Address arithmetic is the foundation on which you can build data structures like arrays, records (see Structures) and objects (see Object-oriented Forth).
Standard Forth does not specify the sizes of the data types. Instead, it
offers a number of words for computing sizes and doing address
arithmetic. Address arithmetic is performed in terms of address units
(aus); on most systems the address unit is one byte. Note that a
character may have more than one au, so
chars is no noop (on
platforms where it is a noop, it compiles to nothing).
The basic address arithmetic words are
-. E.g., if
you have the address of a cell, perform
1 cells +, and you will
have the address of the next cell.
Standard Forth also defines words for aligning addresses for specific types. Many computers require that accesses to specific data types must only occur at specific addresses; e.g., that cells may only be accessed at addresses divisible by 4. Even if a machine allows unaligned accesses, it can usually perform aligned accesses faster.
For the performance-conscious: alignment operations are usually only necessary during the definition of a data structure, not during the (more frequent) accesses to it.
Standard Forth defines no words for character-aligning addresses; in Forth-2012 all addresses are character-aligned.
Standard Forth guarantees that addresses returned by
are cell-aligned; in addition, Gforth guarantees that these addresses
are aligned for all purposes.
Note that the Standard Forth word
char has nothing to do with address
charsn1 – n2 core “chars”
n2 is the number of address units of n1 chars.""
char+c-addr1 – c-addr2 core “char-plus”
1 chars +.
cellsn1 – n2 core “cells”
n2 is the number of address units of n1 cells.
cell+a-addr1 – a-addr2 core “cell-plus”
1 cells +
cell– u gforth “cell”
alignedc-addr – a-addr core “aligned”
a-addr is the first aligned address greater than or equal to c-addr.
floatsn1 – n2 float “floats”
n2 is the number of address units of n1 floats.
float+f-addr1 – f-addr2 float “float-plus”
1 floats +.
float– u gforth “float”
Constant – the number of address units corresponding to a floating-point number.
falignedc-addr – f-addr float “f-aligned”
f-addr is the first float-aligned address greater than or equal to c-addr.
sfloatsn1 – n2 float-ext “s-floats”
n2 is the number of address units of n1 single-precision IEEE floating-point numbers.
sfloat+sf-addr1 – sf-addr2 float-ext “s-float-plus”
1 sfloats +.
sfalignedc-addr – sf-addr float-ext “s-f-aligned”
sf-addr is the first single-float-aligned address greater than or equal to c-addr.
dfloatsn1 – n2 float-ext “d-floats”
n2 is the number of address units of n1 double-precision IEEE floating-point numbers.
dfloat+df-addr1 – df-addr2 float-ext “d-float-plus”
1 dfloats +.
dfalignedc-addr – df-addr float-ext “d-f-aligned”
df-addr is the first double-float-aligned address greater than or equal to c-addr.
maxalignedaddr1 – addr2 gforth “maxaligned”
addr2 is the first address after addr1 that satisfies all alignment restrictions. maxaligned"
cfalignedaddr1 – addr2 gforth “cfaligned”
addr2 is the first address after addr1 that is aligned for a code field (i.e., such that the corresponding body is maxaligned).
ADDRESS-UNIT-BITS– n environment “ADDRESS-UNIT-BITS”
Size of one address unit, in bits.
/w– u gforth “slash-w”
address units for a 16-bit value
/l– u gforth “slash-l”
address units for a 32-bit value