back to article We're making F# more normal as a language, says its creator

F# designer Don Syme said this week that the new version, 6.0, aims to be "more normal as a language" in order to improve take-up. There was a telling moment in the .NET Conf virtual event, just after the presentation of F# 6 from Syme and his colleague, principal program manager Kathleen Dollard. A developer asked: "What is …

  1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

    F# that for a lark.

    It's a good thing I'm not a programmer or I'd be F#ing up my coding attempts with every fat fingered typo. =-Jp

  2. Wokstation

    I like playing in F major

    But iI like singing in F sharp!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ju8Wxmrk3s

    Back on topic, is it a Fortran descendant? Not come across it, but I mostly program microcontrollers in c++.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: I like playing in F major

      Back on topic, is it a Fortran descendant?

      Only in the sense that we're descended from amoebas(*).

      (*) Evolutionary biologists will now explain how I've got that wrong.

      1. Steve Channell
        Happy

        Re: I like playing in F major

        No it's not based on Fortran (in the same way C is not based on COBOL).

        While F# Is functional, it has always supported OO programming, and even mutability (you just need to declare variables as such - like Rust)

        The biggest impediment to F# adoption is the number of features that have migrated to C#

        1. Isaac Abraham

          Re: I like playing in F major

          Unlikely re:impediment. If that was the case, people would've been flocking to F# for years because of this. Instead, we've seen folks scared of lf because of reputation / FUD, culture within dotnet, lack of understanding of benefits as well as simply a lack of desire to try something else out.

          Ironically the cross pollination could help by removing fear of things like Records, Pattern Matching and Tuples.

    2. Steve Channell
      Happy

      Re: I like playing in F major

      You can program microcontrollers in F# using Wilderness Labs Meadow

    3. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: I like playing in F major

      No, it is an OCaml descendant.

      1. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: I like playing in F major

        So why not use that? I've never really understood what F# is actually for.

        -A.

  3. Gene Cash Silver badge

    How long has it been around?? 2005?

    And this is the first I've heard of it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How long has it been around?? 2005?

      Says more about you than you think.

    2. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: How long has it been around?? 2005?

      I've heard about F# but never used it, I'd guess because a) its structures don't enable solutions to the kind of problems that I've had to solve and b) because programmers don't typically get to choose the language they work in. I suppose making it .NET based makes it possible to slide F# components into a larger system but .NET and embedded tools tend to be a bit of a mismatch (you spend more time sorting out and proving the tools that you spend actually doing the work of solving the problem).

      (Also -- you don't need a specialist language to do functional programming. Its just more fun.)

      1. Isaac Abraham

        Re: How long has it been around?? 2005?

        What kind of problems have you had to solve?

  4. Francis King

    REPL problems

    If Microsoft wants to make F# more usable, they could start by fixing the REPL.

    Some know how much more code is required, and allows you to end input with ENTER

    Jupyter allows you to end input with CTRL-ENTER and ALT-ENTER.

    F# is unique in requiring two semi-colons. Not very friendly.

    1. Isaac Abraham

      Re: REPL problems

      The ;; is only needed if you directly type stuff into FSI and is needed for multi-line support. Very, very few people do that.

      Instead, use an editor like VS Code (free, cross platform) or Rider or Visual Studio, all of which have very good F# support and the ability to enter code in an code editor and send code to the REPL using, yes, ALT-ENTER.

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