Wednesday, 26 November 2008

F# for Scientists book club

Some very enthusiastic readers have started a book club for our latest book F# for Scientists where they discuss parts of the book and even video conference as a group every week on Skype to individual chapters of the book.

We are also running a poll on our F# News Blog where readers can vote for the F# book they would most like us to write next. Following the success of F# for Scientists, we are highly likely to write another book on F# and publish it in 2009. Until then, don't forget to subscribe to The F#.NET Journal!

Monday, 17 November 2008

New F# for Visualization demo

As promised, the new interactive help GUI application demo has been uploaded to our site with both a standalone executable that requires only .NET 3.5 and the complete source code and Visual Studio 2008 project for the application.

The embedded graphs are handled entirely by our F# for Visualization product through the use of reusable and customizable Windows Presentation Foundation GUI controls.

Buy your copy of F# for Visualization today and get visualizing!

Windows Presentation Foundation: basic controls

The F#.NET Journal just published an article about Windows Presentation Foundation:

"Microsoft's new Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is the next generation of graphical user interface technology, facilitating rich interactive content that is seamlessly integrated with related technologies. This article is the first in a series examining how WPF can be used from the F# programming language. We begin with an overview of WPF and describe the kinds of GUI applications that will benefit the most from using F# before surveying the basic GUI elements provided by WPF..."

To read this article and more, subscribe to The F#.NET Journal today!

Friday, 14 November 2008

F# for Visualization

The latest release of F# for Visualization is now available to our beta tester customers. This release is a significant refactoring that presents ViewControl, PlotControl, View3DControl and Plot3DControl WPF-compatible controls that allow users to put graphs and charts in their own software. We are working on a new demo to showcase these features, an interactive help system for F# for Visualization itself that will be freely available with complete source code!

These controls underpin the View, Plot, View3D and Plot3D classes that spawn visualizations from a running F# interactive session or non-GUI standalone program.

The F# for Visualization library is likely to see at least one more major refactoring before 1.0: to provide reusable axes before we implement data plots and contour plots.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

F# for Scientists source code: chapters 1 and 2

We are in the process of porting the code from our book F# for Scientists (four reviews on Amazon!) to the latest September CTP release of the F# programming language from Microsoft.

The source code from chapters 1 and 2 are now available on the book's webpage.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Book review: F# for Scientists

Sparky Dasrath has kindly posted a review of our book F# for Scientists on its Amazon sales page, giving the book the maximum five star rating, the same as all previous reviews:

"I am brand new to functional programming and this is my 3rd book having gone through both Foundations of F# and Expert F# which details the language very well. However, I was blown away with this book. While it does have some technical elements/examples to it, I found that it helped me bridge the gaps in some topics I did not fully grasp from the other two books.

This was written prior to the F# Sept 2008 CTP and due to changes in the language, one or two examples (again,let me stress just a few) needed to be modified in order to be compatible with the changes.

I enjoyed all the topics immensely but without a background in DirectX or 3D programming, while the chapter on visualization is beautiful, it is challenging. My readings in WPF3D helped a lot in parsing what was going on here. In addition, while there is information on using Windows Forms, I wished there was a section (or two!) on WPF. However, the F# Journal (by the same author) does have a few articles on WPF which are also very excellent.

The only thing is that, sometimes, the explanations for the examples are not very thorough, and it is a bit daunting as a beginner. One such example is the Powerset from 6.4.15 (p167) which took a while to work through. As such, I made a blog post just for this detailing how to get the solution for this.

This is not a book to, per say, 'learn F#', the previous two are for that. F# for Scientists is great if you already have the basics at hand. All in all, I HIGHLY recommend this book. It is an excellent resource/reference and in my opinion, it is one of those books you have handy -> Just in case.

Overall A+."

And don't forget about our more recent book F# for Technical Computing.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Low-level optimization tips and tricks: part 1

The F#.NET Journal just published an article about optimization:

"The F# programming language is a fantastic tool for technical computing because it combines easy interactive high-level programming with excellent performance and multicore capability. This makes it feasible to solve a wide variety of problems without having to drop to low-level languages like C for performance. This article describes some of the low-level optimizations that underpin the ability to write performant F# programs by leveraging knowledge about the F# compiler..."

To read this article and more, subscribe to The F#.NET Journal today!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Luca Bolognese on F# and our products

Microsoft's Lead Program Manager for the C#, VB and F# languages/compilers and the DLR framework, Luca Bolognese, gave a great lecture about their new F# programming language at Microsoft's yearly Professional Developer Conference last thursday.

Luca used our F# for Numerics and F# for Visualization products to graph a linear interpolation of interactively scavenged financial data during his presentation and he has made his code available in a blog post:

Graphics.Plot(Functional.Interpolate.linear xys, (0., 868.), (0., 325.))

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Book review: F# for Scientists

Steven Burns has kindly posted a review of our latest book, F# for Scientists, on Amazon's sales page, saying:

"Being mathematically and scientifically oriented (and a fan of functional programming) I was destined to like this book. This book shows you how to use F# in a scientific context. The other F# books show you the mechanics, this one tells you how to drive it at full speed and take the corners. Numerics, Parsing, Visualization, it's all in here... the book is wonderful and if you end up liking it as much as I did, there's a paid subscription to a journal by the same author where you'll get bimonthly articles along the same line of this book."

All three of the reviews on Amazon have given F# for Scientists five stars!