[Coco] Expert C programmer wanted
John R. Hogerhuis
jhoger at pobox.com
Tue Feb 8 01:37:53 EST 2005
On Mon, 2005-02-07 at 15:28 -0500, KnudsenMJ at aol.com wrote:
> I was once interested in FORTH, and the 6809 actually seems to be designed
> to run FORTH! But this language is very weird, oriented towards small
> projects, and expecting someone to learn it at this stage as a means to write Coco
> programs is just too much.
Weird? I suppose. But easy to learn since it has almost no syntax.
Small projects, small machines. Actually there's nothing in Forth which
prevents it from being used on smaller projects.
In fact I think it is the ideal language for most 8-bit CPUs. At the
point I outgrew BASIC, Forth *should* have been the logical step up
before getting to C.
As far as expecting anyone to learn it... well, I don't think learning
something new would hurt that much. Besides that some of us old folks
know it already... there are free versions for RS-DOS, OS-9, FLEX. It's
part of the history of the coco just like other languages.
Besides, you're assuming that everyone knows C. I do, you do, but I'd
guess that there are Coco programmers around who only know BASIC and
maybe assembly. If we just go by what people already know, the natural
choice would probably be to write or port a RS-DOS BASIC compiler.
I suppose this is an opportune time to raise the question of why a C
compiler anyway? I can think of reasons like being able to port some
free software over to the coco. But if that's the requirement it implies
a requirement of ANSI C, I think. In any event it's going to be a mighty
rocky road since most software today is targeted at 32-bit CPUs.
Anyway, anyone interested in Forth should check out the book I helped to
republish, "Thinking Forth" by Leo Brodie
http://thinking-forth.sourceforge.net and also try to get your hands on
a copy of "Starting Forth" by the same author. These are a couple of my
favorite programming books.
> Better idea is just to write assembler, with a good macro processor and
> stylistic guidelines and function-calling standards to keep the code from turning
> into spaghetti tangles.
6809 Camelforth comes with a built-in assembler so you can freely mix
high level Forth and code words. So you don't really have to choose
between the two. But I agree with the sentiment... 6809 assembly is an
assembly programmer's dream.
Also, there is a lot of freely available Forth code out there on the web
which could be used with coco. There are a lot of historical variants of
Forth, so there would be tweaking here and there. Forth is a
semi-compiled/interpreted language so the trend at the time was to
publish your source, sort of like happened with BASIC programs.
More information about the Coco