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Other books on ANS Forth

As the standard is relatively new, there are not many books out yet. It is not recommended to learn Forth by using Gforth and a book that is not written for ANS Forth, as you will not know your mistakes from the deviations of the book. However, books based on the Forth-83 standard should be ok, because ANS Forth is primarily an extension of Forth-83.

There is, of course, the standard, the definite reference if you want to write ANS Forth programs. It is available in printed form from the National Standards Institute Sales Department (Tel.: USA (212) 642-4900; Fax.: USA (212) 302-1286) as document X3.215-1994 for about $200. You can also get it from Global Engineering Documents (Tel.: USA (800) 854-7179; Fax.: (303) 843-9880) for about $300.

dpANS6, the last draft of the standard, which was then submitted to ANSI for publication is available electronically and for free in some MS Word format, and it has been converted to HTML (http://www.taygeta.com/forth/dpans.html; this is my favourite format); this HTML version also includes the answers to Requests for Interpretation (RFIs). Some pointers to these versions can be found through
http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/projects/forth.html.

Forth: The New Model by Jack Woehr (Prentice-Hall, 1993) is an introductory book based on a draft version of the standard. It does not cover the whole standard. It also contains interesting background information (Jack Woehr was in the ANS Forth Technical Committee). It is not appropriate for complete newbies, but programmers experienced in other languages should find it ok.

Forth Programmer's Handbook by Edward K. Conklin, Elizabeth D. Rather and the technical staff of Forth, Inc. (Forth, Inc., 1997; ISBN 0-9662156-0-5) contains little introductory material. The majority of the book is similar to section Forth Words, but the book covers most of the standard words and some non-standard words (whereas this manual is quite incomplete). In addition, the book contains a chapter on programming style. The major drawback of this book is that it usually does not identify what is standard and what is specific to the Forth system described in the book (probably one of Forth, Inc.'s systems). Fortunately, many of the non-standard programming practices described in the book work in Gforth, too. Still, this drawback makes the book hardly more useful than a pre-ANS book.


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