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General Category => NC100, NC200, PCW, PDA600 - the rest of the Family! => Topic started by: GeoffB17 on 02:06, 01 August 20

Title: FORTH for PCW
Post by: GeoffB17 on 02:06, 01 August 20
Ever since I first started playing with computers, I was fascinated by FORTH, just something about the way the language worked, and the way it could be investigated, and extended.   It also tended to be faster than the alternatives, without all the complexity of compiling.

I had a FORTH in ROM on my original machine, an Epson HX-20, and when I got my PCW back in 1985 I got the CP/M F83 system, and got that working, and did quite a bit of playing with it.   I was even distributing a setup for the PCW for a while.

One problem was always the fact that some of the interesting options within F83 involved immed access to the source files, so that you could VIEW any 'word' in the dictionany, which would show you the original source screen, with associated notes, BUT at least one of the source files was pretty large (188k) and this was never really practical on my PCW.

However, I now have JonB's uIDE setup, so I've got 8Mb virtual HDs, so no longer any problem.   So I've just unearthed my (paper) files on F83, and various computer files as well, so I need to get my version of F83 working again, ensure that it's fully happy with the uIDE system (initially, it seems to be).

I've got some code set up for a full-screen editor, prepared by someone else, and I need to complete the integration of this into my system which has various other changes by me, incl a reliable FLUSH process to avoid a problem between the way that FORTH works, and the Banked CP/M.

Is anyone else interested in FORTH for the PCW?   I think there are some other versions, some for the CPC, some for CP/M which may be OK for the 6128 and the PCW.   The DOM module supplied by JonB contains a version of FORTH (DX-FORTH) but this seemed fairly small, and I don't think it had the source accessible in the same way).   I think there's also the HiSoft FORTH, but I've never actually seen that.

I'll see how I get on with this?

Title: Re: FORTH for PCW
Post by: GeoffB17 on 02:53, 02 August 20
Further to the above, I've just had another look at the DK-FORTH system that came on JonB's DOM for uIDE.

This I now see is a pretty similar level of FORTH, with some plusses and some minuses compared to the F83 system I was playing with.

I VERY MUCH like the decompile and disassemble facilities of F83, and these seem NOT to be available in DK-FORTH, however that latter is a newer standard of FORTH ('94 as opposed to '83) and DK has an option to include floating point (with F83 you'd need to find some code and do this from scratch).   Also the DK system seems to have better support for CP/M 3, incl User areas and access to banked RAM, and I don't think F83 does either.

I've just seen ther are extras available to download for DK, incl some graphics/GSX stuff which might be interesting - again, you could do the same with F83 but you'd need to do it all yourself from scratch which would be more trouble.

Still, looks like 80% or so of the systems are pretty similar.   The resultant .COM files are similar in size, about 24k.