Forth like interpreter

Samuel A. Falvo II kc5tja at
Mon Mar 13 23:38:26 CET 2000

In article <HQez4.485$Lh9.192581632 at>, Fredrik Lundh wrote:
>umm.  do you seriously think that the best way to
>speed things up is to go find something that takes
>less than one percent of the execution time, and
>work very hard on making that little part run a few
>percent faster?

No offense, but the above quote leads me to firmly believe you have little,
if any, experience in writing a Forth environment.  In Forth, the sheer bulk
of the environment is written in words, such as:

	: Hello ." World" CR ;

Most Forth words are about a line in length each, and almost unanimously
reference other words written in a similar manner.  Almost everything is a
word: normal subroutines, variables, constants, vocabularies, and more.  As
such, the inner interpretter (as it's called) gets executed far more often
than you realize.

It DOES make a difference, by sheer virtue of the fact that most Forth words
are quite small in size.

>very close to zero, on most modern platforms.

Do you have any references to documentation to back this up?  Darrel posted
the URL to a piece which seems quite clearly to indicate otherwise.  Also
consider that this is entirely compiler specific as well, and depends
entirely on whether or not the collection of cases in a switch statement
form a contiguous space or not.  Not all compilers implement switch
statements as jump-tables.

KC5TJA/6, DM13, QRP-L #1447
Samuel A. Falvo II
Oceanside, CA

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