Donnerstag, 5. März 2009

What's behind?

Why visualFORTH? What's behind?
With the creation of visualFORTH I am standing on the shoulders of Giants, as there is as the most important person Charles Moore, who invented and developed FORTH nearly fifty years ago, remarkable, and unbelievable, that FORTH still exists and is used by a now again growing number of people, who do not like to be restricted by a "normal" mainstream programming language, who like to have their full freedom in programming, are weary of typing redundant text again and again and are weary of programming "workarounds" to get their job done.

FORTH is totally different to other programming languages. Typing FORTH programs is reduced to the essentials of logic the program really needs, and every FORTH programmer is encouraged to write his programs in plain English language - and even more, he can use his native language not only for comments, but to name FORTH commands, because FORTH is extensible, plainly spoken, FORTH is built on adding commands, until the goal is reached and the program is done. Even Chinese people discovered FORTH and are working on a version with Chinese characters.

FORTH did run first on a IBM 1130 and then on Digital-Equipment PDP-Minicomputers, and because of it's easy portability and small footprint it was for a long time the first operating system (FORTH is not only a programming language, it is a operating system, too) on new microprocessors - I myself started in 1984 with RSC-FORTH on Rockwell's little R65F11 computer board. Not many people know that the IEEE 1275-1994 Standard Open-Boot-PROM, inside Sun-Solaris-Workstations, and used by IBM, too, is a true FORTH Operating System.

When IBM conquered the microcomputer market nearly thirty years ago, Laxen and Perry transferred FORTH, then named F83, to MS-DOS, and with the advent of MS-Windows Tom Zimmer started Win32Forth, which then was my standard FORTH system to work with for test and development. Laxen, Perry, and Tom Zimmer are the other giants on whose shoulders visualFORTH stands, and of course, now most important, all the people on the's Win32FORTH-Project, they are great FORTH- and MS-Windows-Programmers, and their work made visualFORTH possible. Special thanks to Ezra Boyce, who developed ForthForm, an evolutionary remake of Michael Hillerström's DiaEdit, his "Graphical Dialog Editor for Win32Forth".

With visualFORTH now, based on Win32Forth's ForthForm, it is possible to use the full power of FORTH to generate Graphical User Interface programs running on your MS-Windows PC, without having any knowledge of MS-Windows-Programming. MS-Windows-Programming is complex and complicated, and programming in FORTH needs only an introduction of a few hours, there are tutorials on the WEB, and the best one to start with is "Starting Forth" by Leo Brodie (another giant). And visualFORTH is really easy to use. A tutorial will be available soon.

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