Wolf Wejgaard

Dr. sc. nat., dipl. Phys. ETH - wolf(at)holonforth(dot)com

Forth Engineering

Thirty years of freelance consulting and development of industrial computer systems, particularly for quality control of production processes. All along searching for the most efficient way of programming.


Forth was a revelation, Forth meant freedom, independence, power, complete control of the hardware, simple solutions, readable source (yes, you can!), creating your own solution languages, easy changes, evolutionary development. The ideal tool for a one-man shop.

After several projects I understood that the Forth concept held more promises that had been realized yet. Development in Forth was fast compared to conventional languages, but it could be even more efficient if you made full use of its database. I developed my own Forth system: HolonForth.

In classical Forth the database (the Forth dictionary) is created by the compiler. In HolonForth the database is built by the editor, thus the dictionary is already available during the design and development phase. You get free hypertext and other useful features.

The DOS-based Holon86 became my workhorse for the next ten years. All DOS versions of Holon (including Holon86 itself after the first step) are built in Holon86. The Holon method proved very efficient also for embedded systems programming, and there were implementations for several targets: 6502, 68hc11, 68300, Rabbit 2000.

The HolonJ system was my first attempt to move Holon into the multi-platform world via the Java VM. Then I discovered Tcl/Tk which was just what I needed. The first result was HolonU as a universal source handler. And now there are a couple more.


Arthur Koestler coined the term holon to describe an entity that is both a whole built of parts and a part of a higher whole. In general there are different rules on each level. Nature is filled with examples: ... - atoms - molecules - cells - organs - body - family - ...

Holons handle complexity. I found it useful to treat a computer program as a hierarchy of holons.