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'Embedding Forth?'
1996\06\06@175930 by rdmiller

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Hi!  I'm just starting to learn about Forth...  [RUN AWAY!]

So much of it seems tied to the concept of a user interface...
but I was thinking of using it for robotic control where there
just isn't any such interface.  I don't even want any run-time
interpretation, just compiled executable code.

I've heard that Forth is great for microcontrollers, but are
they expected to have an ASCII terminal attatched?  What gives?

I'd like to see a Forth compiler for PIC microcontrollers, but their
Harvard architecture would probably require some external serial RAM
for stack space.  I'm thinking that if I use multiple RAMs on separate
two-wire busses I could do stack operations (on different stacks) in
parallel, so I might be able to pipeline the words much like the way
that the PICs pipeline their instructions.

Any comments?

Rick Miller

1996\06\07@004807 by Benjamin Tober

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Yes, in fact, Forth is a nice compact language and lends itself easily to
microcontroller applications.  The larger PIC devices (17C4x) probably have
large enough register files to support a decent stack in the register file,
the smaller ones do not.  The serial RAM idea for the stack is, however, also
viable.  I am contemplating designing a Forth interpreter for the 17C4x
myself, which would take its instruction stream from an attached serial
EEPROM and keep the stack internally.  I believe that such a thing could
run at a nice clip, probably faster than a PIC-based BASIC system.  If the
time to fetch the Forth instructions from the serial EEPROM is not counted,
we're probably talking on the order of 4 PIC instruction cycles per Forth
instruction.  As far as user interfacing, I don't envision my PIC Forth
system as having a monitor.  It's not needed for typical microcontroller
applications.  I suppose, though, the serial EEPROM could be replaced with
or augmented by a serial monitor.
-ben

--
Benjamin A. Tober -                    -WBRS FM - 100.1Mhz in Waltham,Ma.
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"Are you a truck?"                     -24hr/day all-genre diversity

1996\06\07@115409 by fastfwd

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Benjamin Tober <.....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU> wrote:

> Yes, in fact, Forth is a nice compact language and lends itself
> easily to microcontroller applications.  The larger PIC devices
> (17C4x) probably have large enough register files to support a
> decent stack in the register file, the smaller ones do not.

In fact, there already IS a Forth implementation for the 17C4x; it's
available from the Microchip BBS.

-Andy

Andrew Warren - fastfwdspamKILLspamix.netcom.com
Fast Forward Engineering, Vista, California
http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/2499

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