Home Computing Weekly27th August 1985
Published in Home Computing Weekly #127
There comes a time in every programmer's life when he begins to wonder what lies beyond Basic. Some people look to Assembly language for their next challenge whereas others may decide to test their skills on a second high level language. With the release of Fig Forth from Amsoft, Amstrad users now have the opportunity to take the second option.
Forth is a good language to choose as your second language as it combines many of the features of a high level language with the speed of machine code.
One of the nice things about Forth is its flexibility, it is a kind of do-it-yourself language. The Amsoft version of Fig Forth consists of a nucleus dictionary of approximately 240 words. Each of these words will perform a specific task, the idea behind Forth is that the user combines specific sequences of these words to perform a task. Having created several of these new words they too can be combined to give a further word which carries out the complete sequence of tasks.
Forth words can be defined directly from the keyboard in command mode or via a screen editor. The screen editor allows the user to enter his definitions as up to II screens of source code. These are then stored in what they call a RAM disc, individual screen can be listed and edited until the program functions as expected.
The documentation supplied is essentially a reference guide but does contain a short section for beginners. The Amsoft version of Fig Forth is a very comprehensive implementation of the Forth language.