Forth (programming Language) - Programming


Words written in Forth are compiled into an executable form. The classical "indirect threaded" implementations compile lists of addresses of words to be executed in turn; many modern systems generate actual machine code (including calls to some external words and code for others expanded in place). Some systems have optimizing compilers. Generally speaking, a Forth program is saved as the memory image of the compiled program with a single command (e.g., RUN) that is executed when the compiled version is loaded.

During development, the programmer uses the interpreter in REPL mode to execute and test each little piece as it is developed. Most Forth programmers therefore advocate a loose top-down design, and bottom-up development with continuous testing and integration.

The top-down design is usually separation of the program into "vocabularies" that are then used as high-level sets of tools to write the final program. A well-designed Forth program reads like natural language, and implements not just a single solution, but also sets of tools to attack related problems.

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