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[hemmerling] FORTH

Standards & Guides

  1. FORTH79, 1979.
  2. FORTH83, 1983
  3. ANS Forth, ANS94 FORTH, 1994.
  4. ( Forth200x ).

Famous Quote, by Chuck Moore

“I started the same time as Bill Gates. He took a different strategy. He was selling operating systems and I didn’t believe in operating systems. I was selling applications and I could only sell as many applications as I could program; or as Forth, Inc. could program. Boy did I miss the boat there. We could’ve sold Forth as an operating system, as a programming language, as a development system and we didn’t. So I guess he deserves the fifty billion dollars or hundred billion or whatever he’s got. But I had the fun”. s

Free & OpenSource FORTH Systems

The minimal FORTH System "sectorforth"


Primitive Stack effects Description
@ ( addr – x ) Fetch memory contents at addr
! ( x addr – ) Store x at addr
sp@ ( – sp ) Get pointer to top of data stack
rp@ ( – rp ) Get pointer to top of return stack
0= ( x – flag ) -1 if top of stack is 0, 0 otherwise
+ ( x y – z ) Sum the two numbers at the top of the stack
nand ( x y – z ) NAND the two numbers at the top of the stack
exit ( r:addr – ) Pop return stack and resume execution at addr
key ( – x ) Read key stroke as ASCII character
emit ( x – ) Print low byte of x as an ASCII character


Variable Description
state 0: execute words; 1: compile word addresses to the dictionary
tib Terminal input buffer, where input is parsed from
>in Current parsing offset into terminal input buffer
here Pointer to next free position in the dictionary
latest Pointer to most recent dictionary entry


  • : and ; provided.
  • NO immediate, [, or ].

What can I do?

  • “hello, world” of course :-).
  • Variables.
  • Stack debugging (.s, etc. )

Commercial FORTH Systems

German Books

English Books & Magazines






Applications & Libraries

FAQs, Help, and Tutorials



Forums, Newsgroups

Appropriate OpenDirectory Directory Pages

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