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Well, I finally finished reading “Starting FORTH”!

What a ride. I think reverse polish notation makes my brain bend in novel ways. I can see how FORTH is great for bootstrapping a whole system single-handedly, but yowza! is it unlike things I’ve seen before.

I’m looking forward to poking at over the holidays to put my understanding of RPN to the test and see if my brain can get used to solving problems that way.

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@thetigerandthestrawberry Don't worry about getting used to reverse polish, it's pretty alright.

It seemed to me that most of its difficulty lies in reasoning about control flow and about the current contents of stacks.

@manifoldslug I could see that! A lot of the latter part of “Starting FORTH” wanted me to play around with S0, the pointer to the end of the available stack space. gForth, which I was using as my FORTH playground, didn’t grok that symbol, so I didn’t get a chance to follow along those exercises.

Doing stuff to self-modify code in place was pretty neat, but also: ahh! That seems like a nightmare to make algorithms work well and in an understandable way!

@thetigerandthestrawberry @manifoldslug self-modifying code is tricky to get right, keep that stuff for later. I've only found a handful of cases where it doesn't make a mess, but when you don't have registers and local variables, it's the next best thing.

@thetigerandthestrawberry this illustration does get me curious... I may need to go dabble a bit in forth too

@aw Oo, bookmarking and saving that for later! It’s turtles all the way down, isn’t it? 🤭

@thetigerandthestrawberry @neauoire perhaps get an RPN calculator. I grew up with HP RPN calculators and it felt completely natural.

@thetigerandthestrawberry Forth rocks - so much better than Basic. I cut my teeth on an Apple ][e running GraForth way back in the day.

@thetigerandthestrawberry I'm reading S.F. also!

I agree with your notes. Forth programs have, so far, been fun to write: it feels like you're given a TON of small independent tools (or lego bricks) and you get to have the enjoyment of puzzling out how you want to fit them together, in a way that feels very different from, say, C-like languages. I'm not sure why!

@tty oh yeah, definitely! Later in the book, Brodie even illustrates how some of those tools are made. Lego bricks upon Lego bricks! It was such a lovely read!

@thetigerandthestrawberry Are you feeling inspired to do/build anything in particular with all of this exciting new forthy knowledge? :)

@tty mostly I’m excited to get my hands dirty with uxn! I fell down the 6502 rabbit hole a while ago and I really dig the VM concept to make games and software portable a la Another World.

fabiensanglard.net/another_wor

Not sure what I’ll build yet, though! I’ll probably work through some programming exercises to get myself familiar and see if inspiration strikes. 🥰

@thetigerandthestrawberry excited for you! I've also been getting itches to do gamedev in uxn or some other forth context ^__^

@tty I’m currently playing through the remaster of Tactics Ogre Reborn— I’ve always been a sucker for tactical RPGs and I haven’t played this one yet. I could see myself trying my hand at something like that, but that might be a bit ambitious given that the teams that make those games were enormous!

@thetigerandthestrawberry yay, those are fun; it sounds maybe like Final Fantasy Tactics (my main tactical rpg game that i've sunk 100s of hours into)?

@tty ha! Me too. I had never heard of it before, but apparently the same producer and team were responsible for both games. It feels *VERY* similar!

Into The Breach is another game with mechanics that might be a little easier for a single person to make. I don’t know, just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see if it’ll stick! I’m just real excited to get creative in 64KB!

@thetigerandthestrawberry "I’m just real excited to get creative in 64KB!" 🔥 🔥 🔥

@thetigerandthestrawberry I see “reverse polish” and all I can think about is that’s how everything works in my cursed homeland 🇵🇱 (in reverse/opposite to what you’d expect) ;D

@thetigerandthestrawberry That sense of my brain bending in novel ways when learning uxntal was something I hadn't experienced in quite a while. It was wonderful!

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Merveilles

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