[Re: Article For Thought] Forth

Charles Curley charlescurley at charlescurley.com
Fri Dec 21 13:23:30 MST 2007

On Fri, Dec 21, 2007 at 09:29:47AM -0700, Levi Pearson wrote:
> Charles Curley <charlescurley at charlescurley.com> writes:
> >
> > I'm not familiar with Thinking Forth, but Starting Forth is an
> > excellent intro. The biggest problem is that there is no LeoForth, so
> > the code examples may or may not work on your flavor of Forth exactly
> > as they are given in the book.
> IIRC, the version I found had the examples ANSIfied.

Good, that will help.

> And Thinking Forth is a later book by Leo Brodie.  Here's the blurb
> for it on books.google.com:
>   Thinking Forth applies a philosophy of problem solving and programming
>   style to the unique programming language Forth. Published first in
>   1984, it could be among the timeless classics of computer books, such
>   as Fred Brooks' The Mythical Man-Month and Donald Knuth's The Art of
>   Computer Programming. Many software engineering principles discussed
>   here have been rediscovered in eXtreme Programming, including
>   (re)factoring, modularity, bottom-up and incremental design. Here
>   you'll find all of those and more, such as the value of analysis and
>   design, described in Leo Brodie's down-to-earth, humorous style, with
>   illustrations, code examples, practical real life applications,
>   illustrative cartoons, and interviews with Forth's inventor, Charles
>   H. Moore as well as other Forth thinkers.

Gee, you mean I was there at the revolution, and took it so much for
granted ("Well, of course that's how you do it. Is there any other
way?") that I missed it? Wow, that's obtuse even for me.

Interviews and other pearls of wisdom from Chuck
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Moore) are not to be missed. He
has a great sense of humor. I think he and Larry Wall could have great
fun comparing notes.

I'll see if I can find TF.

> You really can't study non-mainstream languages without hearing
> about Forth and its more recent stack-based counterparts like
> Factor.  I've been concentrating on functional languages lately,
> though, so I haven't got around to actually using any of them.  That
> will change eventually, though. :)

Interesting. I almost never hear of Forth these days, except from
friends who were among my co-revolutionaries.

Enjoy! I had a lot of fun with it.


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