Emerging Superiority of Free Open Code Communities
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2005 10:25:20 -0500
From: Bob Armstrong
Organization: Coherent Systems
To: Jeff Kelm
Subject: Re: Win32Forth versus VFX
Thanks for your thorough response .
Yesterday , I really dove into Win32Forth and am quite impressed .
I think at this point in time the interface and support community
are actually more polished and stronger than MPE's VFX . The
hypertext documentation works better in W32F . Certainly VFX has
nothing like the form editor W32F has and I've been batting my
head against getting simple windows functions to work for the last
few weeks .
I care next to nothing about any of the object systems because
the essence of what I am constructing is an all allocated tree
structure ala http://Kx.com . Among the difficulties with Pelc's
windowing is that he's too enamored with a Backus-Naur parser
he made that he uses for all his window procs . I eventually
found a windowing vocabulary in his user submitted examples
that looks much more direct and coherent and says it was
specifically motivated to avoid the Backus stuff .
By contrast W32F starts with a "Hello World" in a pop up window
as its very first example .
In any case , to get up and running , I am converting the 100
words or so I've created so far to implement my core 1tree
structure to Win32forth - which isn't too hard because it's all
very fundamental Forth . Already I've experienced much greater
support than available from MPE . I think open-code development
communities are really coming of age and starting to beat the
meat of commercial vendors of basic utilities . I have now gone
to Mozilla browser and email programs and , until getting into
W32F , jEdit , which is an incredibly featured editor , all
open-code . I've also found DogWaffle a powerful graphics editor
and the US Patent office steered me ( and everyone ) to IrfanView
for graphics file conversion . Only CuteFTP has survived my move
to a new machine a couple of months ago - and it is on the cusp .
In any case , I think I am going to eat the ( half-price )
investment I made getting the license to al the GUI code of VFX
and get up and running in W32F . Perhaps in the future the speed
of optimized VFX or the availability of Linux server capability
may lead me to make use of that license , but it may well be
like the ascendence of CMOS over faster TTL , ECL , etc teks
because greater scalability due to low power dominated everything
else , eventually leading to higher speeds , I may never to
return to the previous tek .
Damn , I think I've gone off the deep end . Better stop here .
Thanks again for your analysis .
Jeff Kelm wrote:
> Win32Forth is free, VFX has a free evaluation version, but
> would cost money to get the version that you could use to
> generate stand-alone applications.
> VFX is a commercial programming environment with the support,
> documentation, and development environment that can come with
> that. Win32Forth is a free-ware program. Developed and
> distributed by people with good hearts (and I am indebted to
> them more than I can say), but with other jobs that pay the
> bills. Documentation is sparse. Support is available from
> the community of Win32Forth programmers, but we also have
> bills to pay.
>>From some brief benchmarking I've done, VFX is considerably
> faster than Win32Forth. It is not only implemented more
> efficiently, but has a very powerful optimizer that generates
> very efficient code. Depending on what you are expecting to
> do with this, that could make a big difference.
> Both interface with the Windows API. I believe that
> Win32Forth has a larger existing interface to that API
> out-of-the-box. However, VFX also has an object-oriented
> module which could provide the same functionality. Some of
> Win32Forth's API interface is a bit dated (it was developed in
> Win95/98 days and has not been fully updated to use the latest
> API features). If I needed to generate a polished Windows
> application for commercial use, I would probably use VFX. It
> would probably require a lot more up-front work to get the
> interface coded, however, it would be an interface that people
> would recognize as "Windows". This could also be done in
> Win32Forth, however, I find it easier to recode things from
> scratch than to dig through hundreds of lines of somebody
> else's code to make significant changes. That said, I haven't
> used VFX much and haven't used either of its object-oriented
> programming modules. There may be more stuff already built in
> than I am aware of. This point rests on how much of your
> programming time will be interfacing to the GUI and how much
> will be doing real work.
> If you plan on using object-oriented programming in your
> development work, then you should realize that one of the OO
> models for VFX is not compatible with Win32Forth. Using the
> "Neon" model in VFX would allow you to generate code that
> could be ported to Win32Forth (and vice-versa) with a small
> amount of work.
> VFX claims to be able to easily interface with C programming
> projects. I don't know about this personally. Win32Forth can
> program using Windows DLLs (written in C or anything else).
> If your working with C a lot or need to interface to
> programmers who are using C, that may make a difference.
> Another option is SwiftForth by Forth, Inc. It is not as fast
> as VFX, but faster than Win32Forth. It also integrates well
> with Windows and I like the OO model (however, it isn't
> compatible with either Win32Forth or VFX). My only concern is
> that it doesn't appear to be actively supported anymore. The
> evaluation program contained files that were all rather old.
> However, you should still be able to get support from them.
> I don't know if this has helped any or not. I suppose if I
> was trying to earn a living from programming, I would go with
> VFX or SwiftForth. However, I don't, so I can trade-off my
> time for the cost of a commercial Forth. I have the
> evaluation versions of both VFX and SwiftForth, yet I still
> seem to do most of my work in Win32Forth. This is probably
> because it is the one I am most familiar and comfortable with.
> In the end, I suspect any of the three would allow you to
> create a usable program. Which is "best" will depend a lot on
> the details of your project (and future projects you might use
> Forth on).
> On Fri, Mar 18, 2005 at 02:41:20AM -0500, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
>>I'm writing an APL informed personal programming environment
>>which I expect to be commercial. I have started using
>>Stephen Pelc's VFX but am wondering if win32forth may be a
>>competitive foundation .
>>What's your advice .
Bob Armstrong -- http://CoSy.com -- 212-285-1864
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