Misty Beach Forth

What is Misty Beach Forth?

Misty Beach Forth is an implementation of the Forth programming language written in Java. Because it is written in Java, the Misty Beach Forth interpreter can be embedded in a WWW HTML page and launched as an applet. The applet appears below.

Why was Misty Beach Forth created?

Misty Beach Forth was created to demonstrate that just about any programming language can be implemented in Java without suffering an unacceptable performance penalty. Java implementations already exist for languages without explicit pointers (Java implementations of Ada, Lisp, Scheme, BASIC, Rexx, and Python already exist. An Eiffel implementation is on-the-way). These languages all fit the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) fairly well because of their lack of pointers.

Forth does not fit the JVM well because Forth is built on pointers, much like C. I hope that the combination of these other languages, plus Misty Beach Forth, provides a compelling argument that any programming language can be implemented either in Java or on top of the JVM.

I think the ability to implement other languages in Java is important for several reasons:

What is the current state of Misty Beach Forth?

Misty Beach Forth is still under development. The current version is 0.40, which implies that I think it's about 40% of the way to a full release. The current version should demonstrate most of the features of the language. Math operators, logic operators, control operators, new word definition, function call, and stack manipulation operators are all implemented. It also has the beginning of hooks into the Java runtime. These hooks allow Misty Beach Forth to be used as a scripting language and also will allow it to be self hosting, eventually. There are bugs, but the implementation seems to be stable enough to demonstrate proof-of-concept. Don't try to develop any medical device software with it :-) .

This version of Misty Beach Forth, unlike previous ones, requires a Java 1.1 or later runtime environment. Internet Explorer 5.xx (and following) and Netscape Navigator 4.50 (and following) both provide this. The 1.1.x and following versions of the Java Developer's Kit from Sun also work.



An applet version of Misty Beach Forth is embedded here. It may take a little while to download as the applet is about 180 KB. You need to enable Java to launch the Misty Beach Forth applet.
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Last Updated:01-July-2001
Questions? Comments? Email: Mark
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