The Last Fig-Forth Ever

In 1978, shortly after Chuck Moore discovered the Forth language, volunteers started to make public domain implementations available for all popular micro computers. This is the fig-Forth series of compilers. My ciforth is an ISO descendant of fig-Forth. This page is about the last version of 8086 fig-Forth before I started ISO-fying it. Most modern public domain Forths are descendants of these Forths. If your names end with the 8th bit up, or the memory ends with EM you can almost be sure. A lot of Forth material on this site is from fig and public domain. The remainder is protected by the GNU Public License .

I have OCR-ed the fig-Forth installation manual and the glossary and make them available in computer-readable form. Even the figures are there in tif format. ( Afterwards, it turned out that this documentation is available somewhere on the web, but it cannot be found be search machines, and I lost the link.) Valuable material of educational value is contained in the IBM-XT fig-Forth by J. E. Smith, Philadelphia . Unfortunately nobody could assemble this version anymore. But you may want to salvage its documentation.

This glossary was the base for the glossary documentation for lina in html that is an example of the documentation that goes with any of the generic Forths. This modern documentation is also available in PostScript (still experimental) especially for the members of the dutch Forth user group for comment about 32 bit protected mode MSDOS Forth and about linux. The system to generate these Forth is also documented, this is more for experts than end users.. More over it is increasingly geared towards the more modern ISO forth, that succeeds this fig-Forth.

Based on the original IBM-XT figforth in MASM-format by Charlie Krajewski Middletown I have made a generic source system that allows me to generate a number of 16 or 32 bit, linux or msdos, booting or hosted versions. Based on your configuration information the GNU based development system will generate a single assembler source file in fig tradition. There is one exception: one of the linux versions uses c-code as a glue, and the general system libraries are called. The file generated can be assembled and modified on any other system, notably MSDOS/MSWINDOWS. The adapted fig documentation and the explanation of 4 levels of adaptability are included in this archive. If you want to modify and rebuilt it, you can use the excellent nasm assembler , I myself used version .98 . The first level of adaptation allows to choose MASM/TASM source as an alternative. The assembler in GNU-Linux that comes as part of the gcc-package is difficult to use and has a syntax that deviates substantial from Intels. It was never intended for heavy duty stand alone assembly in the first place.
The generic source system is also available without long filenames . It can be unpacked in a system with filenames restricted to 8 plus 3 characters, provided there is some zip program.

The release note of version 2.148 gives an indication of what files are present and what for.
The test report gives an indication what configurations have been tried, tested is stating too much. It now also contains information about the ISO Forth but as the ISO Forth is based on the fig-Forth, the notes about earlier versions apply. If you encounter any problems with the latest version, please email. Because in principle this is the last fig-Forth ever, but that means it should at least work flawlessly. In the meantime you may download one of the earlier versions; all versions mentioned in the testreport can be downloaded by just changing the version number in the URL, very old version are only available upon request. For these configurations a reasonable level of usability may be expected. Other version may give more problems. This is considered an alpha release.

For Linux there is a 32-bit fig-Forth that can still be down loaded as a binary distribution. That Forth was already called lina. (Like my Linux binary distribution of ISO ciforth that is based on it.) It is a very simple Linux Forth. It is a mere 13 Kbyte (fig) on the outside, but 64 Mbyte on the inside. (The ISO version is 23 Kbyte.) is a very simple MSDOS 32 bits Forth, where I have made a separate binary distribution for. It is a mere 14 Kbyte on the outside, but 8 Mbyte on the inside.

The screens loaded via the elective screen 8 are reasonably well tested and reliable. Those screens are 16/32 bit clean. The 16-bit 386-assembler is very compact and has some interesting techniques. The screens in general are to be considered only as educative material. Some contain some old code from my CP/M system (1980), untested as far as the new system is concerned. The quick reference card for the assembler and a good reference about the Intel 386 are indispensible for understanding the assembler. There exists a more advanced assembler. The assemblers plus testsets are also present in zipped form . You will find also the quick reference cards in PostScript ready made. They are almost indispensible because the mnemonics deviate from Intel's. Warning! The documentation is still sub-standard. There is a version for my i386 ISO-forth, called ciforth as well.

This is a final version, but where my focus is on ISO, this version is no longer maintained, and is kept available for those who for some reason prefer the fig model. Still I am grateful for any comment and problem reports .
Some versions of this program and some utilities loaded access the hard disk directly. Beware!

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