Friday, 4 May 2012

Why should a .NET developer learn F#?

F# is all about brevity, interactivity, interoperability and a different approach to factoring and structuring programs.
F# is useful and, in particular, is much better suited to some applications than C#:
  • Variant types and pattern matching in F# make it extremely well-suited for the manipulation of trees, which can be anything from the representation of a program inside a compiler written in F# (this family of programming languages were bred for compiler writing), computer graphics, XML handling and other applications that make heavy use of trees.
  • First-class functions provide a very concise and comprehensible way to factor programs that is very well suited to heavily abstract algorithms found in mathematical computing, including conventional data structures and algorithms.
  • F# interactive sessions are ideal for developing and running disposable programs such as massaging data and interactive technical computing. The entire .NET environment is available from interactive sessions including dynamic GUIs built with WPF, e.g. for interactive graph plotting.
The first full product version of F# was released as part of Visual Studio 2010.

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