Notes from Chuck's Fireside Chat
Paul Hardy

For what it's worth,here are the notes I took:

This is the 46th anniversary of Forth, give or take a year. Forth 1.0 was an interpreter written in FORTRAN.

Chuck is now designing what he calls Forth 46.0.

Around the time of Forth 3.0, he used indirect threading. This was an improvement over the original interpreter, but indirect threading is slow.

About 10 years later, he moved to subroutine threading.

Around Forth 32.0, he came up with Color Forth. This features a pre-compiler (which cut compile time in half), Shannon coding (which had a side-effect of people not being able to use any editor they wanted), and a Dvorak keyboard. [Chuck made a comment to the effect that it used a keyboard that nobody knew!]. He said something like people who should have known better didn't like Color Forth.

Chuck mentioned that half of Forth development time currently is spent in recompiling code. He said that in Forth 46.0 he is trying to eliminate the compiler and eliminate source code. Forth 46.0 will have a decompiler. He would use a wrapper that is the dictionary. The traditional Edit-Compile-Run paradigm could become an Edit-Run paradigm.

Sam Falvo mentioned that if Chuck swapped the 'E' and 'R' of this paradigm to 'R' and 'E', he could call this new Forth "Reforth". I mentioned that if he kept the letters in "ER" order he could also call the new Forth "Forther" (plagiarizing Kevin Appert's email user name).

Someone asked about maintaining comments in this new Forth. Chuck said that he could maintain some type of shadow block that contains the full text of the source code including comments.

Sam Falvo mentioned Charles Simonyi, who was at Microsoft but left. He invented Hungarian notation and "intentional computing".

Sam, maybe you could elaborate on your line of thought with that comment if it didn't make the recording. My note-taking motivation was dying off at that point. I think I was getting hungry. :-(

Paul Hardy - unifoundry -at-