PropForth 5.0 and beginner’s guide available

PropForth 5.0 is available for use on the Parallax Propeller. As the PropForth crew explains, “It is an interactive development and run time system. You can communicate with PropForth using a standard serial port, or via ethernet and telnet depending on the capabilities of the system you are using. It has a rich set of words which allow you to quickly and easily manipulate the hardware interactively. It is easy to program new words and use them in addition to the native set of words. Where necessary, you can write new words in assembler code for fast execution.

It is based on the Forth programming language, but it has been tuned for the Propeller architecture and parallel execution. PropForth does not prevent or protect you from manipulating the Propeller however you like. While it can be simple to use, it is also very powerful.”

For those unfamilar with Forth there is a new 8 page PDF guide learning resource available for download. Full documentation can be found in the PropForth.htm file found in the 5.0 download zip.

Code downloads and other docs are available from Google Code.

Via the Parallax forum.

Join the Conversation


  1. There isn’t enough coverage of the Propeller here on DP. Spend a little time and try it out Ian. I gravitate to the Propeller quite often after learning how to leverage the multi-processor concept.

    There should be a little Propeller DP start-up board available on Seeed. Too bad this nice part is being ignored (IMHO). Post on the Propeller forum about suggestions for a fast, small and easy DP Propeller board – compatible with Sick of Beige enclosures. I think you’ll get a lot of feedback.

    1. I second that. It would be fun to learn to program a multiprocessor chip. I would buy a board if available.

  2. I’m guessing the users at Parallax will just tell you to buy a Quickstart board for $25. Our Radio Shack marked it up $18.95 on top of the $25 it costs so paying shipping from Parallax is cheaper.

  3. The Quickstart from Parallax is the best deal to get started. Just plug it into a USB port, download one of the IDE choices (SpinTool (windows), SimpleIDE (Win/Linux/Mac) or others) and away you go! You can program in Spin, PASM, PropGCC, Forth, BASIC and many other languages. The folks on the parallax forums are very friendly and helpful!

    The QuickStart can be purchased from either Parallax or – there are some interesting QuickStart combinations and specials put together at PropellerPowered.

    I’m not affiliated with either, just a happy customer!

  4. Hi All!

    I’m the guy that runs the tests on propforth, and tries to get the docs written. If you give propforth a try, please post your findings.

    Please ask questions, send comments, open bug reports etc. Its hard to tell what needs to be added to the docs, so the docs are driven by user questions (and written by user responses). Feel free to pipe in! Your input will help!

    Most of the folks are quick to respond and help with issues. Give it a try, its fun!

  5. I am using PropForth on a Parallax Activity Board. I like programming in PropForth. I have written routines to drive my stepper motors and servos very easily. I am having trouble figuring out how to connect to a laser range finder using serial communications. I need my program to be able to send a RS232 command to the rangefinder and get back its responses. I would really like some help. It would also be helpful to be able to use the assembler. Any help there would also be appreciated.

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