... and what about FORTH programming language ?

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Mmattsteel
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... and what about FORTH programming language ?

Post by Mmattsteel » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:01 pm

Hello all.

I hope I'll write someting more about me in the proper section, but let me introduce this old project about FORTH programming language.

In spring 1990 I had the chance to work for a few months on a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K with one ZX Microdrive.
Among the other things, I succeeded to completely disassemble and reassemble the machine code of a Forth for Spectrum, the famous White Lightning of the Oasis Software I have some hand-written dump somewhere.

My purpose was to make effective the use of the Microdrive within the Forth environment. The result was excellent, but due to the fragility of the Speccy keyboard I had to shelve everything for years, until... in the Internet an emulator that supported the Microdrives were available. Anyway, last week I undusted my Spectrum again and tried to use a cartridge and discovered it still works well !

Technically, I use a standard BASIC's channel OPEN#ed on a "M" stream along which I am able to read and write BLOCKs in a random access way, even if all you know that a Microdrive cartridge is a sequential access device.

Over the years, I added a Floating Point option that calls Spectrum ROM f.p. routines; then a way to access multiple Microdrive, then an ASSEMBLER vocabulary that allows to code in Z80 assembler with a nice custom notation, then a SEE word-debugger, and last but not least a way to (slowly) accept long source code via emulated RS-232 port linked to a PC-hosted source file.

I also recorded a few seconds of video about what I mean about the SEE word-debugger.



Being in a yahoogroups, I also developed a Perl utility to manage .mdr file from outside the emulator.

Last summer I seriously was committed to re-compile this Forth using Forth itself and last nigth :D I succeeded to remove one of the last deceiving bugs that prevented to run the newly compiled Forth.

My Next task is to improve this Forth again to fit the Spectrum Next. Suggestions are welcome.

Mat.
Matteo.
Backer #1227. ZX Spectrum+ m/c programmer since 1985.

adam
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Re: ... and what about FORTH programming language ?

Post by adam » Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:36 am

I used White Lightning a bit and found the language quite intuitive at the time. Wouldn't mind rediscovering Forth. 😺

hyphz
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Re: ... and what about FORTH programming language ?

Post by hyphz » Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:28 pm

Forth and Lisp are both low level highly expandable languages that could be relevant.

TorsteinP
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Re: ... and what about FORTH programming language ?

Post by TorsteinP » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:30 pm

Isn't Jupiter Ace a FORTH based clone of ZX Spectrum? I think you can select it in the machine select menu.

Steve(spt)
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Re: ... and what about FORTH programming language ?

Post by Steve(spt) » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:46 pm

TorsteinP wrote:
Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:30 pm
Isn't Jupiter Ace a FORTH based clone of ZX Spectrum?
The Jupiter ACE is a single board Z80 based machine for more details see our archive which has been online since 2004 - www.jupiter-ace.co.uk
- This archive has no connection with Paul Andrews Ltd ( ex Retro Computers Ltd) who own the IP rights the the Jupiter ACE, acquire in 2015 from Boldfeild computing.

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Mmattsteel
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Re: ... and what about FORTH programming language ?

Post by Mmattsteel » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:46 pm

Well, I am keeping on track and just published the latest version of my Forth environment: https://sites.google.com/view/zxattic/vforth
Maybe, I will stop to post in this peculiar section, preferring the Assembley one, since Forth is more related to Assembly than others.
M.
Matteo.
Backer #1227. ZX Spectrum+ m/c programmer since 1985.

48K
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Re: ... and what about FORTH programming language ?

Post by 48K » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:36 am

Hello Matteo,

thank you for your post, I used to program in Forth for the Spectrum way back when I was a kid. Now I'd love to use it again and would like to know if there is a way to cross-compile. Is it possible to write code in a Windows environment and run it in the emulator? Probably I'm getting old and lazy, I've tried to code the old way, but it's slow and difficult.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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programandala.net
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Re: ... and what about FORTH programming language ?

Post by programandala.net » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:17 pm

Mmattsteel wrote:
Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:01 pm
Last summer I seriously was committed to re-compile this Forth using Forth itself and last nigth :D I succeeded to remove one of the last deceiving bugs that prevented to run the newly compiled Forth.

My Next task is to improve this Forth again to fit the Spectrum Next. Suggestions are welcome.
Hello Matteo,

Nice to meet you here, and to know that vForth progresess well. I wonder what's your plan to support the Next, given vForth is based on the microdrives. Will you convert the block operations from microdrive sectors to block files on the SD?

As you know from the email list Forth on Sinclair computers , my Solo Forth currently supports G+DOS, TR-DOS and +3DOS. Though it's a modern and standard Forth system, it's focused on cross development. Well,the plan for version 0.15.0 (version 0.14.0 is about to be released, with full documentation) is to support also the ZX Spectrum Next (which I'm waiting for too), with block files and ordinary text files as well.
Last edited by programandala.net on Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Marcos Cruz (programandala.net)

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programandala.net
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Re: ... and what about FORTH programming language ?

Post by programandala.net » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:37 pm

48K wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:36 am
Is it possible to write code in a Windows environment and run it in the emulator?
I do that with Solo Forth, but on GNU/Linux.

For example see two projects I'm writing in Forth for ZX Spectrum 128: Nuclear Waste Invaders and Black Flag.

AFAIK, In theory all tools needed to convert the Forth sources to the final disk images (for G+DOS, TR-DOS or +3DOS) Solo Forth (running in an emulator) needs to actually compile the code from, can be installed or compiled in Windows as well (say, Vim, Gforth, some ZX Spectrum media converters...), but I never tried and probably never will, since I dont' use Windows, sorry.
Marcos Cruz (programandala.net)

48K
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Re: ... and what about FORTH programming language ?

Post by 48K » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:33 pm

Hello Marcos,

thank you for your post. I've been looking at your Forth projects - they are amazing !

I'll contact you via your website, hope you don't mind.

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