : "let",
  "html": "<p>I am displayed on the right</p>",

Regex Rule:

  "tag": "unique-identifier",
  "regex" : "\w+",
  "tokenType" : "storage.type",
  "html": "<p>I am displayed on the right</p>",

If the regex field is left empty, then the selected keyword will be identified by its tokenType only.

Other Notes

The given environment variables can be used in setup:

ip address: IP port number: PORT environment: NODE_ENV database url: DB_URI

Help Out

If you like this project, consider donating to me here.

This will help with the uptime costs as well as give me more time to implement other features. Some more features I'd like to implement:

  • Additional languages and rules (Python, Java, C++, etc.).
  • Smooth fancier animations.
  • A context parser to explain 'sentences' instead of just 'words'.

If you would like to help me write rules, shoot me an email and we can get talking:


Code Explainer and Code Explainer Dashboard are released under the MIT Licence.


A online tool for beginners to explain your code




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