TCP/IP Networking with Forth


Forth with a pre-existing TCP protocol stack

If Forth is being used on top of an operating system that already provides TCP/IP networking, then it is only necessary to provide a Forth interface to the network stack in order to write network applications.

I described an implmentation of this type of interface for Wil Baden's ThisForth and Dirk Zoller's PFE at the 1994 FORML Conference ( Carter, 1994, Internetworking with Forth, Proceedings of the 1994 FORML Conference, pp. 50-71).

* TCP/IP interface for PFE (tested on V 0.9.9)
shell archive, compressed tar, Gnu compressed tar.
* TCP/IP interface for ThisForth
shell archive, compressed tar, Gnu compressed tar.

** A TCP/IP interface for GForth is available through a licensing arrangement from Taygeta Scientific

** Marcel Hendrix has an interface for iForth on NT or Linux

  • Others have done similar things with Win32For (no reference available at the moment).

    Native Forth implementations of TCP/IP

    If there is no underlying TCP/IP stack available or Forth is being used in an embedded environment, then a native Forth TCP/IP protocol stack is desired.

    Taygeta Scientific has developed a native Forth TCP/IP protocol stack that is written entirely in ANS Forth. This implementation includes IP, TCP, UDP, and ICMP. It uses SLIP or PPP interface layers and provides an API based upon the BSD socket interface. It is designed to be easily subsettable, by setting some compiletime switches, so that only a portion of the full protocol can be used if that is desired.

    The compiled size of the TCP/IP stack depends upon the subsets that are compiled into your applications. An example for 32-bit Forth system with standard buffers sizes gave the following sizes in bytes,

    Protocol SLIP PPP
    IP only 30,836 38,628
    ICMP,IP 35,052 42,844
    UDP,IP 34,076 41,868
    UDP,ICMP,IP 39,036 46,828
    TCP,IP 42,312 50,104
    TCP,ICMP,IP 46,928 54,720
    TCP,UDP,IP 45,552 53,344
    TCP,UDP.ICMP,IP 50,912 58,704

    This software is currently undergoing final testing and documentation. It will be available for licensing in the near future. Contact us for details.


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