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Is This Forum Still Active?

Is This Forum Still Active?

(OP)
Lots of older posts but nothing new here ... let's try to get something started by asking for answers to the following - and I'll volunteer to summarize the answers in, say 30 days (1 June).

Here are some conversation starters:

1.  Do you use Forth?  If so, at work/home/both?

2.  What kinds of programming are you doing in Forth?

3.  What hardware platform (MS, Mac, Linux, other(?)) are you using for your Forth development?

4.  What compiler/environment are you using?

5.  What comments do you have on your Forth experience (good or bad, e.g., compilers/problems/support)?

Come on, folks!  Forth is a neat language and, although I don't use it regularly any more (I did way back in the mists of time) I still turn to it when I 'feel the need' to get my hands dirty playing with bits and bytes.

Let's get some dialog going!

Tom

"My mind is like a steel whatchamacallit ..."

RE: Is This Forum Still Active?

I used to use Forth a long time ago, when Forth 83 was around and the FUG was going full strength. It's my favorite language and I created a lot of neat stuff with it. However, the world I work in is forcing me to work in other languages like VB .NET.

What is this world coming to? From the sublime to the rediculous. My paycheck, however, said "Thou shalt do what we say".

CU

Tony Scarpelli
Clinical Engineering Dept.
Maine Medical Center
Portland, Maine 04102

RE: Is This Forum Still Active?

(OP)
Hey, Tony ...

Yep, understand completely.  I work for Providence Health Washington and we don't even program, just install off-the-shelf packages.  Closest I come to programming after 39+ years in the IT business is to write an HL7 parser in Liberty Basic and the odd ftp script for moving files around.

I also used F83 'way back when' ... and moved up to the newer versions as time went on.  But, like you, the paycheck governs what I 'get' to do at work and I'm usually burned out and don't even turn the computer on at home any more.

Sad, sad, sad ...

Take care!

Tom

"My mind is like a steel whatchamacallit ..."

RE: Is This Forum Still Active?

Your mind is like a what? <g>

Since no one else is responding I'll mention a couple things. I'm 62 and still programming in multiple languages now, FoxPro, VB .Net, VB6, and I tried out Real Basic the other week. I don't think it's ready for prime time nor can it really replace VB6, but it's cheap and will be supported. It has a couple things going for it, but their IDE needs a few tweeks.

Back when Forth was Oneth, I purchased a word processor in MMS Forth. I ran it on a TRS 80. It was the fastest word processor I ever used, and even using Word on an 1800 mhz computer, the Forth word processor was still faster.

I work at a hospital and a few years back we were looking to replace our old networked printers that used to spit out nursing reports.

I saved the hospital about $300,000 by building an interface board using a Forth computer and putting them in 'off the shelf' heavy duty, Facit printers. They worked great for a few years until they replaced them with cheaper faster printers.

I also built a Forth computer board that fit in an IBM PC that interfaced a network application to a card embosser. That was fun.

Did a few other things in Forth, but nothing as profound as these. My kid is about to enter the USM and he saw their new engineering lab. It has a couple robot arms. I asked him what language they were using to control the arms and he didn't know. I told him about Forth and said it would be the perfect language to control robots.

Maybe he'll start it up again.

CU

Tony Scarpelli
Clinical Engineering Dept.
Maine Medical Center
Portland, Maine 04102

RE: Is This Forum Still Active?

(OP)
Sounds like you have a varied and interesting background.  I still miss coding - sometimes - but working with the HL7 data exchange keeps me busy so guess that's some compensation.

I've not done much with Forth in a while - for a couple of years I was working feverishly in it trying to learn as I went.  Only hardware thing I did was a simple little circuit out of the Forth UG magazine - connected to the parallel port, I got LEDs to blink in different sequences.  Kind of cool ...

Understand that they're still using Forth in the NASA ventures - although highly modified I'd guess - expecially for the different rovers and robots ... so your son could, if he becomes really good in Forth, have a tremendous opportunity to 'play' after graduation.

Gotta run - take care, good to hear from you.  Looks as if you and I are the only Forth users out here ... maybe it's our ages (I'm 58+) ... ???

Best,

Tom

"My mind is like a steel whatchamacallit ..."

RE: Is This Forum Still Active?

I haven't written any Forth myself since I stopped using my Commodore CBM machine (like the PET, but a commercial model - same 6502, etc. though).  IBM PCs came along and swept everything else aside for commodity computing by 1990 though.

Forth was always more of an embedded systems programming tool I thought.  I still have an interest but it is only academic.  A good Forth implementation for Win32 might change my mind, but I'd want something that created programs encapsulated as an EXE, even if not fully compiled and still running as a threaded interpreter.

I got hold of the "free" basic version of REALbasic 5.5 myself recently.  So far it doesn't look like it'll do what I want in a VB6 replacement though.  The IDE does feel a bit clunky though that may just be an early impression.  It does have way too much of a  "kiddy" or "Crayola" look in the toolbox.

So far it doesn't appear to be able to create ActiveX DLLS, OCXs, or EXEs.  I think their notion of IPC is limited to TCP and UDP sockets.

I also see weird IDE bugs, like in the toolbox there is a listbox control and a sort of grid control.  The tooltip pops up and calls them both a listbox, and when you add one of each to a form they get called ListBox1 and ListBox2.  They seem to have an identical properties list, though the controls dropped on the form look different even in design mode.  Maybe they are the same thing with different defulat sets of property settings, I haven't had time to investigate yet.

The whole thing looks a bit... not ready for prime time.

RE: Is This Forum Still Active?

(OP)
Dilettante:

For Forth, try Win32Forth (I got the link off of the FIG links page) and for Basic, try IBasic (www.pyxia.com) ... their Professional version creates DLLs, etc. and it's only $50 or so right now.

Tom

"My mind is like a steel whatchamacallit ..."

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