Forth Dimensions

Forth Dimensions volumes 1-21, 1978-1999.

The Forth Interest Group's bi-monthly, hard-copy magazine with an international circulation was founded in 1978. The owner of one of Silicon Valley's most successful computer bookstores called it, "The best special-interest technical magazine ever". Forth Dimensions is no longer published.

The site contains scanned copies of every issue for download as PDF. Perhaps some Forth hackers can point us at the most interesting ones?

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Anyone scanning in old copies of Byte magazine (during the classic era)?

August 1981

I've got August 1981 (the Smalltalk issue), but I'm not sure whether I'm allowed to share this. Would there be any legal issues?

The Evolution of Forth

I can highly recommend Chucks speech: FORTH, The Last Ten Years and The Next Two Weeks... in Volume 1 Number 6*.

*Fixed link

Volume 1 Number 6

I think the above link is wrong.

It should be: Volume 1 Number 6.

The above links to Volume 6 Number 1.

Anyway, it is worth reading a few of them, especially for nostalgia and the advertisements.


Forth Dimensions had some real gems. It's especially interesting to see all the language enhancements that were explored. It feels like anyone new to the language immediately comes up with a bunch of things they'd like to change...and there almost certainly early Forth Dimensions articles about those very ideas.

I read through some more of

I read through some more of these last night, and I'm both impressed and saddened. Impressed, because there was so much excitement early on, so much being discovered, so many people writing code, so many people using a high-level language instead of BASIC and assembly. Saddened, because by about volume 12 or so, the Forth community was clearly going around in circles, rehashing the same topics, not advancing.

Makes me wonder...

Saddened, because by about volume 12 or so, the Forth community was clearly going around in circles, rehashing the same topics, not advancing.

A lesson for LtU there? ;-)

Kinda feels like that from

Kinda feels like that from time to time, doesn't it? But we can always move to new topics as new languages and ideas arise. Let us know where you think the action is!

My posting rate has dropped

My posting rate has dropped off lately because I tend to post whatever I'm reading, and what I'm reading is mostly stuff that only makes sense in the context of a lot of other work -- which doesn't make good blog posts. :/

Personally, I am mostly

Personally, I am mostly doing things unrelated to PLT these days. As to your problem - what happened in the past is that people posted about the topic they found interesting, perhaps about foundational papers etc., and after awhile many of us knew enough to appreciate what the topic was. Naturally, if something caught my attention I went ahead and did some searching and reading on my own.


The "TO Solution" seemed pretty elegant to me at the time (see V1N4 and follow up in V1N5). I used it in four or five FORTH-like implementations that were used as compiler back-ends from 1980 to present.

The "Compiler Security" articles are also very instructive in how to do cheap but safe code generation.

My own paper on Balance Trees in V1 is not that interesting. ;-)