[Tutor] What language should I learn after Python?

Alan Gauld alan.gauld at btinternet.com
Wed Oct 7 13:03:51 CEST 2009

"Dave Angel" <davea at ieee.org> wrote

> practically nothing in common with Python.  Forth is at a different 
> extreme.  The entire interpreter/compiler can be defined in maybe 50 
> lines of (Forth) code.  It essentially has no syntax, and the programmer 
> is free to add things that in other languages would be considered syntax.

Tcl is a less extreme case of a similar idea.
It too allows you to redefine how things like if{}, while{} etc
work and add completely new control structures.
But it does have a defined syntax and rules around variable
names etc.

If the OP is interested in Tcl the original version of my
tutorial used Tcl as a comparison language to python.
Its still available here:


> have been a few processors that essentially used Forth as their machine 
> language, and programming was essentially the art of adding instructions 
> to the machine.

ISTR Sun tried to build one of those.
Sun still(?) use Forth in their Unix workstations for the boot monitor.
If you press the right keys on startup you find yourself at a Forth prompt!

> I have such a machine in storage somewhere, which had 4k of RAM and 4k of 
> Prom.

Sounds like the old Atom PC? A little white box similar to the
Sinclair/Timex ZX81 etc? There was also one called Oric (named
after the computer in the cult "Blake's Seven" TV show?) that ran
Forth if I remember corectly? I never owned or used either but I
remember reading about them at the time (early-mid '80s).

Ah, nostalgia...

Alan Gauld
Author of the Learn to Program web site

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