piclist 1998\10\07\195915a >
Thread: FORTH
picon face BY : Darrel Johansen email (remove spam text)

Paul B. Webster wrote:
>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.

You are preaching to the converted.  I know that it's still a very
powerful and useful language.  It just doesn't seem to be spreading.  The
specialist group that is using it is becoming smaller judging from many
indicators, and I wish it weren't so.  It's birthplace (Kitt Peak) no
longer uses it, I've heard.  It doesn't have much visibility, and what
there is seems to be growing dimmer.

Yes, cross-compilation is possible, and I've done that even on machines
that could have hosted a native Forth, but you lose many of it's
interactive advantages.

For a number of embedded systems designers, Forth is their bread and
butter.  For some, it's even a secret weapon.  I can count on the fingers
of one hand the number of times I've seen it referenced this year in
Embedded Systems, though.  Dr. Dobbs has gone off on another direction,
and I don't recall seeing it in Circuit Cellar. Seems like that's the
most likely vehicle for carring its message to the audience most able to
appreciate its viability.


Darrel Johansen


See also: www.piclist.com/techref/index.htm?key=forth+RE%5D
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