Portable Forth Environment
P F E The Portable Forth Environment

The Portable Forth Environment (PFE) is based on the ANSI Standard for Forth. The PFE has been created by Dirk-Uwe Zoller and had been maintained up to the 0.9.x versions (1993-1995). Tektronix has adopted the PFE package in 1998 and made a number of extensions. It is now fully multithreaded and it features a module system. You can load additional C objects at runtime to extend the Forth dictionary. It is best targeted for embedded environments since you can easily exchange the terminal driver and the initilization routines.



Version: 0.32.38

The project is hosted at sourceforge.
Home Page
Download Area



The standard documenation is automatically generated and benefits from comments directly integrated in the PFE sources. See the unpacked documentation on this site, and fetch a copy of the compressed archive from the snapshot ftp directory .

In any case, you should read some documentation that encompasses the ANSI Forth Standard, e.g. the Draft Proposal for ANS Forth There are also a lot of documents to be found at the WWW, the Forth Programming Webring at ZForth is a good starting point.

UPDATE New Documentation is available now!
-> wordsets reference
-> words reference
-> local copy of dpans
-> local copy of 4thTutor
-> Forthprimer.pdf the ANSForth successor of the fine 4thTutor document.
It's still a bit buggy, please send me any comments, especially where the docs are wrong, bad, misleading, or just not intelligble.

Forth Programming Webring

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The 0.29.x documentation - (the docs that are actually working)
The 0.30.x documentation - (only very few available - under development)
The sources made browsable - (purely experimental for 0.30.x docs)
The autoconf extensions archive - (needed by pfe developers)
The download file-lilst for releases
The download http area for releases
The download ftp area for snapshots
Link to xm-tools project - (to generate 0.30.x docs)
Link to comp.lang.forth.repository - (project has just started)
Link to comp.lang.forth news archive at deja.com - (post there)
Link to the 4TH tutor - (a fine introduction to a forth system)
Link to the 4TH and Forthprimer - (the ANSForth tutorial successor of the 4TH tutor)


Guido Draheim has been working on PFE at Tektronix in the last years. The released version is now maintained by me, Guido Draheim on a sparetime basis. You can contact me by e-mail, <guidod@gmx.de>

In 1998 I had been contacting the original author Dirk-Uwe Zoller - well, his e-mail adress had changed since 1995 but I did find him. He told me that he has no serious intentions at all to do anything about Forth again, but he likes to look for his old project PFE on an occasional basis. He has put up a new homepage lately under www.dirk-zoller.de.


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Library General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

The complete License should come with the distribution archive (COPYING.LIB) or look for the latest version at the FSF website. The HTML-version of the LGPL-License can also be obtained from OpenSource.org

As with all free software, there are no warranties for use cases that the copyright holders have not given an explicit liability. The distributor of the program should give you more information about support options to pay for.

The program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Library General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Library General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

The Forthprimer.pdf is distributed unter the GNU Free Documentation License, a copy of the GNU FDL is contained in the pdf document. The initial version of this document was written by Hans Bezeemer, author of the 4th compiler. See also http://come.to/hansoft
To run the examples in the tutorial, be sure to include the file "easy4th.f" before.

(P) 2001-02-01 "PFE - Portable Forth Environment" guidod@pc3