Meta discussion

…about everything that is not specific to the standard or the systems, but this website itself


GeraldWodniavatar of GeraldWodni [12] Digests and Meta discussionExample2016-01-08 18:42:54

Meta Discussion

First let me thank you all for putting life in this website by contributing ;) If you have feedback and ideas, please let me know and discuss it here: Meta Discussion


As Peter Knaggs suggested a while ago, the system now features digests. That should make it far easier to keep discussions alive without polling the website. If you do not wish to receive any digests, please disable them in your profile (you will find a link at the very bottom).


Moderators can now lift users from "moderated" to "unmoderated" in the Manage User Section, that will allow them to post without delay. Pending contributions are also shown to the moderators in their digests.

GeraldWodniavatar of GeraldWodni

Persistent Login

You can now try out the new "Remember Me" checkbox at the login. It should automatically log you in if you stay active for less than 42 days. After that the persistent login expires. Please let me know if any issues occur.

New Digest.

If all works, you should get notified about this via a newly designed HTML and new TXT digest. Fingers crossed ;)

ruvavatar of ruv

New Digest

New digests are cool.

Currently a digest email shows all contributions at the first, and then all replies.

I think, it's better to have end-to-end chronological sorting without separation to these groups. Since in a digest, it does not matter whether it's aa first post or a reply. But unchronological ordering (between the groups) is confusing.

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AntonErtlavatar of AntonErtl [27] Session timer and preseving contributionsExample2016-12-31 22:07:36

I just wrote a long reply, taking my time. At the end my session had timed out, the system asked for authentication and presented an empty text field instead of the result of my long editing session. Please fix:

  • longer session time.

  • Upon session timeout, preserve the state of the session across the authentication screen.

RobertDickowavatar of RobertDickow

A longer session time is ok as a stopgap. Coupled with an on-screen countdown display would let the users know how their session time is doing. Alternatively, use a simple AJAX callback to a dummy file on the server, periodically doing a GET request, say-- every 10 minutes, using a javascript timer. jQuery sends header info, so sessions will be kept alive. I have used this approach successfully on some of my website projects.

ruvavatar of ruv

Could you please just make the session time longer? It seems for me there is no any issue if timeout will be about 7 days or even unlimited. For example, the session on StackOverflow does not expire at all.

mcondronavatar of mcondron

This is such a common problem! I've learned to "copy" everything I type before walking away, before clicking on any links, before even thinking of a different topic for a moment. But it's not good. It makes users want to not contribute for fear of wasting time.

AidanPitt-Brookeavatar of AidanPitt-Brooke

This is still a pain, but I have developed a habit that prevents the reply-loss that Anton complained about: before hitting "Submit", I try to open my profile in a new tab. If my session has timed out, I'll be asked to log in on that new tab, and once I do, I can safely submit my reply.

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juergenukavatar of juergenuk [52] Standard 2012 as slightly reduced version - but as Part of the Forth BookshelfSuggested reference implementation2018-02-25 11:57:31

Dear Forthers,

when I fell over the standard here, I wondered why it is not more known, promoted and probably used.

As result I downloaded the PDF and tried to squeeze it into an additional eBook to make it part of the Forth Bookshelf. To give it some value as eBook, I would list it with the same costing the usual $4 to cover the done and additional work, in the future. As people can see the relevant links in the preview, they will know where to find the free PDF and can decide if it is worth buying the eBook. But the promotion to the Standard has been achieved anyway. I contributed it to Stephen Pelc who gave me so much support with my journey with Forth over the last 5 years. As well MPE made the VFXTESTAPP available, MSP430LITE and ARM LIT in addition to the commercial products.

This year is 50 Years Of Forth.

When I started writing / collecting for A Start With Forth Part 2

  • I saw that referencing to this documentation would be quite helpful for the ones who want to Start With Forth.

The probelm I see now that it is not clear who would be the company / body / person within the Forth Community to give the ok for such a venture, as done with all the other eBooks asking Chuck, Leon, Stephen, Ting, Leo and others
to make sure we have such a Forth Bookshelf. without copyright violations, which is acually visible worldwide on amazon and amazon actually sometimes runs advertising emails about Forth - encluding my eBooks.

The A Taste of the 2012 Forth Standard is nearly ready and I sent a partial PDF to Stephen for guidance, and he suggested to ask here.

Looking forward to your feedback.

This eBook that can be read on tablets and Mobiles as well, is shortened to the parts that can be read easily on Mobiles. The Contents pages further down show the original list and an i shows which parts are included ( or too difficult to reformat - so I left them out ). it relates to the Complete Document and shows which parts are included

  • but the link to the complete Document is included anyway.

Contents Page of the full Standards document is shown and the link to it ( and pages _i marked sections are included in this eBook ) The full document for free download can be found at and at

Page numbers relate to the original PDF document so people can go there easily

Contents    v_i
Foreword    vi_i
Proposals Process    vii_i
200x Membership    x_i

1 Introduction 13_i 1.1 Purpose 13_i 1.2 Scope 13_i 1.2.1 Inclusions 13_i 1.2.2 Exclusions 13_i 1.3 Document organization 13_i 1.3.1 Word sets 13_i 1.3.2 Annexes 14_i 1.4 Future directions 14_i 1.4.1 New technology 14_i 1.4.2 Obsolescent features 14_i

2 Terms, notation, and references 16_i 2.1 Definitions of terms 16_i 2.2 Notation 19_i 2.2.1 Numeric notation 19_i 2.2.2 Stack notation 19_i 2.2.3 Parsed-text notation 19_i 2.2.4 Glossary notation 19_i 2.2.5 BNF notation 20_i 2.3 References 21_i

3 Usage requirements 22_i 3.1 Data types 22_i 3.1.1 Data-type relationships 22_i 3.1.2 Character types 23_i 3.1.3 Single-cell types 24_i 3.1.4 Cell-pair types 26_i 3.1.5 System types 26_i 3.2 The implementation environment 27_i 3.2.1 Numbers 27_i 3.2.2 Arithmetic 27_i 3.2.3 Stacks 28_i 3.2.4 Operator terminal 29_i 3.2.5 Mass storage 29_i 3.2.6 Environmental queries 29_i 3.2.7 Obsolescent Environmental Queries 29_i

3.3 The Forth dictionary 30_i 3.3.1 Name space 30_i 3.3.2 Code space 31_i 3.3.3 Data space 31_i

3.4 The Forth text interpreter 33_i 3.4.1 Parsing 34_i 3.4.2 Finding definition names 35_i 3.4.3 Semantics 36_i 3.4.4 Possible actions on an ambiguous condition 36_i 3.4.5 Compilation 37_i

4 Documentation requirements 38 4.1 System documentation 38 4.1.1 Implementation-defined options 38 4.1.2 Ambiguous conditions 39 4.1.3 Other system documentation 41 4.2 Program documentation 41 4.2.1 Environmental dependencies 41 4.2.2 Other program documentation 42

5 Compliance and labeling 43 5.1 Forth-2012 systems 43 5.1.1 System compliance 43 5.1.2 System labeling 43 5.2 Forth-2012 programs 43 5.2.1 Program compliance 43 5.2.2 Program labeling 43

6 Glossary 44 6.1 Core words 44 6.2 Core extension words 73

7 The optional Block word set 86 8 The optional Double-Number word set 92 9 The optional Exception word set 98 10 The optional Facility word set 103 11 The optional File-Access word set 114 12 The optional Floating-Point word set 126 13 The optional Locals word set 146 14 The optional Memory-Allocation word set 152 15 The optional Programming-Tools word set 155 16 The optional Search-Order word set 165 17 The optional String word set 170 18 The optional Extended-Character word set 175

A Rationale 182 A.1 Introduction 182 A.2 Terms and notation 182 A.3 Usage requirements 183 A.4 Documentation requirements 197 A.5 Compliance and labeling 197 A.6 Glossary 198 A.7 The optional Block word set 214 A.8 The optional Double-Number word set 214 A.9 The optional Exception word set 216 A.10 The optional Facility word set 217 A.11 The optional File-Access word set 221 A.12 The optional Floating-Point word set 223 A.13 The optional Locals word set 226 A.14 The optional Memory-Allocation word set 227 A.15 The optional Programming-Tools word set 227 A.16 The optional Search-Order word set 230 A.17 The optional String word set 231 A.18 The optional Extended-Character word set 232

B Bibliography 234_i

C Compatibility analysis 236_i C.1 FIG Forth (circa 1978) 236_i C.2 Forth 79 236_i C.3 Forth 83 236_i C.4 ANS Forth (1994) 237_i C.5 ISO Forth (1997) 237_i C.6 Approach of this standard 238_i C.7 Differences from Forth 94 238_i C.8 Additional words 241_i

D Portability guide 244_i D.1 Introduction 244_i D.2 Hardware peculiarities 244_i D.3 Number representation 246_i D.4 Forth system implementation 247_i D.5 Summary 248_i

E Alphabetic list of words 249_i

I understand that people might believe that such an eBook might not be necessary

  • but if giving the copyright JUST for the publication is acceptable, I assume the people who are being made aware of the Standard will appreciate it as they do the other eBooks of the Bookshelf
  • and can always look into it, see the link to the location here and decide then if they want to buy it to look at it on the move easily.

Looking forward to your feedback.

Kind regards Juergen

BerndPaysanavatar of BerndPaysan

The 200x Standard document is based on the ANS Standard, where the copyright is held by ANSI. There is a limited permission of use for future draft standards, which we use, but in our opinion it doesn't permit publication for money.

We therefore decided last meeting that we will not publish printed or other non-free (in terms of cost) versions. That means we will not grant you a permission, not because we don't want, but because we believe we don't have the rights to do so.

The permission is not so bad that it prevents another standard, but it prevents the for-charge publication. I have no sympathy to that concept, ANSI is a not-for-profit organization, and therefore should not hold intellectual property on the standards which are written by volunteers, who pay for their expenses, anyhow. But it is as it is, and I can't change that.

juergenukavatar of juergenuk

If legal get's involved - you can forget it anyway. In this case - even for a free of charge amazon version I had considered, is impossible as amazon is a legal body. I had hoped there would be an opportunity to spread the message about Forth and the the Standard in a simple way - but it seems no chance. Thanks for your feedback.

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StephenPelcavatar of StephenPelc [57] Need lock on already posted commentsExample2018-05-24 12:28:32

When you post a reply, you easily get back to the reply with the submit button. If you press submit again, another copy of the reply is posted ... and again ... and again? A user should not be able to post the same reply twice while logged in.

GeraldWodniavatar of GeraldWodni

Well if your browser is properly configured and a back-action would redo a POST, a warning dialog along ...Resubmission... should be displayed. If you choose to ignore that warning, the form is resubmitted and thereby the item is re-sent and you have the second post again.

New websites cirumvent this by using XHR to transmit their content, but as this website chooses to also work without javascript, this feature would require quite some effort for a very limited usecase.

So please do not ignore theese dialogs for now ;)

StephenPelcavatar of StephenPelc

Browser is Chrome and no dialog popped up.

StephenPelcavatar of StephenPelc

Browser is Chrome and no dialog popped up.

StephenPelcavatar of StephenPelc

Let me know what to configure.

ruvavatar of ruv

StephenPelc is right. The webpage with form to post a reply (e.g. ) is loaded via GET request (as it should be), and so, when you navigate from this page into another (regardless of the HTTP method), the browser's "Back" button works pretty well and you get the last view of this page including fields that are filled with your text.

In general case, this issue can be solve via nonce hidden field, that allows to catch duplicate post. But it seems not so easy in implementation.

I would suggest just to use the id of the last message (151 in this case) along with (or in place of) the id of a conversation as a reference:

# old
#                                        ^^

# new

In the appropriate POST request handler it is need to check whether this user already answered with particular reference, and:

  • if not answered yet, — just save the message text as usual, and the reference;
  • otherwise either update the existing message text, or reject updating (response with "409 Conflict" HTTP status).

The first reply can use 0 as a reference.

Regarding contributions, and other matter — the approach is the same:

# old

# new

ruvavatar of ruv

Actually, this reference can play role of nonce and can be delivered via hidden field, in place of segment in URL. In such case it is need to ensure that ETag of the page with form is updated when a new answer was submitted. Or maybe better, just add something like "Cache-Control: max-age=30" into the response headers.

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GerryJacksonavatar of GerryJackson [59] How to change email addressRequest for clarification2018-06-06 12:08:03

My email address was withdrawn from use by EE about a year ago and I no longer receive the digest. I can find no way on this website to change my email address. Can you do it for me?

Change it to (was

Or must I re-register under a different user name and let the old one fester?

Better still add a way of doing it in 'Settings' next to change password

GeraldWodniavatar of GeraldWodni

Your email adress has been changed!

Asking here for a change or writing me an email is perfectly fine, I just did not have time to implement a email changing feature which involves a verification email.

GerryJacksonavatar of GerryJackson

Thank you

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alextangentavatar of alextangent [100] Searching for ] (right-bracket) doesn't return ]Proposal2019-08-01 16:07:34

This contribution has been moved to the proposal section.

alextangentavatar of alextangent

This reply has been moved to the proposal section.

GeraldWodniavatar of GeraldWodni

This reply has been moved to the proposal section.
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mcondronavatar of mcondron [107] Search boxComment2019-08-10 00:39:41

It would be very nice if somehow the code for the website could be modified so that when you click on "Search" at the top bar, the cursor automatically goes to the Search text box. As it is now, you have to click the mouse on that box before you can start typing into it.

GeraldWodniavatar of GeraldWodni

Right, autofocus added to searchbox.

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GeraldWodniavatar of GeraldWodni [140] Overhaul 2020: ProposalsComment2020-06-23 22:45:08

All proposals have been moved from their (often randomly choosen urls) to /proposals/... Each proposal has a state, which is explained in this flowchart (position subject to change).

To help new proponents structuring their proposal, a template and a link to the guidlines has been added.

GeraldWodniavatar of GeraldWodni

New Version-checkbox has now been moved next to Reply as a proper button and displays the latest version's markdown.

Currently I think it is best to only allow the original author (=author of proposal) to change the version, but others should have access to the markdown code for quick copy & pasting to provide the author with high quality feedback.

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ruvavatar of ruv [266] Support several versions of the standard in parallelComment2022-09-07 11:41:37

At the moment, contains only Forth-2012. When the next standard will be published, it should be on forth-standard too, in parallel with Forth-2012, I think. What do you think?

If we want to provide several versions in parallel, the URI space should be developed accordingly. Since currently the URI space supports only one version. For example, in the URI the fragment standard refers Forth-2012.

A website example that supports several versions of a document in parallel:

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GeraldWodniavatar of GeraldWodni [287] Overhaul 2022Comment2023-02-19 11:03:02

Bracket-id prefixed for all contribution subjects for easier communication [\<id\>] \<subject\> (was just used for proposals before).

Search supports finding contributions, just put brackets around the desired id. Search for [140] will jump you to the overhaul-contribution of 2020.

To further simplify referring to contributions, one can use the /jump-to/\<id\> link (this is also used by the search). will also take you search result from above.

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JackPopeavatar of JackPope [303] implementation standardsSuggested reference implementation2023-07-06 16:56:37

I am thinking about (maybe proposing) language implementation standards for Forth language classifications, such as:

  • FDI: Forth Dictionary Implementation; a minimum percentage of Forth words implemented by the language.
  • FPI: Forth Paradigm Implementation; some minimal Forth type bootstrapping from a host language or chip instruction set.
  • FOL: Forth Like; resembles Forth, but not FDI and not FPI.
  • FLI: Forth Language Implementation; is both FDI and FPI.

Such taxonomy could assist programming language developers in their planning/goals, while giving new users of a "Forth" an immediate indication of its limits and potential.

My apologies if I missed prior communiques related to this subject, or if another Forth forum is better suited to this discussion.

AntonErtlavatar of AntonErtl

Yes, AFAICS your contribution is not quite on-topic, as this website is about the Forth-2012 standard and it's successors. So if there is enough interest in your ideas, you should look for another place (or maybe a separate part of this website, but you would have to discuss this with Gerald Wodni) for more involved discussions and development.

There have been several proposals for a minimal-Forth standard over the years, with some interest expressed by others, but none that led to a significant development of a standards document. It seems to me that many of those who develop small Forth systems are happy with using their own system-specific subset of Forth-2012, if they are interested in a standard at all (but interestingly, even some who write anti-standard rethoric use the standard in some cases). But who knows, maybe your ideas will be the ones that gain a critical mass.

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AntonErtlavatar of AntonErtl [316] Proposals and the documentComment2023-12-01 18:08:40

At some point (hopefully soon) the editor (i.e., I) will integrate the accepted proposals into the standard document. In order to see which proposals have yet to be integrated, I would like to have one of the following:

  • A proposal state "accepted and integrated", that is reached from "accepted" once it is integrated into the document. I would prefer this.

  • Sorting of the accepted proposals by acceptance date/acceptance reply, not by proposal number. In that case I could track what is the most recently accepted proposal that has been integrated, and not consider any proposal below. As it is, an accepted proposal can appear anywhere in the list of accepted proposals, and I would have to scan that repeatedly (with the danger of missing one). This order may also be useful for other users of, because they also want to keep up-to-date on the accepted proposals without repeatedly scanning the list.

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AntonErtlavatar of AntonErtl [317] CfVs after committee decisionComment2023-12-02 10:43:31

Most additions to the standard are optional, and even if an addition is implemented in a system after a proposal is accepted, that does not happen immediately. The system implementor may decide to wait until the next release of the standard happens, and even after that it may take some years. Similarly, programmers do not start using a newly standardized feature immediately, but only once the systems the programmer is interested in provide it.

In order to have an overview of the status of an proposal in the community, it is useful to be able to report updates about system support or usage (i.e., to "vote") for the proposal even after the committee has accepted it and even after it has been integrated into the standard document.

In case of a rejection by the committee such updates can be useful, too. They may inform potential alternative proposals. However, given that the CfV result is for a specific proposal version, I think that, once a proposal has reached CfV stage, it should not revert to informal or formal; instead, the voted-on proposal should be retired, and a new proposal with the needed changes should be started.

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AntonErtlavatar of AntonErtl [333] In the list of contributions and replies by a person, please link to the contribution or replyComment2024-01-24 09:35:34

When I look at, e.g. my contributions and replies, all the links only point to the page, not to the specific contribution or reply. On some pages, there have been quite a number of contributions and replies, and there it is hard to find the particular one from the list.

Also the list of contributions and replies could be ordered with the most recent first, as is common on the rest of this site, and there could be a link from the start to the start of the replies (useful for frequent contributors).

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Josefavatar of Josef [336] The Standard page does not show Chapters 1-5Request for clarification2024-02-17 21:34:45


I am using the latest Chrome on Windows. The Standard page lists "List of chapter 1-5," but does not show links to chapters 1-5. It may help beginners list the chapters with a little explanation for each grouping, i.e. chapters 1-5 contains the base standard, chapters 7-18 contain the optional word sets than can be implemented by a Forth, etc.

Kind Regards, Josef

GeraldWodniavatar of GeraldWodni

Hi Josef,

when you are in the Standard section of the website, you can see the chapters to the top left. If your browser-window is too slim, there is a hamburger-menu displayed which you can click to expand the chapter list. When you see neither the list nor the hamburger, maybe your add-block is overzealous?

Regards, Gerald


ruvavatar of ruv

As I can see, the mentioned problem is about content/text. When you click on the menu item "Standard" at the top left, you open the web-page
And this web-page says:

Forth Standard

List of chapter 1-5

All Words: to Annex H

It looks like some relevant content should follow the header "List of chapter 1-5", but it's absent.

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