Microsoft moves on F# functional language

Product of research project to be integrated with Visual Studio

Microsoft plans to integrate F#, a functional programming language developed by the Microsoft Research group, into its Visual Studio application development platform, said S. "Soma" Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Developer Division, in his blog.

The company, however, has not laid out a formal release schedule, although Somasegar pledged to both integrate F# into Visual Studio and continue evolving it.

Pronounced "F sharp," F# is based on the concepts of functional programming, Somasegar said. Functional languages treat computation as the evaluation of mathematical functions. The mathematical slant of functional programming is appealing to professionals in domains described with mathematical notation, including financial, scientific, and technical computing, said Somasegar.

F# combines type safety, performance, and scripting with the advantages of running on a on a modern runtime, Microsoft Research said. It supports interactive scripting like Python and the strong type inference and safety of ML. F# can access.Net libraries and database tools.

Bloggers corresponding about F# on the hubFS blog had positive responses to Microsoft's plans.

"I can't overstate how excited I am by this news," one blogger said.

"I discovered F# a few months ago and since then have made it my primary programming language (moving from Python and Java). I have found it to be a great language for developing simpler scripts or programming 'toy' implementations of algorithms. I've also found it to be a great language for building up real applications because of the ability to leverage everything already existing for .Net," the blogger said.

Somasegar cited other functional programming efforts at Microsoft.

"Language features, such as lambda expressions in C# and generics in .Net 2.0, have roots in functional languages, and LINQ (Language Integrated Query) is directly based on functional programming techniques," Somasegar said. LINQ extends C# and Visual Basic and simplifies how database and XML queries are written in these languages.

F# is designed to be a "first-class citizen" on .Net and will run on the on Microsoft CLR (Common Language Runtime), Somasegar said. Object-oriented programming is embraced and F# integrates with the .Net Framework. F# makes boosts .Net in the academic world, Somasegar said.

"We believe that through F# and languages like IronPython and IronRuby we can help offer students and educators choices beyond the current mainstream and enable the use of these languages across the curriculum. This helps educators have the option to use Visual Studio as a consistent tool set from course to course," he said.

Also in the application development realm Monday, the Microsoft Developer Division unveiled its Tester Center Web site. The site enables testers to connect with a community, contribute content and share testing practices and experiences.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?