/ defer /



This word is de-facto standard. The fact that it has not been
included into the 1994 version of the standard should be
considered as a bureaucratic mistake (IIRC the proposal was
submitted too late).


( "<spaces>name" -- )

Skip leading space delimiters. Parse _name_ delimited by a space.
Create a definition for _name_ with the execution semantics defined

_name_ is referred to as a "deferred word".

_name_ is initially associated with a definition that performs
a system-defined action indicating execution of an uninitialized
deferred word.

_name_ can be later associated with any other definition by
placing the execution token of that other definition on the stack
and executing the phrase TO _name_ . The phrase TO _name_
affects only _name_ and not the definition associated with _name_ .

_name_ execution: ( i*x -- j*x )
Execute the definition currently associated with _name_.
The stack effect ( i*x -- j*x ) is the stack effect of
the definition currently associated with _name_.


Also add the following line to Table 9.2

-59 execution of an uninitialized deferred word


A.?.?.???? DEFER

We are aware that there are as many implementations
that use the word IS for changing the behavior of deferred words
as there are implementations that define IS as a synonym of TO.

Considering that

1) the typical problem when porting working code from a system
where TO and IS are synonyms to a system with type-dumb TO and IS
is that when used with a wrong word, TO and IS silently generate
incorrect code that later crashes without any understandable message;

2) the requirement that TO reports an error when used on a deferred
word would break much existing code;

3) implementation of error diagnostics in TO and IS is equally
complex as implementation of a type-smart TO;

4) systems whose implementations of TO and IS
alter deferred words and values in the same way,
may continue to use type-dumb TO and IS;

it is reasonable to require that TO must work correctly on both
deferred words and values. IS may be implemented as a synonym of TO.

We are aware of at least three approaches to choosing
between the names TO and IS. They are:

1) use TO with values and IS with deferred words;

2) always use IS to avoid confusion between words like
>NUMBER and identically pronounced phrases like TO NUMBER ;

3) use IS for long-term assignments (including those that
are unlikely to be changed at all), use TO for short-term assignments.


behavior/index.html BEHAVIOR ,
to-and-defer/index.html TO ,
is-aka-to/index.html IS .

See also:

ANSI TC discussion

generated Wed Jul 23 02:53:34 2003mlg