Browse Prior Art Database

IEEE Computer Volume 15 Number 6 -- BOOK REVIEWS Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131509D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 2 page(s) / 17K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

True Seaborn: AUTHOR [+2]



This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 44% of the total text.

Page 1 of 2


This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1982 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.


Recently published books and new periodicals may be submitted for review lo the book reviews editor: Dr. Francis P. Mathur Professor of Computer Science Mathematics Deportment California State Polytechnic University 3801 West Temple A venue Pomona, CA 91768 Telephone: (714) S98-4421

Note: Publications reviewed in this section are not available from the IEEE Computer Society; they must be ordered directly from the publisher. To request ordering information, circle the appropriate number on the Reader Service Card.


( Invitation to Forth -- Harry Katzan, Jr. Petrocelli Books, Princeton, N.J., 1981, 232 pp., $17.50).

Forth is a language so unique in its implementation and structure that neither the language nor its utility are understood by many people in the industry outside of the few who actually use it. Originally developed at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory around 1973, the lan guage has continued to evolve -- both at the observatory and elsewhere -- to the point where there are now several private companies with their own versions of Forth. These versions differ, and all have distinct purposes such as programming for a target machine or operating in an interactive laboratory environment. (Coordination among users is provided by the Forth Interest Group (FIG), P.O. Box 1105, San Carlos, CA 94070.)

Forth is useful in that it allows highlevel programming of machines that must interact with the real world while keeping the memory requirements and systems functions within the modest limits of microprocessors. However, Forth is definitely not a substitute for Basic or Pascal for general- purpose programming. Writing programs in these other languages, especially Pascal, is generally easier because they do not require the access to hardware that Forth allows.

Katzan states early on that he intends to promote the understanding of the Forth conception this book, and he goes on to claim that neither a background in programming nor access to a computer are required to understand it and to learn the Forth language. Because of this, the systems- related aspects of the language are omitted. One thing the author does not do is provide details on any one implementation. Instead, the reader is referred to the appropriate user guides.

Katzan does a fairly good job of the ad" mittedly difficult task of familiarizing the

reader with an entirely new computer language. He also provides some helpful insights as to how to best think about the language to successfully program in it. In the first five chapter...