c.l.f. Frequently Asked Questions 
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 c.l.f. Frequently Asked Questions

comp.lang.forth Frequently Asked Questions 'lite'       July 30, 1995

This is intended to be a brief overview of the tools and information
available for the new Forther.  For a historical reference, programming
paradigms, and deep technical information try some of the listed
references.  For general questions on the internet, or the methods used
to get this information, try the other Usenet groups:
     news.announce.newusers
     news.newusers.questions
     news.announce.important

This is a working document that will change periodically.  Any glaring

detailed FAQ is available that covers much of what is listed below, and
much, much more.  It used to be found at rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/comp.
lang.forth, but as of this writing it wasn't there.  If you need a copy,
email me for it.  There is a WWW/HyperText version.  See below.

Q: How do I get started with Forth?  Where can I get it?
A: You can get free- and share- ware Forths for various platforms at:

ftp://oak.oakland.edu/pub/msdos/forth/
     various Forths and code
ftp://taygeta.oc.nps.navy.mil/pub/Forth/
     various Forths, code, and home of the forth scientific library
ftp://asterix.inescn.pt/pub/forth/
     a dedicated site for Forth tools
ftp://ftp.demon.co.uk/simtel20/msdos/forth/      
     a SIMTEL mirror
ftp://ftp.uni-bremen.de/pub/languages/programming/forth/Taygeta-Archive    
     a mirror for the taygeta site
ftp://ftp.uu.net/languages/forth/

"ftp.cygnus.com -- there is a subdirectory /pub/forth/ that has fprimer.zip
on it.  There are TWO Forths included, F-PC 3.56 and eForth.  Download it via
ftp and don't forget to say 'binary' first!" --Julian V. Noble

Q: I'm lost.  Where can I get some help and information?
A: There's a lot of info out there.  Look for some of it here:

Articles from comp.lang.forth are archived at    
ftp://asterix.inescn.pt/pub/forth/news/

Other Forth-related FAQ's are found at
ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/comp.lang.forth
http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~bevan/forth

Forth Interest Group
P.O. Box 2154
Oakland, California 94621
telephone: 510-893-6784
fax: 510-535-1295

Forth Interest Group home page:
http://www.*-*-*.com/

Q. What is a good book on Forth?
A. Well, it depends on who you talk to!  Some titles are:

Jack Woehr's "Forth: The New Model -- A Programmer's Handbook."  Possibly the
first and only book to cover the new ANSI-standard Forth.  Incidentally, if
you do find Jack's book, there is a disk included with another PC Forth,
ZENForth by Martin Tracy.  This is another minimalist Forth, but it does
conform fairly closely to ANSI usage.

"Starting Forth" by Leo Brodie.  Probably the most well-known.  A standard
that some feel is outdated.  Brodie also wrote "Thinking Forth", which
continues the ideas expressed in "Starting...".  Goes a bit further into the
philosophy of Forth.

Julian Noble's "Scientific Forth" is the definitive text on complex math in
Forth.  Julian also co-wrote "The Apprentice Programmer's Hornbook" with B.J.
Rodriguez.  This is a general text on programming that uses Forth to
illustrate the examples.  It comes with an MS-DOS Forth on disk.

"Forth: A Text and Reference" by Kelly & Spies.  Seems to be out of print,
but some mail-order vendors may still have it in stock.

"Mastering Forth" by Tracy & Anderson.  A Brady Book published by Prentice
Hall (ISBN 0-13-559957-1).

"Threaded Interpretive Languages" by Loeliger.  "...is a Byte book [that I
believe] is out of print, at least in the UK.  I found it much more
interesting than many [other] forth books as it told you how such languages
worked. ...As such it is very good - if you can get a copy"

Try some of the other sources of information for books as well.

Q: What do the various 'Standards' mean?  Whats ANS Forth?
A: ANS-standard Forth either means Nothing or Everything to you.  Here's a
quick (but complete) description:

"FORTH STANDARDS  Published standards since 1978 are Forth 79 and Forth 83
from the Forth Standard Team, and ANS Forth - document X3.215-1994 - by the
X3J14 Technical Committee.  The most recent standard, ANS Forth, defines a
set of core words and some optional extensions and takes care to allow  great
freedom in how these wordsare implemented.  The range of hardware which  can
support an ANS Forth Standard System is far wider than any previous Forth
standard and probably wider than any programming language standard  ever.
See web page http://www.*-*-*.com/
Copies of the standard cost $193, but the final draft of ANS Forth is free
and available (subject to copyright restrictions) via ftp..." --Chris
Jakeman, apvpeter.demon.co.uk

The (un)official ANS Forth document is available at
ftp://ftp.uu.net/vendor/minerva/x3j14/dpans94.zip (Word For Windows, v2)
ftp://ftp.uu.net/vendor/minerva/x3j14/dpans94.hqx (Word For Macintosh)

To get yourself on the ANS-Forth mailing list, consult the various README
files at the above site.

Two unofficial test suites are available for checking conformance to the ANS
Standard Forth:
ftp://ftp.uu.net/vendor/minerva/x3j14/tester.fr  and /core.fr

ftp://taygeta.oc.nps.navy.mil/pub/Forth/ANS/stand4th.zip

Q: Alright, I'm a pro, now.  Where can I get a big commercial package?
A: There are many 'professional' vendors.  Here is a short list of some (in
no particular order):


"[FORTH, Inc. has] a 16-bit system that can be quite inexpensive for
individuals, and 32-bit very full-functioned systems for real-time DOS
applications or for Windows (not as real-time, and with a much more Windows-
oriented set of features).  More info on our Web page at:
http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~forth or phone us at 1-800-55FORTH.  Cheers...
Elizabeth"

| MILLER MICROCOMPUTER SERVICES|
A. Richard & Jill A. Miller
61 Lake Shore Road
Natick, MA 01760-2099, USA
Voice: 508/653-6136, 9am-9pm -0400(EDT)
"Our E-mail brochure, 'MMSFORTH and Forth books', is available upon request."

"MPE's ProForth for Windows is available from ourselves and from Forth Inc in
the USA. It supports Windows 3.1, NT, and 95 from the same binary. A separate
version optimised for Windows NT is also in the box.  PFW comes with lots of
features, including ProForth GUIDE, which lets you draw the user interface on
the screen, and then automatically generates the Forth source code for you.
Anyone who needs a catalogue or more details, just send your postal address

"Please have a look at bigForth authored by Bernd Paysan.  It has an
optimizing compiler and follows ANS.  I have some experience with the system
and can say its very good.  In contrast to thisForth it is designed to run
solely on a PC.  It has a little window environment, good editors and comes
with all source at a reasonable price.  Speed comparisons will convince you.
Please take a look at  
http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~paysan/

"...please keep in mind that various of the publicly available Forths may be
experimental in nature; or optimized for size over speed, or viceversa...
That is why -- especially for professional/commercial projects -- it is a
very good idea to seriously investigate the various high-quality commercial
Forths sold by reputable vendors."--Marlin Ouverson, Editor, Forth Dimensions



Thu, 15 Jan 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 
 [ 1 post ] 

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