kinda OT: latest fun with Arduino, UI with a single knob/button and screen.

Tod Hansmann plug.org at todandlorna.com
Mon Feb 4 01:01:19 MST 2013


On 2/3/2013 10:51 PM, Levi Pearson wrote:
> Aside from Forth, which has fallen pretty far out of common use these days (as far as I have seen, anyway) there's a cool embedded version of Lua that can run on pretty low-powered hardware. It's not quite as powerful of a language as Forth, but probably easier to pick up and very easy to integrate with C.
>
My friend RodgerTheGreat (John Earnest) would take issue with this. Two 
things:

1) Concatenative languages are quite the thing in several fields 
lately.  In fact, Factor is a nice such a language with a pretty 
extensive standard lib and some great performance.  Forth itself is used 
quite a bit in several embedded environments (there are some nice chips 
that just run Forth in fact, like the 40-core monster from Forth, Inc).

2) The thing about Forth (and I say this being a hobbyist at best at the 
thing, but seeing a lot of code in it discussed in my community IRC 
channel) is that you don't really program any of it the same way you 
would C.  File I/O for instance tends to be nonexistent as a concept, 
and your debug tools are equally different conceptually. Saying you 
prefer a "full set of debugging tools" is really just saying you prefer 
the way you work already, and that's fine, I'm not disputing that.  
However, it can be read to imply that Forth does not have the level of 
debug tools or information as your current workflow, which is 
incorrect.  Forth is quite ancient and has developed quite differently, 
and its debug tools are not very typical any more than the language is.

I'm not saying anyone should use Forth, mind you.  I'm just saying there 
is a lot of use out there in several fields, not just Academic in 
nature, and there are a great deal of methodologies and tools available 
for such.  There's even a Minecraft mod called RedPower2 that is an M68k 
computer that runs Forth.  And it's fairly popular and everything.  My 
mind.  She is blown.

-Tod Hansmann


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