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We usually think about formal language grammars in terms of the complexity of the language, but it’s also possible — and potentially more useful, for a compiler-writer or other user — to think about them from the perspective of the parser, which is slightly different.
2^5 years ago this month, Byte magazine devoted an issue to the Forth language.
Most programming languages have fixed definitions and hard boundaries. In thinking about building software for domains we don’t understand very well, a case can be made for a more relaxed, evolutionary approach to language design.
Many languages have an underlying virtual machine (VM) to provide a more portable and convenient substrate for compilation or interpretation. For language research it’s useful to be able to generate custom VMs and other language tools for different languages. Which raises the question: what’s the appropriate language for writing experimental languages?
Most sensor systems are programmed using C: compact and well-known, but low-level and tricky to get right when things get compact and complex. There have been several proposals for alternative languages from across the programming language research spectrum. I haven’t heard anyone mention Forth, though, and it’s worth considering — even if only as a target for other languages.