The Forth language was chosen becasue of it has a simple syntax and is easy to learn. An intepretive environment was chosen because of the dynamic and robust nature of CA experiments. Users can develop complete experiments or can write and test pieces of their experiments in realtime. Parameters, input to the model and even the experiments themselves may be modified on-the-fly. The STEP Control Software may also be easily extended using Forth code and staticly or dynamically linked C code. STEP also has hooks for the CAM-8 simulator.
STEP continues to be upgraded and modified. At some point in the future it will be rewritten and redesigned to use a different interpretive language. We are still in the process of selecting which language. Although Forth has served us well during the development of CAM-8; we believe a language with a syntax more like that of C or C++ would be more robust in the long run.
At this moment a Beta release of the CAMlib C library is available. It is a C implemetation of the CAM-8 assembly language which will become the basis for future interpretive environments. Using this library anyone will be able to extend their favorite interpreter to include primative for programming CAM-8. The library will also allow CAM-8 experiments to be written entirely in C for the best performance.
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