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02 January 2013, 14:11

A foundation for F#

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The F# Software Foundation, an organisation of independent developers and companies, was recently created to promote Microsoft's F# functional programming language. The foundation is independent of Microsoft Research, whose researchers are the main developers of the Apache-licensed language.

Among the F# Software Foundation's stated goals are to make getting started with F# easier for programmers, to increase the number of technologies that are interoperable with the language, and to extend the range of supported platforms. The foundation also aims to attract more contributors to the language itself and a bigger user community in general. At present, the main interest of those who are running the foundation is to find developers who are willing to contribute to the organisation.

F# derives its functional concepts from the ML (Meta Language) – and its Caml (Categorical Abstract Machine Language) and OCaml (Objective Caml) derivatives – that, unlike languages such as Haskell, allows side effects such as the availability of mutable variables. F# is also built around mechanisms such as static typing, type inference, exception handling, and pattern matching. The object-oriented parts of F# have their roots in C#. Microsoft has treated F# as a first class citizen since .NET 4, and the language has also been a fully functional component of Microsoft's Visual Studio development environment since Visual Studio 2010.


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