Forth in ESP 
Author Message
 Forth in ESP

Nice article in this month's Embedded Systems Programming
on Forth, by Brad Eckert and Don Rowe.  It's featured on
ESP's main page, http://www.*-*-*.com/

Although I really appreciate Brad's initiative in doing
this, and mostly like the article a lot, I do wish he
hadn't started by focussing on negatives ("...the most
common failure scenario is a system crash...") and
never explaining its advantages in embedded systems
(small size, easy debugging of I/O, etc.).

Indeed, we _rarely_ experience system crashes in
developing SwiftX applications, and the majority
of bugs have nothing to do with type errors (which
he implies are the commonest source of these failures).
In our experience the most common bug is simply
wrong code (logical mistakes), which even the most
elaborate compilers can't catch!

Another minor inaccuracy is the statement, "Some
UNIX wordstations boot a small Forth interpreter
before the rest of the operating system..."  In the
first place, Open Firmware's far from small: typically
~1.5 Mb.  It's also a lot more than an interpreter
and boot loader, most of its energy is devoted to
performing the automatic "plug and play" configuration
of the system

And "some" is rather an understatement, since Suns
are the overwhelming market leader, and they have
had Open Firmware since 1986.  Then there are
Apples (which until recently haven't been Unix), which
have had it since 1994.  Forth's also included in
the BSD distribution, and some others as well.
So I'd guess "most" would be a more accurate
adjective than "some".

But these are minor quibbles, and I am very happy
to see the article.  Thanks, Brad and Don!

Cheers,
Elizabeth

--
==================================================
Elizabeth D. Rather   (US & Canada)   800-55-FORTH
FORTH Inc.                         +1 310-491-3356
5155 W. Rosecrans Ave. #1018  Fax: +1 310-978-9454
Hawthorne, CA 90250
http://www.*-*-*.com/

"Forth-based products and Services for real-time
applications since 1973."
==================================================



Sun, 03 Apr 2005 08:05:56 GMT  
 Forth in ESP

Quote:

> Nice article in this month's Embedded Systems Programming
> on Forth, by Brad Eckert and Don Rowe.  It's featured on
> ESP's main page, http://www.embedded.com/.

I found the following objectionable statements:

"Forth is a niche programming language..."

        What is its niche? I don't use it for embedded control
        and neither, I should imagine, does Marcel Hendrix. It
        might be more descriptive to say that "Forth, like Lisp,
        Python, Eiffel, APL, ... is an idiosyncratic general pro-
        gramming language with a small, but devoted, coterie of
        adherents."

"BEGIN starts an indefinite loop and the corresponding END
pops and tests the top stack value, looping back to BEGIN
if it's zero."

        Didn't know "END" was an ANS Forth locution.

Otherwise a good brief introduction.

--
Julian V. Noble
Professor of Physics

   "Science knows only one commandment: contribute to science."
   -- Bertolt Brecht, "Galileo".



Sun, 03 Apr 2005 09:20:35 GMT  
 Forth in ESP



Quote:

> "BEGIN starts an indefinite loop and the corresponding END
> pops and tests the top stack value, looping back to BEGIN
> if it's zero."

> Didn't know "END" was an ANS Forth locution.

    The last time I saw "BEGIN ... END" was in an ancient Forth on an old
Varian machine.  It was a port of Kitt Peek Forth from the late 70's (as I
recall) done by someone who used to work at Varian.

--

-Gary Chanson (MVP for Windows SDK)
-Software Consultant (Embedded systems and Real Time Controls)

-War is the last resort of the incompetent.



Sun, 03 Apr 2005 12:29:53 GMT  
 Forth in ESP
Quote:



> > "BEGIN starts an indefinite loop and the corresponding END
> > pops and tests the top stack value, looping back to BEGIN
> > if it's zero."

> > Didn't know "END" was an ANS Forth locution.

>     The last time I saw "BEGIN ... END" was in an ancient Forth on an old
> Varian machine.  It was a port of Kitt Peek Forth from the late 70's (as I
> recall) done by someone who used to work at Varian.

Considering the major activity there, "Kitt Peek" is a wonderful
locution! Thanks.

Jerry
--
Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get.



Sun, 03 Apr 2005 22:50:57 GMT  
 Forth in ESP

Quote:

> And "some" is rather an understatement, since Suns
> are the overwhelming market leader, and they have
> had Open Firmware since 1986.  Then there are
> Apples (which until recently haven't been Unix), which
> have had it since 1994.

And don't forget: some models of the IBM RS/6000 and pSeries line
of workstations, servers, supercomputers, etc.

Quote:
> But these are minor quibbles, and I am very happy
> to see the article.  Thanks, Brad and Don!
> Cheers,
> Elizabeth D. Rather   (US & Canada)   800-55-FORTH

* Nick Geovanis
| IT Computing Svcs      Computing's central challenge:
| Northwestern Univ          How not to make a mess of it.

+------------------->


Sun, 03 Apr 2005 22:59:43 GMT  
 Forth in ESP
I thought about that after I signed off on the article. Michael Barr
thought my original article was too much "Forth is great - rah rah" so
he combined it with something submitted by Don. I should have done
more to mitigate Don's comments which don't apply to many modern
Forths. I thought Don did a good job of explaining Forth from a
software point of view.

Thanks for clearing up the inaccuracies.


Quote:
> Although I really appreciate Brad's initiative in doing
> this, and mostly like the article a lot, I do wish he
> hadn't started by focussing on negatives ("...the most
> common failure scenario is a system crash...") and
> never explaining its advantages in embedded systems
> (small size, easy debugging of I/O, etc.).



Mon, 04 Apr 2005 00:46:25 GMT  
 Forth in ESP



Quote:



> > > "BEGIN starts an indefinite loop and the corresponding END
> > > pops and tests the top stack value, looping back to BEGIN
> > > if it's zero."

> > > Didn't know "END" was an ANS Forth locution.

> >     The last time I saw "BEGIN ... END" was in an ancient Forth on an
old
> > Varian machine.  It was a port of Kitt Peek Forth from the late 70's (as
I
> > recall) done by someone who used to work at Varian.

> Considering the major activity there, "Kitt Peek" is a wonderful
> locution! Thanks.

> Jerry
> --
> Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get.
>

Peeking at my wall, there is a poster of Kitt Peak, that some years ago was
{*filter*} on a stand of our Forth Users Group at the Dutch Computer Fair
held every year in November at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht.

And - don't tell them - IMVHO almost every one of our ForthGG is doing
embedded
programming.

Coos



Mon, 04 Apr 2005 04:00:45 GMT  
 
 [ 10 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. FYI: Cybermation ESP Y2K Testing release

2. concatenating files - esp. Windows

3. BOSS Files and ENVY (esp. VW2.51)

4. Speed Up OCXs (esp First Impr)

5. Software Licensing Experiences (esp. CrypKey)

6. REXX and ESP!!!!

7. Innologic-systems's ESP-CV simulator

8. NEWBIE: using stack below esp

9. EPB vs. ESP

10. mov esp, eax crahses?

11. RAM BIST Tests In VHDL (esp March II)

12. Getting the name of a device (esp. CDROM)

 

 
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software