Forth Source Code Analysis Tool Set (FSCATS) is a computer program that provides a wide range of capabilities for documenting, analyzing, and reverse-engineering computer programs written in the Forth programming language. FSCATS also aids in the management of software, estimating costs of software, and development of metrics for characterizing software.

The Main Form of FSCATS is an interactive display containing command buttons for selecting among options for processing code and obtaining the results of processing.

  • The functions performed by FSCATS include the following:
  • Categorizing lines of code and counting the lines in each category;
  • Producing cross-references for all words, constants, and variables;
  • Producing cross-references for all definitions;
  • Identifying unused and multiplicate definitions;
  • Identifying unused and undefined Forth words;
  • Identifying development system code, missing library definitions, and missing compiler definitions; and
  • Listing a call tree at selectable levels of detail

— All symbols (full structure)

— Selected categories of symbols (partial structure)

— Only application-code-type symbols (classical structure chart).

The aforementioned functions are enhanced by presenting all results in tables in the Microsoft Access software environment. The availability of results in tabular form provides the user with extraordinary flexibility in tailoring FSCATS to produce a wide range of sorted and filtered views. By use of the report capabilities of Microsoft Access, tables of summary information can readily be printed as needed.

The figure depicts an interactive display, denoted the "main form," used to control the operation of FSCATS. The main form contains eight command buttons for processing a source code and obtaining results. Command buttons 2, 3, and 4 enable the user to view the source code at the three levels of detail mentioned above. The structure-chart level obtains when all filters are used and the remaining code set consists of application-level Forth words.

FSCATS was written for execution on an IBM-compatible computer containing a '486 or higher processor with at least 10MB of free hard-disk space and 16MB of random-access memory. The Windows 95 or Windows NT operating system, the Office 95 software, and Microsoft Access (version 7.0 or later) are needed to run FSCATS.

This work was done by Michael Neighbors of Micro Craft Inc. for Marshall Space Flight Center. For further information, please contact the company by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. MFS-31255

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the June, 2000 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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