FORTH STANDARDS TEAM
1. Purpose and Goals
1.1.1 This Charter establishes and guides a voluntary
membership professional organization, the FORTH Standards
Team (hereafter referred to as the "FST") and provides a
method for its operation.
1.2.1 The goal of the FST is the creation, maintenance, and
proliferation of a standard (hereafter referred to as the
"Standard") for the FORTH computer programming system and
for application programs executed by a Standard system. The
Standard shall specify requirements and constraints which
such computer software must satisfy.
1.2.2 The team shall also develop a method of
identification and labeling of FORTH implementations and
programs which conform to the Standard.
1.3.1 The FST is a voluntary membership organization with
no formal status as a legal entity. It operates by
consensus of the professional and commercial FORTH community
and conducts business by the professional discourse and
agreement of its members. It is intended that this Charter
be a guide to the operation of the FST subject to reasonable
minor digression, rather than being a rigid document under
which vested rights are granted.
2.1 Formal Meetings
2.1.1 The FST shall hold periodic formal meetings for
discussion and decisions concerning a current or future
2.1.2 There is not specified frequency for formal meetings.
Each meeting shall be at such time and place as was decided
at the prior meeting. If a meeting cannot be held as
decided, the Chairperson may designate another time and
2.1.3 The Chairperson shall send a written notice at least
sixty (60) days in advance of each formal meeting to each
voting member. A longer notification period is recommended.
It is anticipated that the continuing close coordination of
the participants, the decision at the prior formal meeting,
and publication of a meeting notice in FORTH Dimensions and
other trade journals will provide sufficient notice to the
2.1.4 At a formal FST meeting, there shall be general
sessions consisting of all attendees. General sessions are
for matters that are ready for discussion and decision. All
votes concerning the Standard, Charter, or FST procedures
must take place during a general session.
2.1.5 Also at formal meetings, subteams will be established
to examine groups of proposals and to prepare
recommendations for a general session. All meeting
attendees may participate in the work and voting of a
subteam. Each subteam should elect from its members a
coordinator to conduct its meetings and a reporter to record
and report its recommendations.
2.1.6 The Chairperson may publish and distribute an agenda
at or in advance of a formal meeting. As a guideline, each
day of a formal meeting begins with a general session,
followed by concurrent subteam meetings followed by another
2.1.7 In view of the voluntary nature of the FST, at least
one third of the membership is required to hold a formal
meeting. Two thirds of the number of voting members present
at the start of each day's first general session shall set
the quorum for the remainder of that day.
2.1.8 Between formal meetings, the Chairperson may appoint
such informal working groups as is appropriate. Each group
may be given a goal and scope to direct its activities. Its
conclusions or recommendations must be given to the
Chairperson in written form.
2.2 Proposals and Comments
2.2.1 Prior to each formal meeting, the Chairperson may
solicit submission of comments and proposals for changes,
additions, or deletions to the then-current Standard, the
draft Standard or this Charter. A cutoff date may be
specified for the submission of such proposals.
2.2.2 A considerable amount of information must accompany
each proposal to help FST members analyze the proposal.
Therefore, submission of proposals and comments shall be
according to the format and instructions shown in the
"Proposal/Comment Form" included as an Appendix to this
Standard. Any proposal not in the appropriate form or
received after the cutoff date may not be considered unless
the Chairperson deems it to be of sufficient significance.
2.2.3 Unsolicited proposals and comments by volunteers are
acknowledged as valuable. Any individual or group may
submit proposals and/or comments concerning the Standard or
this Charter. These should be sent to the official address
of the FST. Properly formatted proposals and comments are
preferred. The author or a representative should plan to
attend the next formal meeting to emphasize, support, and
possibly modify the proposals.
2.2.4 Since the quantity of proposals and comments may
exceed the number for which there is time to be voted upon,
submission of a proposal does not automatically mean that it
will be voted upon at the next formal FST meeting. The
Chairperson or some members appointed by the Chairperson or
elected by the voting members may screen and organize the
received proposals and comments for voting upon at the next
2.2.5 To allow reflection and examination, proposals and
comments shall be distributed to FST voting members and
sponsors in advance of a formal meeting. Proposals and
comments not distributed in advance, including proposals
made during a formal meeting, may be considered at the
discretion of the Chairperson.
2.3 Draft Standard
After a formal meeting, the referees and officers of the FST
shall prepare a draft Standard for review by the then-
current FST voting members. The referees and officers shall
consolidate proposals accepted by vote during the meeting,
resolve any ambiguities or problems, and incorporate these
changes with the text of the previous Standard or draft
2.4.1 The referees and officers may, by near unanimous
decision (not more than one no vote), declare the draft
Standard, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, as being
the proposed Standard.
2.4.2 A proposed Standard shall be distributed to all FST
voting members for a mail ballot. This ballot shall be
based solely on the text of the proposed Standard as
2.4.3 Each ballot returned shall be signed by the voting
member submitting it. An affirmative vote of at least two
thirds of the voting members shall adopt the document. Such
adoption makes the draft Standard the current, official FST
Standard which supersedes all prior Standards.
2.5.1 At a formal FST meeting, the charter may be amended
by a simple majority of voting members present provided that
at least one third of all voting members are present; such
amendments become effective at the end of the current formal
2.5.2 At other than a formal FST meeting, the charter may
be amended by a simple majority of all voting members, such
vote to be taken by signed mail ballots.
Membership in the FST is a privilege, not a right. An
invitation for voting membership may be extended to those
who the FST feels can contribute to the goals of the
Standard and the FST. There are several classes of
participation in the efforts of the FST. Membership in each
class has no specified term but continues from the time when
membership is initiated to the conclusion of the next formal
3.2 Voting Members
3.2.1 Voting members are individuals who are elected into
such membership at the concluding session of a formal FST
meeting. Any voting member who resigns between formal
meetings shall not be replaced until the membership
elections at the conclusion of the next formal meeting. A
newly elected voting member gains voting rights only after
all voting members have been elected. A significant
professional FORTH background is required of voting members.
3.2.2 Each voting member present at a formal meeting shall
indicate in writing his or her desire to continue as a
voting member. Only these voting members can vote in a
general session of a formal meeting on any matters affecting
the Standard or the Charter and on the election of all
3.2.3 Voting members are elected by a simple majority of
those voting members present. The number of voting members
shall be limited to thirty (30). Individuals eligible to be
elected are selected from each of the following ordered
categories in order, until the number of voting members
reaches the limit.
188.8.131.52 Category 1: current voting member who have
actively participated in at least two days of a formal
meeting. Voting members are expected to actively
participate in subteam meetings and all general
184.108.40.206 Category 2: current voting members who are
not eligible by Category 1, but who have requested in
writing that his or her voting membership be
220.127.116.11 Category 3: eligible candidates. Eligible
candidates will be presented to the voting members then
elected as follows:
18.104.22.168.1 If the number of eligible candidates
does not exceed the number of openings for voting
membership, each candidate is voted upon and
accepted by a simple majority.
22.214.171.124.2 If the number of eligible candidates
does exceed the number of openings for voting
membership, candidates will be voted upon by
ballot whereby each voting member may vote for up
to the number of openings remaining. Those
candidates receiving the most votes will be
elected until there are no more openings for
3.3.1 Candidates are individuals who desire to actively
participate in and support the FST by becoming voting
3.3.2 To be eligible, each Candidate must: declare in
writing to the secretary at the first general session of a
formal FST meeting that he or she is a Candidate, actively
participate in subteam meetings and all general sessions at
a formal FST meeting, and have a significant professional
background in FORTH. The Chairperson may request
information or ask questions of any candidate to determine
his or her technical knowledge and experience. Candidates
are expected to submit proposals, participate in the
discussions of the formal meeting, and contribute to the
work and voting of subteams.
3.4.1 Observers are individuals who attend a formal meeting
but are neither voting members nor candidates. At the
discretion of the Chairperson, they may contribute to the
discussion at general sessions and to the work of subteams.
The number of observers allowed at a formal meeting may be
limited by the Chairperson.
3.5 FST Sponsors
3.5.1 FST sponsors are individuals or organizations who
contribute funds and other assistance to aid the work of the
FST. FST sponsors have no duties or responsibilities in the
FST, but they will receive copies of proposals and comments
considered at a formal meeting, and drafts and adopted
standards prepared as a result of that meeting.
3.5.3 FST sponsorship exists from the end of one formal
meeting to the end of the next formal meeting.
3.5.3 Qualification of FST sponsors may be determined by a
simple majority vote at a formal FST meeting. If no such
qualification exist, the Chairperson may specify
qualifications, including the amount of financial
contributions, which will remain in effect until the next
formal FST meeting.
There shall be four types of elected officers of the FST:
the Chairperson, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and one or
more Referees. Each officer shall be elected at a formal
meeting of the FST and serve until the next formal meeting.
If any office other than the Chairperson becomes vacant
between formal meetings, the Chairperson may appoint a
replacement. If the office of the Chairperson becomes
vacant between formal meetings, a new Chairperson shall be
elected by an informal majority vote of the remaining
officers. At any formal meeting, any officer, including the
Chairperson, may be replaced by a simple majority vote of
the voting members present at that meeting.
4.3.1 The Chairperson is responsible for governing the
general business of the FST. He or she is responsible for
implementing the FST's Charter and any other requirements
specified by the Standard.
4.3.2 The Chairperson's term of office shall be from the
conclusion of the formal meeting at which he or she is
elected to the conclusion of the next formal meeting. The
election of a Chairperson is held at the concluding general
session of a formal meeting after the election of voting
members; hence, newly elected voting members may vote for
the Chairperson. Only voting members are eligible to be
4.3.3 The Chairperson shall conduct each formal meeting.
In general, the meetings will follow the current Robert's
Rules of Order; however, the Chairperson may determine the
specific rules for a formal meeting.
4.3.4 Any matter needing a decision between formal meetings
not specified by this Charter shall be decided by the
4.3.5 The Chairperson has duties and responsibilities
specified elsewhere in this Charter.
4.4.1 The Secretary is responsible for recording the
activities and results of the FST.
4.4.2 The Secretary is elected at the first general session
of a formal meeting and serves until a Secretary is elected
at the beginning of the next formal meeting.
4.4.3 The Secretary has many responsibilities.
126.96.36.199 The Secretary is responsible for collecting,
maintaining, and archiving the official copies of the
Standard, the Charter, all other FST documents,
correspondence, and lists of the FST members of each class.
188.8.131.52 During a formal meeting, the Secretary is
(a) Keeping the minutes of the general sessions,
including all votes taken. For votes affecting the
Standard or Charter, he or she shall: record the
number of voting members present, determine if a quorum
is present, determine the number of affirmative votes
required for the vote to pass, the number of voting
members voting in the affirmative and negative, and the
result of the vote.
(b) Recording and verifying the attendance and
membership class of each attendee.
(c) Recording the recommendations of subteams.
184.108.40.206 The Secretary is also responsible for collecting,
archiving, and distributing proposals before a formal
meeting. He or she is also responsible for incorporating
proposals accepted during a formal meeting into the Standard
or Charter. Other officers aid the Secretary in these
4.5.1 The Treasurer is responsible for managing the
financial business of the FST. He or she is responsible for
maintaining accurate and current financial records and for
accepting and dispersing funds for official FST activities.
4.5.2 The Treasurer's term of office shall be from the
conclusion of the formal meeting at which he or she is
elected to the conclusion of the next formal meeting. The
election of a Treasurer is held just after the election of
the Chairperson. Only voting members are eligible to be
4.6.1 At the conclusion of a formal meeting there may be
additional technical work required to prepare a draft
Standard or Charter. This work shall be performed by the
officers of the FST, including a group of Referees. They
should be individuals who have superior knowledge and
experience in the implementation and use of FORTH.
4.6.2 At least three and no more than five Referees shall
be elected by a majority of the voting members present at
the concluding general sessions of a formal meeting. This
takes place after the election of voting members. A
Referee's term is from election at the end of one formal
meeting until the end of the next formal meeting. Only
voting members are eligible to be elected as Referees.
4.6.3 The Referees shall adopt methods and rules as they
deem appropriate to complete their work; they may be
informal. However, any matter committed to the Referees for
resolution must achieve near unanimous agreement (not more
than one no vote). Lacking that, the matter shall be
omitted from further action pending further consideration at
the next formal meeting.
5. EXPERIMENTAL PROPOSALS
5.1.1 Since FORTH is an extensible language and subject to
evolution, the Standard may contain a section describing
experimental proposal to aid in the analysis of and the
decision for or against future adoption into the Standard.
After the results of experimentation are known, each
proposal will be considered, at a future formal meeting, for
inclusion into the Standard.
5.1.2 An experimental proposal may be individual FORTH
words, sets of related words, or specifications for part of
the Standard. Experimental proposals may be derived from
ordinary proposals or other contributions.
5.2 Required Information
Each experimental proposal must contain the following
5.2.1 A description of the proposal including an overview
of its functions and its interactions with existing FORTH
5.2.2 A glossary entry of each word in the form and
notation of the Standard.
5.2.3 A statement by the author(s) indicating why the
proposal meets inclusion into the Standard. Both advantages
and disadvantages should be discussed.
5.3 Suggested Information
It is suggested that each experimental proposal also
5.3.1 A source definition for each word in the proposal.
High level definitions using Standard words are preferred,
but new primitive words may be defined in an assembly
language of one commonly-known processor. Sufficient
documentation should be provided so that implementation on
other processors is direct.
5.3.2 An example showing usage of the new words.
Only voting members have the right to vote on proposals
affecting the Standard, a draft Standard, or this Charter.
6.2 Advisory Votes
At the discretion of the Chairperson, advisory votes may be
requested at a formal meeting. At the discretion of the
Chairperson, all attendees may participate in an advisory
Any vote at a formal meeting may be by show of hands or, at
the discretion of the Chairperson, by an informal secret
paper ballot or a roll call.
A vote to adopt a proposal into the draft Standard or to
change the Standard, except for the Experimental Proposals
section of the Standard requires a two-thirds affirmative
vote of the voting members present at a general session of a
formal meeting, provided that the number of votes cast are
at least two thirds of that morning's quorum count. To
adopt an experimental proposal into the Experimental
Proposals section of the draft Standard or to change this
Charter, an affirmative vote of a simple majority is
required. Accepting any other procedural matter at a formal
meeting requires only a simple majority affirmative vote.
All votes must be cast by the particular voting member
eligible to vote. No proxy voting is allowed.