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On Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 9:18 AM, John Hind <> wrote:
Argg! I am not normally a language bigot, but if there is one programming
language that ought to be banned it is Forth. It would certainly be a
disastrously awful teaching language. I had to do a project in this language
some years ago and I would not be exaggerating when I say it nearly drove me
to a nervous breakdown! A colleague on the project described Forth as "the
write once, read never language" and certainly it was a major challenge to
understand code you had written a few hours ago let alone what anyone else
had written. Reading Forth code is like trying to translate a book written
in a foreign language armed only with a dictionary itself written in that
language - you look up a word, then you look up a word in the definition,
then a word in that definition, six stack levels down you've completely lost
track of where you started!

One thing I agree with on the web site you reference, Forth is certainly a
"unique programming language", but that alone surely makes it a poor choice
for teaching?

It's certainly a shame that you were exposed to poorly written Forth. As in all languages it is possible to write poorly. Most of the Java I'm exposed to falls into that category, actually.

Well written Forth is an exercise in elegance. And I would guess you weren't exposed to any of the ideas set forth in Thinking Forth (just to repeat the reference to an extremely great book: