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[gforth] I found gforth in the Android store and tried it

From: Jason Damisch
Subject: [gforth] I found gforth in the Android store and tried it
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2016 04:09:05 +0000 (UTC)

Dear Forthers,

I have used Forth before.  I have SwiftForth installed
on my Windows machine.  I have used ForthMacs
on the Atari ST.  I have thought about trying to write
my own Forth, but am not quite sure that I am up to it.

I wanted to give my very first impression of gforth for the
Android.  I recently bought a low end Android phone and
was in the Google app store when I stumbled upon gforth
by accident.  I could not resist downloading it.

First thing I noticed is that 'help' is not defined.  It was one
of the first things that popped into my head, so I tried it.
Ok, never mind I could just Google stuff to learn more.
Then I tried 'words'.  That works just like I would expect.

The next thing that came to mind was that I do not know
how to get into a serious development loop.  I typically use
a separate text editor with SwiftForth, and use 'include' to
bring in files.  I might use 'marker' to forget words or I
might be lazy and just restart SwiftForth every time I want
to try again.   Remember that I just downloaded gforth for
Android for the first time so I don't know what others might

My next "complaint" is really my own fault, probably.  I am
unfamiliar with using the flat screen keyboard.  That made
typing in my test definition difficult for me.  But, there were
a few things that got in the way regardless.  The keyboard
program which lies between gforth and the Android OS
likes to try to type for me.  It tends to add a period to the
end of words when I type more then one space after a word.
Also, it likes to make little suggestions as to what word
it thinks I want to type.  Overall, I found typing on the flat
keyboard to be frustrating.  I don't blame the creators of
gforth for this at all.  As far as I know, some other guy
ported gforth to the Android and just connected it to the
regular old Android OS key typer layer and I am not used
to typing that way.

Some other things that come to mind is this.  If I was to
try to continue with it, what could I do with it?  I suppose
that I could get developers documents for the Android OS
and make calls to the OS.  Maybe I could do things like
play back sounds, or open other applications.  Sprites?

My impression is that gforth was made for other Linux
environments, and that people probably use a regular
keyboard at a regular PC to develop with gforth, and this
Android version is more of an experimental gforth.  But,
I could be wrong. 

Maybe its possible to connect a real keyboard to my
Android.  Honestly though my eyesight is not what it
used to be.  I like to think that it'll be another 10 years
before I have to get glasses to drive with.  Lets hope
so.  Maybe I could get one of those Android powered
laptops and develop on that and then run it on my
cell phone?

But, this was more of an experiment for me and I have
some other projects going on.  I just wanted to drop in
and say hello, and tell people that I tried gforth on the

Happy Forthing.


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