Thursday, December 21, 2006

Re-starting "Primary Colorforth"

Hello all. Some months ago I announced that I was working on a tutorial for ColorForth called Primary ColorForth. It is a play on words for the Leo Brodie classic Starting Forth. The plan was (and still is) to build a tutorial that follows the "spirit" of Starting Forth while departing from it when necessary to better fit the ColorForth model. I made a little progress. (Actually Jeff Fox made a bigger contribution than I did with his "Editor" chapter.)

However the project got stalled. Part of the problem is that I got waylaid by other projects. But another bigger problem was the classic "chicken and egg" problem. Some of the examples I wanted to do in the first chapter required advanced concepts that I didn't want to cover until other chapters. I was really stuck. Then, in a discussion with Jeff Fox in the USENET group comp.lang.forth about learning VentureForth I got an idea. Jeff suggested that someone learning VentureForth should try to do the examples from Staring Forth in it. I found then (and still find) that a daunting prospect. But I knew I could many of them in ColorForth so I decided to try. Then while reading the first chapter I noticed that Brodie put some advance code in an example and simply said we'll explain how it works in a later chapter. Now why did I think of that?

So I'm restarting my efforts. Things that I need to explain later, I'll just note and explain later. It's good to be back!

I'm going to use the blog to track my progress. While the tutorial will be built here, this won't be the final "polished" version. That will be put at the ColorForth Wiki. I don't want to be slowed down by trying to be "perfect" the first time.


Ray St. Marie said...

Well done, John! How does one contribute?

Unknown said...

Thanks Ray! Here are some ways you can help.

1) Help by proofreading. I'm knot purfekt and I mayke typoos.

2) Help by making comments which expand on what's already there (like Nick did) or that ask questions about anything that might not be clear.

3) Pick a chapter from Starting Forth and start coding the examples.

You can post your contributions here, or add them directly to the ColorForth Wiki, or posting them to the ColorForth mailing list

I'll also be periodically posting questions to the ColorForth mailing about things for which I'm still fuzzy.

Unknown said...

Is it just convenient to use an OS-specific version of CF rather than a bootable one?

johnmdrake said...

Yes. I've used both bootable CF and OS hosted. I can always get the OS hosted to work, but only can get bootable CF to work on certain machines. The downside is that there are certain features that don't work on the OS hosted one. (Networking for instance.)