A moment of doubt?

RISCYFORTH in action

I have been working on Riscyforth, my Forth-like language for RISC-V single board computers (SBCs) for seven months now.

When I started there weren’t even any (affordable) SBCs available. Now there is one (which is really just an evaluation board) and the mass market is still not here – so it’s not as if I am seriously lagging behind.

But I am wondering if I should keep going.

In truth progress on the project is accelerating. I have a better idea of what I am doing and I am writing better assembly than I was back in December.

But partly that is the problem – because I can also understand that just writing some assembly code to shave off a few cycles (maybe) compared to the C-based alternatives like Gforth isn’t really enough.

For while I have now got to the point where I can write and load external programs in what is (almost) Forth – and spent the whole of last week debugging issues my test Forth revealed – I am still miles away from a powerful product that is near to complete and which the first purchasers of the Beagle-V or whatever other RISC-V SBC makes to the mass market first.

Experience with the Raspberry Pi shows that SBCs can be popular and so interest in RISC-V based SBCs might be considerable if they come in at a competitive cost point (though that is probably some time away yet as the market will need to build).

I enjoy the effort but I am wondering if I should keep going.

Author: Adrian McMenamin

Talk to the hand