F#: Going from academia and research to the commercial world

S. Somasegar  

I think I've bored to death more than one acquaintance talking about functional programming, F#, and Haskell (even though I like to think that one or two entries managed to be interesting). Anyway, if out of curiosity somebody downloaded F# and toyed with it, maybe she's already a step ahead of most people in an upcoming programming wave: today Soma, Microsoft Developer Division V.P. none the less, announced that F# is outgrowing its Microsoft Research incubator and will be a first line language in the Visual Studio environment with features and support comparable to those on C# or Visual Basic .NET. In fact, several functional ideas (like lambda expressions) has already trickled into C# 3 and VB 9, but this announcement signals a definitively stronger current in a functional direction. Scheme, ML, Erlang, and even LISP programmers have good reasons to celebrate. Now, if only Microsoft would start crafting a Haskell compiler for .NET...

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