Writing JForth was a worthwhile exercise that was also fun. Just about every programming task we do teaches us something and this was no exception. If this article made some readers want to experiment with Forth, all the better.
Forth not only had a place in the past ,it has a place in the future as well. The following quote from the article "A Forth Apologia" (Programmer's Journal, Volume 6, Number 6, November/December 1988, page 56) sums things up very well. It is truer now then it was then.
Forth development systems are available for nearly every CPU in existence, and Forth is consistently the first third-party high level language to appear on a new CPU architecture, personal computer, or operating system. Forth continues to enjoy wide use in real time control and data acquisition applications, and can be found in the most unexpected places: from the bar-code-reader "wand" carried by your friendly Federal Express driver, to the American Airlines baggage control system, to instrumentation for SpaceLab experiments, to a networked monitoring and control system with some 400 processors and 17,000 sensors at an airport in Saudi Arabia. While I think it likely that Forth will always remain a somewhat obscure language, its speed and interactivity coupled with minimal hardware requirements and ready portability are a unique combination of assets. In its niche, Forth has no real competition, and I expect it will be around for a long time to come.
Here, here to that!
The following resources may be helpful for learning more about Forth.
- There are 18 Yahoo groups dedicated to Forth on various platforms. Check out http://tech.dir.groups.yahoo.com/dir/Computers___Internet/Programming_Languages/Forth
- In my opinion the best book for Forth beginners is Starting Forthwritten by Leo Brodie. This book is available free on-line.
- A search of Amazon.com for books on Forth yields 70+ books being available.
- A selection of free Forth implementations are available for Unix, Linux, and Windows.
- Forth standards include: