:santagrin: This book was suggested by Badiane Ka
Excerpts from the Introduction:
Welcome to Starting Forth
, your introduction to an exciting and powerful computer language called Forth.
If you're a beginner who wants to learn more about computers, Forth is a great way to learn. Forth is more fun to write programs with than any language that I know of. (See the "Introduction for Beginners.
If you are a seasoned professional who wants to learn Forth, this book is just what you need. Forth is a very different approach to computers, so different that everyone, from newcomers to old hands, learns Forth best from the ground up. If you're adept at other computer languages, put them out of your mind for now, and remember only what you know about computers. (See the "Introduction for Professionals.
Since many people with different backgrounds are interested in Forth, I've arranged this book so that you'll only have to read what you need to know, with footnotes addressed to different kinds of readers. The first half of Chap. 7
provides a background to computer arithmetic for beginners only.
This book explains how to write simple applications in Forth. It includes all standard Forth words2 that you need to write a high-level single-task application. This word set is an extremely powerful one, including everything from simple math operators to compiler-controlling words.
Excluded from this book are all commands that are related to the assembler, target compiler and other specialized utilities. These commands are available on some versions of Forth such as eForth and most commercial implementations.
I've chosen examples that will actually work on a Forth system with a terminal and a disk. Don't infer from this that Forth is limited to batch or string-handling tasks, since there is really no limit to Forth's usefulness.
Here are some features of this book that will make it easy to use:
- All commands are listed twice: first, in the section in which the word is introduced, and second, in the summary at the end of that chapter.
- Each chapter also has a review of terms and a set of exercise problems, with answers.
- Several "Handy Hints" have been included to reveal procedural tips or optional routines that are useful for learners but that don't merit an explanation as to how or why they work.
A personal note: Forth is a very unusual language. It violates many cardinal rules of programming. My first reaction to Forth was extremely skeptical, but as I tried to develop complicated applications I began to see its beauty and power. You owe it to yourself to keep an open mind while reading about some of its peculiarities. I'll warn you now: few programmers who learn Forth ever go back to other languages.
:) "This book is a very clear introduction to programming and the stack. The cartoons are very entertaining and descriptive, and the book would make light reading even for beginning programmers. Those who program, but not yet in Forth, will also be happy with the quick introduction."
:) "...I credit this mainly to Leo Brodie's skill as an expository writer. The book is a gem; if someone were to reprint it, I for one would buy several copies, just in case."
:) "Even if you never plan to write a line of Forth, you should read this book."