[PD] Re: [PD-announce] mole - a forth for pd

Tom Schouten doelie at zzz.kotnet.org
Mon May 17 20:38:49 CEST 2004

On Mon, 17 May 2004, Josh Steiner wrote:

> as im totally ignorant about forth, it means little to me, but judging
> from everyones tone this is something quite cool, so my interest is
> piqued.  anyone care to explain *why*?  :)

without digressing into evangelism (google for forth and you will see),
forth is an 'extensible programming language'. you could call it a
low-level lisp, but it takes a very different approach.

a good thing about forth is that it enables you to do extreme code
factoring, to a point where most functions can be reduced to one line of

this is also the bad thing about forth. if you don't factor, it becomes
quite impossible to write, and even more impossible to read.

for me, it is the ideal language to write 'throwaway media glue', i.e.
single-purpose pd controller objects which are hard to express in pd

another thing is that data-flow and forth seem to match surprizingly well.

pdp is based on a similar language, and i've found it to be ideal
for this purpose. (this single-purpose approach resembles embedded
systems, where forth is still used a lot supposedly).

there was a slashdot interview with Charles Moore, the inventor of forth,
a while ago


for more info, have a look at


and if you really have too much time on your hands:


now, take all this with a grain of salt.
it seems there are only two attitudes towards forth: either you like it a
lot, or you hate it.


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