Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 12th Nov 2002 20:39 UTC, submitted by bland est
General Development Forth has been a recognized programming language since the 1970's. ColorForth is a redesign of this classic language for the 21st century. It also draws upon a 20-year evolution of minimal instruction-set microprocessors. Now implemented on modern PCs, it runs stand-alone without an operating system. Applications are recompiled from source with a simple optimizing compiler.
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Why Forth
by jbolden1517 on Wed 13th Nov 2002 00:28 UTC

If Forth is such a simple (low-level) language, why not just use a simple (low-level) language like assembler? And what's the deal with it self being an operating system? Why do I want an operating system with zero hardware support?

Am I missing something here?

1) Programmmer effeciency in Forth is close to what you get in much higher level languages like C

2) Computer effeciency is close to assembly

3) Linker / Compiler effeciency is better than modern assembly

The effect of these 3 things is that you can quickly write code (1) that executes quickly and thus can be a core part of the system (2) without many assumptions about a large OS already running (3).

Since forth tends to be higher level forth code is mostly portable unlike assembly.

As for Forth issues on hardware:

1) Microcode tends to be forthish so it often very easy (much easier than in procedural languages) to plug driver support right into the environment

2) Forth work well with virtual environments so you can use virtual hardware (of course then you are back to needing a large OS).