Fast Guide

F# Programming Fast Guide

F# is a functional programming language that runs on Microsoft's Common Language Runtime and the .NET Framework. This means that F# has access to .NET Framework APIs and, conversely, that other .NET languages can use F# libraries. This Fast Guide offers a quick introduction to F# programming best practices and attempts to answer key questions about this new .NET implementation.

    TABLE OF CONTENTS   

   F# Quick Start
   F# Books, Tech Talks and Downloads
   F# Community
   VISIT OUR OTHER LEARNING GUIDES

F# Programming Quick Start Table of Contents

F# home page and What is F#? (Microsoft Research)
These pages introduce the main features of F#. The first page links to resources like the F# Library Reference Documentation, while the second page offers some tidbits specifically for developers.

F# -- A Functional Programming Language (Soma Somasegar)
Here the vice president of Microsoft's .NET Development Division announces (in mid-October 2007) his group's intention to fully integrate F# with Visual Studio.

F# Language Overview (Tomas Petricek)
This document, available as a PDF file (the link above) or as a series of four blog entries, offers an introduction to F# and discusses how it relates to functional, object-oriented, imperative and language-oriented.

F# and Visual Studio 2008 (Edgar Sanchez)
When Visual Studio 2008 shipped, this blogger wanted to see whether F# programming was possible. "It worked without any hassle and, to celebrate, I wrote a typical business example: get the average salary of a group of employees," he indicated.

F# and Visual Studio 2005 (Microsoft Research)
Meanwhile, Microsoft has developed a VS 2005 extension that supports F#.

F# .NET tutorials and examples (Flying Frog Consultancy)
This site, maintained by Jon Harrop, offers four tutorials (covering DirectX, WinForms, GUI and more) and a video about running F# inside Visual Studio.

Using F# Interactive (Granville Barnett)
Here this blogger runs through F# Interactive, which is pretty much a learning aid. As Barnett states, "If you want to deploy something in an application, then do so as some managed assembly."

F# Books, Tech Talks and Downloads Table of Contents

Expert F# (Apress)
This book covers topics such as functional, imperative and object-oriented programming; Windows, Web and database applications; and C and COM interoperability.

Foundations of F# (Apress)
This book, intended for those who are already familiar with functional programming, demonstrates how F# can be used for "real-world professional development."

Jon Harrop Makes Us F# (.NET Rocks)
Here a veteran of Ocaml and author of the F# Journal explains how F# performs like C#, behaves like a functional language and benefits from being part of the CLR.

F# with Robert Pickering (Hanselminutes)
Here Scott Hanselman interviews the author of Foundations of F#, who offers some thoughts on the benefits of functional programming in the .NET Framework.

F# Web Tools (CodePlex)
This download lets developers create Web applications in three-tiers (client, server and database). According to the project page, "The modal distinctions between client and server are checked through the use of F# workflows, and LINQ can be used for database access."

F# Programming Community Table of Contents

Numerous bloggers frequently write about F#. Here are the writers who have provided plenty of posts that should help those on a quest for F# knowledge.

.NET at 9.400 ft above sea level (Edgar Sanchez)
This blogger, writing from the Andes, has covered data structures, function definition syntax and what it will take for F# to go from academia to business.

DevHawk (Harry Pierson)
This blogger, who joined Microsoft last year, has a lengthy series of posts under the heading "Practical F# Parsing."

hubFS: THE place for F# (Tomas Petricek)
This blog, maintained by the author of F# Web Tools, includes thoughts on workflow, an analytics tool called R and the use of LINQ (the Language Integrated Query) with F#.

F# News (Jon Harrop)
This site, which dates back to November 2006, links to news, notes and downloads pertinent to F# programming.

Don Syme's WebLog on F# and Other Research Projects
This blogger is one of the three authors of Expert F# and has been at Microsoft Research since 1998. F# category posts include announcements, concurrency, design notes and snippets.

Robert Pickering
This blog features a four-part series on concurrency in F#. Pickering also points to a Facebook group devoted to F#, noting, "Requires a Facebook profile but seems everyone has one these days."

Granville Barnett
This blogger has been writing about F# since September 2007, covering topics such as property initializers, functions as values and recursion.

This was first published in January 2008

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