Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Visual Studio 2010 with F# out now!

MSDN subscribers can now download Visual Studio 2010 that provides the first fully-supported product release of the new F# programming language. Don Syme, the creator of F# at Microsoft Research Cambridge, posted an emotional blog article accompanying this release as it represents the culmination of 7 years of work.

We shall be updating all of our F#-related products to work with the new product release and, in particular, our F# for Numerics and F# for Visualization software libraries will now see their first product releases as well. Future articles in the F#.NET Journal will cover every aspect of Visual Studio 2010 in detail.

Note that there is no Visual F# Express edition and, at the time of writing, there is no user-friendly way to develop F# on .NET 4 for free. However, you can develop F# 2.0 on .NET 3 using Visual Studio 2008 or compile F# 2.0 for .NET 4 using the command-line compilers. Brian McNamara of the F# team has encouraged anyone wanting Visual F# Express to upvote this motion. Hopefully we will see another Visual Studio 2010 Shell with separate F# release that makes it easy to develop F# software with the latest libraries for free. The F# team are also committed to open source cross-platform development, to the extent that they are hiring a new contractor specifically to help with this.