Checking Conformance to a Subset of the Python Language

Wermelinger, Michel (2023). Checking Conformance to a Subset of the Python Language. In: ITiCSE 2023: Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ACM, New York, USA, pp. 573–574.



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Introductory courses usually only teach a small subset of a programming language and its library, in order to focus on the general concepts rather than overwhelm students with the syntactic, semantic and API minutiae of a particular language. This paper presents courseware that checks if a program only uses the subset of the Python language and library defined by the instructor. This allows to automatically check that programming examples, exercises and assessments only use the taught constructs. It also helps detect student code with advanced constructs, possibly copied from Q&A sites or generated by large language models. The tool is easy to install, configure and use. It also checks Python code in Jupyter notebooks, a popular format for interactive textbooks and assessment handouts.

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