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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Forth! OS! Assembler! Oh MY!
by Will on Wed 13th Nov 2002 00:51 UTC

Depending on your definition of an OS determines whether Forth qualifies or not. It offers the most basic of services "out of the box", whatever that means, especially since it tends to get customized to the application.

That said, it is pretty common for Forth to be the "only thing" running on pieces of equipment, save for perhaps a minimum of BIOS firmware.

jerryobject is correct in talking about the interactivity. Being able to interactively "peek" and "poke" into hardware ports, or setup your interrupt handlers, or whatever can be very powerful. You don't need to have the entire complexity of your system up and running (necessarily) to develop and debug your routines.

Moore has a snippet of code that he calls his "IDE Driver", it's REAL short, mostly because simple IDE is, well, real short. The point is, though, that he could have easily written and unit tested his IDE driver from the Forth command prompt.

Gsc mentions the HP48, probably the penulitmate in horribly powerful calculators. (Well, there's the 49 now, but anyway).

The RPL language that it uses is very similar to Forth at a glance, it's a stack based language. And, in truth, the 48 is a remarkable machine to write code on. It's dev environment is really powerful and you can be really productive with it.

There are dramatic differences between common Forth and RPL, however. RPL is closer to Scheme in many ways than it is to Forth. RPL stands for, FYI, Reverse Polish Lisp.

Also, don't forget to look at, what is it? OpenBoot? Something like that? Forth kernels for ROM monitors? Sun and Apple both use it (or something like it) in their system firmware.

A new slogan: "Forth! It's everywhere!"