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There is now a presence in the Forth Forum

There is now a presence in the Forth Forum

(OP)
Hi all Forthers (and potential Forthers)
Here is a forum for learning about or using Forth. Let's get things going.

RE: There is now a presence in the Forth Forum

Why would be this forum better than comp.lang.forth / comp.lang.forth.mac ?
What's the incentive to forget about usenet ?
Where's the value ?

RE: There is now a presence in the Forth Forum

(OP)
I think this is a better forum, only in the sense that a programmer hitting usenet has a list of 20,000 newsgroups and will probably never notice one called comp.lang.forth and decide to look into the group and ask what Forth is about.

However, someone visiting this site, much more progamming related, is much more likely to check into this forum.

I think Forth is a great language and way of looking at solving problems. This is just another place that we have a chance to express that point of view.

I read comp.lang.forth daily. But it is there and part of what it has developed into, is dealing with the larger issues. What is the future of Forth? How should POSTPONE be implemented to be ANS compatible. Forth is delt with across ALL platforms, including imbeded systems.

This might be a place to cover Forth and programming in Forth for desktop systems, i.e. Mac's Pc's and UNIX boxes.

Cheers

RE: There is now a presence in the Forth Forum

I agree, Fredrick. Usenet is a little hard to get used to and I don't have access to it at work. This seems more my style.

It appears that the Forth forum is slow getting started.

RE: There is now a presence in the Forth Forum

Not many people use Forth.

However, Forth can be very useful. It is good for PLC programming. It is very good when dealing with single function programs that need to be automatic.

I have very seldom been able to learn anything from the people with whom I work. Users groups and forums of various types are the best places that I can get information.

I can't do Usenet at work, and access at home is problematic at best, therefore....

RE: There is now a presence in the Forth Forum

(OP)
Well, Forth is so seldom used, it can be considered a "secret". Because the compiler is available to the end user you can do all sorts of things you can not do in other languages without writing a parser and implementing a great deal of compiler code.

I was able to add a macro command language to html in 14 lines of code. You could not do that in C or C++. You would have to write a parser from scratch and implement syntax checking.

And I know you what you mean about learning from people around you. I have always programmed as a hobby. I am programming more seriously that most other people I meet, but still not enough to fit in with people who program for a living.

There is a lot of great help and info on the net.

RE: There is now a presence in the Forth Forum

But, Forth is so nice. Pygmy Forth fits on a disk and is robust enough to run all kinds of monitoring equipment (I used to be a biologist - environmental wastes.)

You almost make the language to do whatever you want to do. And, it can be done so much easier. I have heard a lot of Forth programmers talk about a HUGE program being 200 K. Compare to the Microsoft Bloat....

It is very hard to sometimes fit in with anyone. Programmers are a wierd breed. They tend to be 'solitary creatures, often of the night'.

The nice thing about programming is that it can be done at night. And, more people are hiring programmers for specific projects. There is all kinds of work out there. I have made a living as an independent. However, I really don't like to have to do the 'business stuff'. So, I work as a programmer.

For some reason, they want people with degrees. However, with the extended degree programs and the utilization of the net, that is no real problem.

RE: There is now a presence in the Forth Forum

I had almost forgotten about Forth. The last time I saw it I was 15 years old, and my uncle, who is an engineer was running it on an Atari. I fell in love with the idea the minute he explained it, but I did not get into computing again until my 20s.

Can anyone give any hints as to how a web developer could use Forth effectively in such areas as HTML scripting, CGI, perhaps even database access? Are there speed/footprint/ease of use advantages over Perl or PHP?

I am running Linux and FreeBSD, with Apache.

RE: There is now a presence in the Forth Forum

(OP)
Well for starts, the FORM processing for the Forth Interest Website is done in FORTH (www.forth.org)

There are several 32-bit versions of FORTH that run under unix and can replace scripting languages such as CGI or Perl. You can PIPE text to it and PIPE text out.

Speed is one area, FORTH runs faster than Perl. The footprint would depend on the Forth you are running.

I am doing this dynamicaly. Instead of using FORTH on the server with database access. I have FORTH on my PC, the database I am dealing with only needs to be updated on the web occasionally. It took 14 lines of code (4 words of forth) to add the ability to work with files that are a mix of HTML and FORTH.

Here is an example
----------------------------------------------------------
VARIABLE ITEMDIST
0 ITEMDIST !

: <IS> \ Item Start
ITEMDIST @ 0= IF ." <TR>" THEN ." <TD>" 1 ITEMDIST +! ;

: <IE> \ Item End
." </TD>" ITEMDIST @ 3 = IF ." </TR>" CR 0 ITEMDIST ! THEN ;

: <IF> \ Item Finish
BEGIN ITEMDIST @ 0 > WHILE <IS> ."  " <IE> REPEAT ;

<$ <HTML>
<TITLE>List of States</TITLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<TABLE WIDTH=100%> $>
CR <IS> <$ Oregon $> <IE>
CR <IS> <$ California $> <IE>
CR <IS> <$ Washington $> <IE>
CR <IS> <$ Florida $> <IE>
CR <IS> <$ Texas $> <IE>
<IF> <$ </TABLE>

</BODY>
</HTML>
$>
----------------------------------------------------------
In this case, I am creating a table that will be 3 cells wide. All I have to do to add more states is add the line

CR <IS> <$ state $> <IE>

And the state is added. I never have to worry about reformating the table, Forth tracks the entries, when the end of the row is reached, Forth will insert a </TR> for me!

FORTH opens each file in an INPUT directory, parses the HTML/FORTH file and writes it to an OUTPUT directory.

I am able to let Forth generate a website, which I can then upload. I keep all of my data on my HD, anytime I make a change, I "recompile" the website and upload it again. Since my customer has space on a server where we are not allowed to run scripts, this allows me a greater level of freedom.

You can also check in the comp.lang.forth newsgroup for more info on unix Forth's
http://www.zforth.com is home of the Forth Webring, and also runs on a server written in Forth.


RE: There is now a presence in the Forth Forum

Thanks, I am checking it out.

RE: There is now a presence in the Forth Forum

I utilise linux and wanted if and to which degree the available
forths can be used for script writing and if they can
make system calls?

: Thanks  ." Thanks in advance" cr ;

email: gdurand@tekmd.com

RE: There is now a presence in the Forth Forum

In case you might want to try out a native linux
forth implementation, without any C baggage,
you can check out:

http://home.hccnet.nl/a.w.m.van.der.horst/lina.html

LiNa is a native linux implementation of ISO forth,
derivative of F83.  It can build turnkey executables,
so you just add words and words until your application
is done and then "TURNKEY" it so it builds an ELF
executable ready to run.

Albert van der Horst is the owner of the site and he's
quite knowledgeable, there's a bit of info on his
site.

Good luck

-gus

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