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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:22 pm

whm1974 wrote:
Interviewee: I modernized and extended ANS Forth with my own implementation to do modern code development up to and including writing Operating Systems.


Yeah, they still wouldn't care. I had an instructor in college who had a thing for Scheme. The closest I've ever come to actually needing that was when someone mentioned off-hand in an interview a few years ago that they were considering using Scala, but that actually fit the task for which they were interested.
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:28 pm

Redocbew wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Interviewee: I modernized and extended ANS Forth with my own implementation to do modern code development up to and including writing Operating Systems.

Yeah, they still wouldn't care.

Interviewer: That's nice, but this opening is for someone to maintain our order processing system and database back end. You need to be proficient in Java and understand SQL databases.

(I think a lot of people don't realize that most software development jobs are stuff like that.)
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:39 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Redocbew wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Interviewee: I modernized and extended ANS Forth with my own implementation to do modern code development up to and including writing Operating Systems.

Yeah, they still wouldn't care.

Interviewer: That's nice, but this opening is for someone to maintain our order processing system and database back end. You need to be proficient in Java and understand SQL databases.

(I think a lot of people don't realize that most software development jobs are stuff like that.)

At this stage the hardest part is getting off my ass to start learning Forth, and sticking with it. Having Major Depression is a bitch, and lately I've been barely managing to stay out of bed. I just really need to do something, almost anything to bring me out of my current episode. And learning and mastering a programming language is something I always wanted to do anyway.
 
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:42 pm

just brew it! wrote:
(I think a lot of people don't realize that most software development jobs are stuff like that.)


Yeah, unless you've worked with someone there who can vouch for your skills more generally it's difficult to get a job by saying "No, I not familiar with that, but I can learn it." It's ironic considering how much of a typical day can be spent researching a problem, but that's just the way it is.

whm1974 wrote:
At this stage the hardest part is getting off my ass to start learning Forth, and sticking with it. Having Major Depression is a bitch, and lately I've been barely managing to stay out of bed. I just really need to do something, almost anything to bring me out of my current episode. And learning and mastering a programming language is something I always wanted to do anyway.


In that case, then what are you doing here? :lol: Just don't expect it to be all that useful otherwise.
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:48 pm

Redocbew wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
(I think a lot of people don't realize that most software development jobs are stuff like that.)


Yeah, unless you've worked with someone there who can vouch for your skills more generally it's difficult to get a job by saying "No, I not familiar with that, but I can learn it." It's ironic considering how much of a typical day can be spent researching a problem, but that's just the way it is.

whm1974 wrote:
At this stage the hardest part is getting off my ass to start learning Forth, and sticking with it. Having Major Depression is a bitch, and lately I've been barely managing to stay out of bed. I just really need to do something, almost anything to bring me out of my current episode. And learning and mastering a programming language is something I always wanted to do anyway.


In that case, then what are you doing here? :lol: Just don't expect it to be all that useful otherwise.

Well I already started reading parts of "Starting Forth" and the Gforth manual. I'll reread books and begin doing the tutorials over the weekend.
 
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:53 pm

TBH if you're really interested in working in the field, you need to start by learning something more mainstream. Java, Javascript, C++/C#, Python, PHP. OTOH if you're just viewing this as a potential hobby, no worries.
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:31 pm

From what I've read (no personal experience) Forth projects tend to get unwieldy and unmaintainable when a certain level of complexity is reached -- unless you happen to be Chuck Moore himself, who designs everything in Forth.
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:24 pm

mako wrote:
From what I've read (no personal experience) Forth projects tend to get unwieldy and unmaintainable when a certain level of complexity is reached -- unless you happen to be Chuck Moore himself, who designs everything in Forth.

I read that he even has a CAD program written in Forth that he uses to design CPUs,
 
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:36 pm

just brew it! wrote:
TBH if you're really interested in working in the field, you need to start by learning something more mainstream. Java, Javascript, C++/C#, Python, PHP. OTOH if you're just viewing this as a potential hobby, no worries.

At any rate at least I'll gain some experience working on software projects and maybe working with team, that has to be worth something right?
 
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:40 pm

whm1974 wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
TBH if you're really interested in working in the field, you need to start by learning something more mainstream. Java, Javascript, C++/C#, Python, PHP. OTOH if you're just viewing this as a potential hobby, no worries.

At any rate at least I'll gain some experience working on software projects and maybe working with team, that has to be worth something right?


Personally? Probably.

Professionally? Nope.

It's just a base expectation that you have worked on software projects, unless you a straight out of college. It's also a base expectation that you can, to at least some degree, work on a team. A decent interview process will ferret out personality quirks that would make it "impossible" to work with you. Anything else will be measured against your development ability.

I work with a number of folks who have "interesting" personality quirks that are way outweighed by the fact that they are geniuses in the area they cover.

These days, if you want a job in an area (or language) in which you don't have expertise, you better have a personal recommendation coming from someone respected in the company, or a serious resume of other projects you can point to as a demonstration of wide ranging capability.

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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:40 am

SecretSquirrel wrote:
or a serious resume of other projects you can point to as a demonstration of wide ranging capability.

For example, take the exact same problem and code a solution in multiple languages. Like JBI's example of the knock-knock generator. Make one in perl, python, c++, java, heck maybe in javascript.
 
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:01 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
SecretSquirrel wrote:
or a serious resume of other projects you can point to as a demonstration of wide ranging capability.

For example, take the exact same problem and code a solution in multiple languages. Like JBI's example of the knock-knock generator. Make one in perl, python, c++, java, heck maybe in javascript.


And at least one of those languages should be "inappropriate" for the problem at hand -- kinda like writing a 3d renderer in Forth. I say this, not to encourage using the wrong tool for the job, but to show that you can solve a problem when the tools provided are constrained so to be less than optimal for the problem at hand. Many times you don't get to pick the programming language you use for a project. The other thing I would look for is a thoughtful discussion of the pros and cons of each language as they apply to the problem you were solving. I would expect you to be able to tell me which was the best and worst, and why.

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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:55 am

SecretSquirrel wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
SecretSquirrel wrote:
or a serious resume of other projects you can point to as a demonstration of wide ranging capability.

For example, take the exact same problem and code a solution in multiple languages. Like JBI's example of the knock-knock generator. Make one in perl, python, c++, java, heck maybe in javascript.


And at least one of those languages should be "inappropriate" for the problem at hand -- kinda like writing a 3d renderer in Forth. I say this, not to encourage using the wrong tool for the job, but to show that you can solve a problem when the tools provided are constrained so to be less than optimal for the problem at hand. Many times you don't get to pick the programming language you use for a project. The other thing I would look for is a thoughtful discussion of the pros and cons of each language as they apply to the problem you were solving. I would expect you to be able to tell me which was the best and worst, and why.

--SS

I guess a good programmer should master more then one or two languages then?
 
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:17 pm

You wouldn't expect a carpenter to have just one or two tools, would you?

It's common for people new to programming to focus on one particular language as if that encompasses everything they'll need to know, but how to write good code, and how to solve problems isn't tied to any one particular language. And then there's the times where you'll inherit a project written in C#, or Python, or Ruby, or PHP or some other language which you might not even like. So far in my experience working on an existing application that's already up and running is much more common than building something from the ground up, and that means you've got to work with what you've got.
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:42 pm

Redocbew wrote:
You wouldn't expect a carpenter to have just one or two tools, would you?

It's common for people new to programming to focus on one particular language as if that encompasses everything they'll need to know, but how to write good code, and how to solve problems isn't tied to any one particular language. And then there's the times where you'll inherit a project written in C#, or Python, or Ruby, or PHP or some other language which you might not even like. So far in my experience working on an existing application that's already up and running is much more common than building something from the ground up, and that means you've got to work with what you've got.

So how many languages should a decent professional programmer know? I know from the QuickBasic classes I took in late 90's and from briefly looking at FreeBasic a few years ago, that modern forms of BASIC are very different from the ones that came with most of the microcomputers of the 80's, but from what I can recall from back then the manuals and teachers I had back then didn't exactly warn users to avoid using GOTO statements or even tell learners to document the code at all.

Anyway while I'm learning Forth I also want to learn proper programming at the start so I don't end up producing code that isn't maintainable even by me or is poorly written due to bad programming habits.
 
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:01 pm

I don't think I've ever really stopped to count, but over the past few years I've used maybe a half dozen or so different languages(not counting markup languages). You've got to start somewhere, but after a while the languages themselves become less important.
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:10 pm

Redocbew wrote:
You wouldn't expect a carpenter to have just one or two tools, would you?

This. Being able to use the appropriate tool for a task makes you a better and more productive developer. Programming and scripting languages are not "one size fits all".

There are also things that you will need to know to be productive on specific platforms. For example, on Linux you really ought to be reasonably proficient in bash (or one of its variants), plus whatever language you're developing your application code in.

Redocbew wrote:
It's common for people new to programming to focus on one particular language as if that encompasses everything they'll need to know, but how to write good code, and how to solve problems isn't tied to any one particular language. And then there's the times where you'll inherit a project written in C#, or Python, or Ruby, or PHP or some other language which you might not even like. So far in my experience working on an existing application that's already up and running is much more common than building something from the ground up, and that means you've got to work with what you've got.

Yup. I've flipped back and forth between C++ and Python at my current job. Will probably end up doing some Java eventually too, since there's a lot of existing Java code in the product.
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:11 pm

Redocbew wrote:
I don't think I've ever really stopped to count, but over the past few years I've used maybe a half dozen or so different languages(not counting markup languages). You've got to start somewhere, but after a while the languages themselves become less important.

From reading the history of BASIC I often wondered if it is one of worse languages for beginners to learn, or least what implemented on most 8-bit microcomputers back in 80's.
 
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:17 pm

whm1974 wrote:
From reading the history of BASIC I often wondered if it is one of worse languages for beginners to learn, or least what implemented on most 8-bit microcomputers back in 80's.

From the definitive source, a/k/a The Jargon File:

Jargon File - BASIC entry wrote:
A programming language, originally designed for Dartmouth's experimental timesharing system in the early 1960s, which for many years was the leading cause of brain damage in proto-hackers. Edsger W. Dijkstra observed in Selected Writings on Computing: A Personal Perspective that “It is practically impossible to teach good programming style to students that have had prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.” This is another case (like Pascal) of the cascading lossage that happens when a language deliberately designed as an educational toy gets taken too seriously. A novice can write short BASIC programs (on the order of 10-20 lines) very easily; writing anything longer (a) is very painful, and (b) encourages bad habits that will make it harder to use more powerful languages well. This wouldn't be so bad if historical accidents hadn't made BASIC so common on low-end micros in the 1980s. As it is, it probably ruined tens of thousands of potential wizards.
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:28 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
From reading the history of BASIC I often wondered if it is one of worse languages for beginners to learn, or least what implemented on most 8-bit microcomputers back in 80's.

From the definitive source, a/k/a The Jargon File:

Jargon File - BASIC entry wrote:
A programming language, originally designed for Dartmouth's experimental timesharing system in the early 1960s, which for many years was the leading cause of brain damage in proto-hackers. Edsger W. Dijkstra observed in Selected Writings on Computing: A Personal Perspective that “It is practically impossible to teach good programming style to students that have had prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.” This is another case (like Pascal) of the cascading lossage that happens when a language deliberately designed as an educational toy gets taken too seriously. A novice can write short BASIC programs (on the order of 10-20 lines) very easily; writing anything longer (a) is very painful, and (b) encourages bad habits that will make it harder to use more powerful languages well. This wouldn't be so bad if historical accidents hadn't made BASIC so common on low-end micros in the 1980s. As it is, it probably ruined tens of thousands of potential wizards.

I think there main two factors that caused BASIC to be used on early microcomputers:
1) It was in the public domain, and anyone could freely do their own implementation
2) The low amount of memory and other limited resources available on the first PCs such as OFF/ON switches and paper tape.
 
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:28 pm

I think you should learn Malbolge.
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:43 pm

just brew it! wrote:
I think you should learn Malbolge.

No thanks, I picked up enough bad habits from learning BASIC back in the 80's that I had a hard time unlearning when I was trying to write QuickBASIC programs making every effort to avoid using GOTO statements and documenting the code properly, and as I recall I had a real devilish time with not having line numbers to use.
 
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:45 pm

whm1974 wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
I think you should learn Malbolge.

No thanks, I picked up enough bad habits from learning BASIC back in the 80's that I had a hard time unlearning when I was trying to write QuickBASIC programs making every effort to avoid using GOTO statements and documenting the code properly, and as I recall I had a real devilish time with not having line numbers to use.

EDIT:
Exposure to BASIC is indeed harmful to students. :o
 
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:34 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
From the definitive source, a/k/a The Jargon File:

Jargon File - BASIC entry wrote:
A programming language, originally designed for Dartmouth's experimental timesharing system in the early 1960s, which for many years was the leading cause of brain damage in proto-hackers. Edsger W. Dijkstra observed in Selected Writings on Computing: A Personal Perspective that “It is practically impossible to teach good programming style to students that have had prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.”


Yeah.... Dijkstra wasn't one to mince words. :lol:

I obviously never met him but I knew someone who did once. Dijkstra was giving a talk, and afterwards he was asked, "Dr. Dijkstra, thank you for coming here today. This is all very interesting, but how would you do this in COBOL?" There was a gasp from the podium, and Dijkstra was heard muttering under his breath "COBOL is a language for idiots!". At the time, the majority of people there were developing in COBOL. He was not asked to return.
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:42 pm

Redocbew wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
From the definitive source, a/k/a The Jargon File:

Jargon File - BASIC entry wrote:
A programming language, originally designed for Dartmouth's experimental timesharing system in the early 1960s, which for many years was the leading cause of brain damage in proto-hackers. Edsger W. Dijkstra observed in Selected Writings on Computing: A Personal Perspective that “It is practically impossible to teach good programming style to students that have had prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.”


Yeah.... Dijkstra wasn't one to mince words. :lol:

I obviously never met him but I knew someone who did once. Dijkstra was giving a talk, and afterwards he was asked, "Dr. Dijkstra, thank you for coming here today. This is all very interesting, but how would you do this in COBOL?" There was a gasp from the podium, and Dijkstra was heard muttering under his breath "COBOL is a language for idiots!". At the time, the majority of people there were developing in COBOL. He was not asked to return.

Speaking of COBOL, I'm wondering if I should have learned and mastered it since I could have made a fairly decent living fixing Y2K and other issues in old programs during the 90's. And I'm sure a person could still make a living maintaining old COBOL code.
 
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:39 pm

whm1974 wrote:
Speaking of COBOL, I'm wondering if I should have learned and mastered it since I could have made a fairly decent living fixing Y2K and other issues in old programs during the 90's. And I'm sure a person could still make a living maintaining old COBOL code.

Yeah, I bet you could. It would be somewhat limiting in terms of opportunities though; you'd probably be working in the banking or insurance industry, and you would not get to do much (if any) new development.
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:42 pm

It'd probably be one of those 90% boredom, 10% panic jobs also. The tail end of my last job turned into that, but it seemed like a lot more than 10% panic.
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:44 pm

just brew it! wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Speaking of COBOL, I'm wondering if I should have learned and mastered it since I could have made a fairly decent living fixing Y2K and other issues in old programs during the 90's. And I'm sure a person could still make a living maintaining old COBOL code.

Yeah, I bet you could. It would be somewhat limiting in terms of opportunities though; you'd probably be working in the banking or insurance industry, and you would not get to do much (if any) new development.

That's the thing, I do want to do new development even if it is just something to keep me busy and learning new things and doesn't find wider use beyond my own amusement.
 
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:48 am

whm1974 wrote:
That's the thing, I do want to do new development even if it is just something to keep me busy and learning new things and doesn't find wider use beyond my own amusement.

Well, here's the thing... either way you're getting coding experience. If doing something that you find interesting/amusing helps keep your interest/enthusiasm up, then that's a good thing even if it isn't more broadly useful. But it would be even better if you could find something that interests you, and helps you learn something with broader applicability.

For example... I taught myself Python (as well as how to interface Python to libraries written in C for computationally intensive stuff) by playing around with fractals: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=119002
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Re: Anyone use Forth, or have experience with it?

Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:58 am

just brew it! wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
That's the thing, I do want to do new development even if it is just something to keep me busy and learning new things and doesn't find wider use beyond my own amusement.

Well, here's the thing... either way you're getting coding experience. If doing something that you find interesting/amusing helps keep your interest/enthusiasm up, then that's a good thing even if it isn't more broadly useful. But it would be even better if you could find something that interests you, and helps you learn something with broader applicability.

For example... I taught myself Python (as well as how to interface Python to libraries written in C for computationally intensive stuff) by playing around with fractals: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=119002

I've been rethinking this and now I'm wondering if I should start with C instead . Speaking of C, how hard is it for a beginner to learn C?

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