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My experience with FORTH was similar, although you've put into words the problems I found with FORTH better than I could.

The original article is by Leo Brodie. I bought his book Starting FORTH (which is now available online[1]) shortly after reading a 1980 Byte Magazine article on FORTH.

It's not hard to implement FORTH. I found that R. G. Loeliger's book[2] Threaded Interpretive Languages: Their Design and Implementation allowed me to easily build my own FORTH inspired system.

[1] https://www.forth.com/starting-forth/

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Threaded-Interpretive-Languages-Desig...

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