piclist 1998\10\07\191906a >
Thread: FORTH
face BY : paulb@.....midcoast.com.au

Darrel Johansen wrote:

> FWIW, I know that Forth is still used in a number of embedded systems
> by a small (and diminishing) community.  I've always thought that if
> you can get over the learning curve, Forth offers things that other
> development systems (it's more than just a compiler) only aspire to:

 Diminishing?  I wonder.  Maybe (more than maybe!) it's a bit like
saying that Linux is dying out.

 I have a couple of theories.  While more and more people have access
to (affordable) computers, and many fiddle with VB and such, I don't
think that many more are actually *programming*, which in terms of
Windoze APIs and such is getting more and more complex (which is *why*
VB and VC exist of course).

 There is a *fair* expansion in what we call "embedded" programming,
which seems to be simply applications of small micros as against big
ones.  The old literature has died, or become moribund (Byte and Dr.
Dobbs), some is thrashing (MCJ) and only Circuit Cellar Inc. seems to be
thriving (accordingly, I must go subscribe - I really should have done
so the moment MCJ went critical).  This must suggest something.

 I propose that the FORTH community is in fact expanding, it's just a
rather specialist group interested in efficiency, style and real-time
operations in a certain area.  Funnily enough, a lot of it is still in
the traditional home area of robotics, astronomy and process control.

 You no more use FORTH to program a PIC toaster than you do Java, "C++"
or VB (;-) and PICs are really *not* made for native FORTH at all, so it
is not surprising that it features little on this list.  You can use a
FORTH system to cross-compile though, just like PICBASIC.

 Up the spectrum a bit though, if you have a robot on which you wish to
cut-and-try routines, iteratively reprogram and step through motions
manually, you still use FORTH!
       Paul B.

<361BF5AC.2EC4@midcoast.com.au> 7bit

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