BASIC vs Python

Scott Robinson dscottr at
Tue Dec 21 17:26:57 CET 2004

On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 08:46:14 +0000 (UTC), Alan Gauld
<alan.gauld at> wrote:

>> >>> was too late).  A machine designed to be run on Forth would have been
>> >>> unbelievably powerful from the late 70s to the mid 90s (it would be
>> >>> more painful now than the x86 legacy, but still).
>A small data point here is that Sun still use Forth in their
>Sparc workstations. Their system prompt is really a Forth
>interpreter... I don;t know where the interpreter resides,
>presumably not in Sparc since its a RISC but interesting that
>they still use it. (Or they did last time I used a 
>Sparc - 4 years ago?)
>Alan G.
>Author of the Learn to Program website

It was still there three years ago.  While debugging some Sun based
hardware I tried playing with it after it crashed.  Forth was still
there.  It certainly is useful for a hardware independent bios, but I
was making the point it would be good for general purpose.  I suspect
that it would quickly run up against memory limitations and would go
no faster than the machine driving the memory market (with a possible
last gasp when Rambus came online).

Scott Robinson

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