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matthew180

Forth Tutorials

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I was going to suggest you might take a look at my fbForth 2.0 tutorial blog I wrote 5 years ago (see my signature below for the link). But it took a hit when @Albert performed a major upgrade of AtariAge in the not too distant past. I had worked a little on restoring it back then, but had not finished. I just looked at it to see how much more work it needs only to discover that a lot of it is virtually unreadable—certainly not conducive to learning Forth! Sorry about that—I will work on fixing it in the next couple of days.

 

...lee

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I am reviewing my own writing with an eye towards the suggestions by GDMike and DavidC.  So many assumptions made... 

 

I used to work for a chief engineer from Germany.  He would say things like "Ve verk einz, zwei drei! evrysing in order." :) 

That's my directive to myself for making a legible introductory tutorial.

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I understand their are books on forth, and I appreciate you guys pushing more docs.

I was and have been compiling tf help docs last year as I was learning it. Mark said it was ok to use his website information to start with. But I stopped.

I just got sidetracked myself and started  learning assembly more because I had problems learning tf assy. Well, because I couldn't understand how to perform a loop without labels, so I got caught up using assembly.

But I started my tutorial explaining how TF booted and the differences between the boot disk and  workspace. Because I think people get stuck right there and Just mess up the boot disk while they experiment with TF. Because if they can't completely boot then they lose those predefined words that make using TF easier to build upon and end up looking at a blinking cursor in command mode and no easy way to edit a screen where those utilities are. 

So I thought it was so important to try to get the message out right off the bat that kinda warns how this boot process works and what not to do, in this case.

I love forth very very much but that was after I learned how to handle the words that allow me to build upon and differentiating what words or utils I need and those I didn't and how to make my own workspace. After I learned those basics THEN I could Concentrate on learning each "WORD" in TF glossary.

I never learned all but I learned some of the basics, the math words were first and loops without damaging the boot disk.

I learned real fast how to preserve my boot process and what sectors, or screens were important. 

Once something is explained to me about what not to do, and the sequence of events during the boot process and the reason for a boot disk right after inserting a cartridge it just adds to a clearer picture of what forth is.

And without those utils on that boot disk I couldn't just go in and recreate that editor, or that SAMs memory manager or even the sound process, so not even a beep is heard, nothing in a higher level could be created, but I could 0 0 GOTOXY

In command mode and 4  2  +  .

Basic math

I love forth VERY much. And can't wait to do my own docs with working examples of those glossary words.

I'm saddened that you guys, the real forth wiz's are at this point. Because I feel you're talent is needed in other areas and people like me, getting into the mix are best at describing the issues while they encounter them and document it and compile that information for the new user. There's nothing wrong with forth that I know of and that would be for you guys and how you handle it, the NEW user should ask questions, read books, look for examples, and decide on a project, in my opinion. I knew nothing about forth, but I had to learn how to preserve the system first. After my first year of learning forth, I found it sometimes easier than basic.

I'm so sorry that some or most of this is a rant, but,well we're talking about things that frustrate the new user.

 

M!ke

 

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@Lee Stewart, oh yes. I read your blog posts many times and worked through the examples you posted.  But they suddenly stopped. I understand other circumstances were at play and not a fault of yours.

 

  Honestly, the best help I have had as far as learning has come from this thread.  Another issue has been the different flavors of Forth for the TI are different in small ways and not compatable. 

 

I have tried to stick with just the one, TF, because well...because thats the first one I tried and early on in this thread Willsy was very active, so many years ago.  I know he is still here, just busy with real life stuff.  His web site is also a treasure trove of information once you figure out what you are reading.  

 

 The facebook group has been my #2 source when I have questions about simple things. 

 

  Starting forth by Leo Brodie is a fantastic book, but again not really aimed at Forth on the TI99 and that causes a lot of confusion in and of itself. 

 

  Any way, this thread is probably the best source for beginners.  You guys are super friendly and as a group, this place can't be beat.  What I said to GDMike on facebook applies here....There are no stupid questions if it helps you out, and will help someone in the future.  

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39 minutes ago, DavidC said:

@Lee Stewart, oh yes. I read your blog posts many times and worked through the examples you posted.  But they suddenly stopped. I understand other circumstances were at play and not a fault of yours.

 

  Honestly, the best help I have had as far as learning has come from this thread.  Another issue has been the different flavors of Forth for the TI are different in small ways and not compatable. 

 

There is joke in the Forth community that goes: "If you have seen one Forth, you've seen one Forth"  :) 

 

The 1994 push to get an ANS/ISO Standard published has minimized some of the huge differences but because there is no "standard" implementation, in other words nobody tells you HOW to build your Forth system there are still some gotchas. And believe me there are many ways you "could" build a Forth system and people do it.

 

With TI-99 you have the history of Forth at your finger tips.

  1. TI-Forth, FbForth are in the noble tradition of the Forth Interest Group a version released to allow people to port Forth to any CPU they could find in the early '70s (I believe)
  2. Turbo Forth is Forth83 the 1983 standard. The last standard that specified 16 bits as the default integer size.
  3. Camel Forth an early minimal version that tried to comply with the 1994 standard.

And of course each one has been customized to use the TI-99's unique components to a greater or lesser degree.

 

So yes it's best to stick to one until you are really comfortable. 

 

I had a boss who told me once that the only stupid questions are the ones you don't ask.  I believe he was right. So ask away.

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15 minutes ago, TheBF said:

There is joke in the Forth community that goes: "If you have seen one Forth, you've seen one Forth"  :) 

I am beginning to understand that with my experiments in LOGO, and the differences between each version on whatever platform I run on. (PC with FMSLogo, Terrapin on C64 or TI LOGO II)   They are a remarkably similar language, LOGO and Forth.   I will save that thought for the LOGO thread.  Once I figure out what I am talking about..  I do see your point though, once you get it..you get it.

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