Free F# libraries (well, almost)

In what was one of the very last PDC2008 sessions, Luca Bolognese did an encore presentation of F#, instead of trying to tell you what it was all about I invite you to watch the video (Luca is engaging and funny, and the session is so packed with information that one our will pass in no time). What I wanted to do is to talk about a couple of very interesting libraries, all written in F#, that Luca used in his demos:

F# for Numerics offers a bunch of numerical analysis functions, things like matrix operations, integration and differentiation, statistical methods, maximization and minimization, Fourier transforms, you know, the stuff we all love about maths [:P].

F# for Visualization allows us to visualize functions in 2D as well as 3D, including animations and PNG export. Believe me, the graphs really look good.

If you are hesitant about this, Jon Harrop, the man behind the libraries is offering free licenses of both libraries, well, with the usual banners and watermarks reminding you that you should really buy the real thing. Not that they are expensive either: you can get both by around US$ 100.

Personally, I feel a really sweet smell from the very fact that these libraries exist: a great symptom of a language or technology readiness for the market is that libraries from third parties start to appear (as, for example, has happened in the last months with WPF, but that’s the matter for another blog entry…)

While we are on the subject, and for those of you who are really intrigued by scientic applications, I strongly suggest you to take a look to F# for Scientists, the book where Jon tells us how to use F# in this field.

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