What I've learned so far...
Mon Mar 24 02:14:01 2003
On Sun, 23 Mar 2003 15:34:34 -0800, Tom Novelli <email@example.com> wrote:
> I stand by my conclusion. C translates directly to Forth, ..
It is evident from your paper that when you write "C translates directly
to Forth" you mean that expressions are translated into postfix
notation, so that the order of calculations are clearly determined.
This is a quite standard technique in compiler theory (push down
But this is *not* translating C into Forth. First, because a C program
is not constituted *only* by expressions. On the contrary, in large part
is constituted by statements (this is the typical programming style in
this language). Second, equating the Forth dual stack virtual machine
with a generic push down automaton is at least inaccurate.
Now, for the real thing, a C to Forth translator: IIRC, MPE Limited have
written such translator (with the aim of porting C software to stack
processors) but the results are not so good, not surprisingly. They
report that the quality of code produced by translation is surely
inferior than good (highly factored) hand written Forth code.
> .. but some really easy optimizations are done in the process. Types make this possible, and infix syntax helps a little also.
Peter Knaggs' Ph.D. thesis shows that is possible to infer types of Forth words (sort-of functions, for the reader not familiar with Forth) and there are other papers on this subject, even for other languages with an open stack like Forth (POP-11 and probably Postscript, I don't remember exactly).
Anyway, people like M. Anton Ertl are skeptic about type
checking/inference. He dedicate his efforts to whole program
Finally, Forth's inventor, Charles Moore, worth a mention: he is totally
against complex *automatic* optimizations, he is against compilers in a
certain sense (to long to explain here: his rational needs a lot of
> For an equal effort, C is faster. It's also easier to read and
Asserting without verifiable argumentations does not make you more
> I'm just saying Forth has no place in Tunes.
You are entitled at your opinions, of course, but starting from when can
you dictate (and not simply suggest and discuss) technical matters
regarding this project?
> I won't be drawn into a holy war.
Irrelevant rhetorical trap: this is not a war, even less "holy". It is
simply a technical discussion.
Anyway don't worry, we can stop here. I am persuaded more and more every
day that dialectic is useless.