Adding Syntax Highlighting to Code Snippets in a Blog or Website

I’ve received a few requests on how to highlight the syntax of snippets of in a blog like I have. Here is an example snippet of SCSS code, so you can see exactly what I’m referring to.
Many people initially think you have to manually color the elements, or manually escape the characters, but it’s much more simple than that, so I’ll cover everything necessary to embed snippets in your own blog or website in this article.

#snippet

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Adding Syntax Highlighting to Code Snippets in a Blog or Website
Brain  Crist

Brain Crist

1598817600

Adding Syntax Highlighting to Code Snippets in a Blog or Website

I’ve received a few requests on how to highlight the syntax of snippets of in a blog like I have. Here is an example snippet of SCSS code, so you can see exactly what I’m referring to.

// Variables
$font-stack: Helvetica, sans-serif;
$primary-color: #333;

@mixin border-radius($radius) {
  -webkit-border-radius: $radius;
  -moz-border-radius: $radius;
  -ms-border-radius: $radius;
  border-radius: $radius;
}

body {
  font: 100% $font-stack;
  color: $primary-color;
}

.box {
  @include border-radius(10px);
}

Many people initially think you have to manually color the elements, or manually escape the characters, but it’s much more simple than that, so I’ll cover everything necessary to embed snippets in your own blog or website in this article.

Prerequisites
  • Basic knowledge of HTML and CSS.
Goals
  • Highlight code syntax in a website or blog.
  • Automatically escape HTML and PHP code in WordPress.

There are two main options to displaying code on your site - embedding the code or using JavaScript to highlight the syntax of pre and code tags.

Embedding

The faster, easier option for syntax highlighting is embedding the code in the form of a GitHub gist or Codepen pen. Both of these can be done with an account or anonymously.

Gist

Here is an example of the above code embedded as a GitHub gist:

Pen

And here is the above code embedded as a CodePen pen.

See the Pen mEerjX

The advantage to embedding is that it’s quick and easy. CodePen in specific is excellent for demos because you can show the code and the result.

However, loading multiple embed scrips throughout your blog can slow it down significantly, and additionally you don’t have much control as to how the code snippet looks and what colors it uses. CodePen is only for front end web development, and you wouldn’t be able to embed code in PHP, Ruby, Python, and so on. For many, that might not matter, and for others it does. For both of these options, all you do is paste your code and find the “embed” button.

#snippets #tutorial #code #visual studio code

Tyrique  Littel

Tyrique Littel

1604008800

Static Code Analysis: What It Is? How to Use It?

Static code analysis refers to the technique of approximating the runtime behavior of a program. In other words, it is the process of predicting the output of a program without actually executing it.

Lately, however, the term “Static Code Analysis” is more commonly used to refer to one of the applications of this technique rather than the technique itself — program comprehension — understanding the program and detecting issues in it (anything from syntax errors to type mismatches, performance hogs likely bugs, security loopholes, etc.). This is the usage we’d be referring to throughout this post.

“The refinement of techniques for the prompt discovery of error serves as well as any other as a hallmark of what we mean by science.”

  • J. Robert Oppenheimer

Outline

We cover a lot of ground in this post. The aim is to build an understanding of static code analysis and to equip you with the basic theory, and the right tools so that you can write analyzers on your own.

We start our journey with laying down the essential parts of the pipeline which a compiler follows to understand what a piece of code does. We learn where to tap points in this pipeline to plug in our analyzers and extract meaningful information. In the latter half, we get our feet wet, and write four such static analyzers, completely from scratch, in Python.

Note that although the ideas here are discussed in light of Python, static code analyzers across all programming languages are carved out along similar lines. We chose Python because of the availability of an easy to use ast module, and wide adoption of the language itself.

How does it all work?

Before a computer can finally “understand” and execute a piece of code, it goes through a series of complicated transformations:

static analysis workflow

As you can see in the diagram (go ahead, zoom it!), the static analyzers feed on the output of these stages. To be able to better understand the static analysis techniques, let’s look at each of these steps in some more detail:

Scanning

The first thing that a compiler does when trying to understand a piece of code is to break it down into smaller chunks, also known as tokens. Tokens are akin to what words are in a language.

A token might consist of either a single character, like (, or literals (like integers, strings, e.g., 7Bob, etc.), or reserved keywords of that language (e.g, def in Python). Characters which do not contribute towards the semantics of a program, like trailing whitespace, comments, etc. are often discarded by the scanner.

Python provides the tokenize module in its standard library to let you play around with tokens:

Python

1

import io

2

import tokenize

3

4

code = b"color = input('Enter your favourite color: ')"

5

6

for token in tokenize.tokenize(io.BytesIO(code).readline):

7

    print(token)

Python

1

TokenInfo(type=62 (ENCODING),  string='utf-8')

2

TokenInfo(type=1  (NAME),      string='color')

3

TokenInfo(type=54 (OP),        string='=')

4

TokenInfo(type=1  (NAME),      string='input')

5

TokenInfo(type=54 (OP),        string='(')

6

TokenInfo(type=3  (STRING),    string="'Enter your favourite color: '")

7

TokenInfo(type=54 (OP),        string=')')

8

TokenInfo(type=4  (NEWLINE),   string='')

9

TokenInfo(type=0  (ENDMARKER), string='')

(Note that for the sake of readability, I’ve omitted a few columns from the result above — metadata like starting index, ending index, a copy of the line on which a token occurs, etc.)

#code quality #code review #static analysis #static code analysis #code analysis #static analysis tools #code review tips #static code analyzer #static code analysis tool #static analyzer

Adding Syntax Highlighting to Code Snippets in a Blog or Website

I’ve received a few requests on how to highlight the syntax of snippets of in a blog like I have. Here is an example snippet of SCSS code, so you can see exactly what I’m referring to.
Many people initially think you have to manually color the elements, or manually escape the characters, but it’s much more simple than that, so I’ll cover everything necessary to embed snippets in your own blog or website in this article.

#snippet

Rahim Makhani

Rahim Makhani

1620968589

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