Starting with F#

I was on a very intense project which was abruptly canceled. So, now I can a) write to the blog again and b) do some interesting stuff. This post is about my first (very first) impressions on the F#.

I read about functional programming before, and I find it very interesting, but since I am just starting, I am going to talk more about technicalities of the development environment and tools. I am sure that as the system matures, many of the annoyances will go away.

Here’s what I found so far:

* Installing F# was very easy. Just download the MSI and double-click on it.

* I stumbled a little on how one adds a new F# project to Visual Studio. For some reason, F# project is not under “other languages”, but under “Other project types”, along with databases and extensibility tools, which was a little unexpected. I tried to google for it, but no one seems to talk about it, like it is something very obvious.

* Whenever you add a new F# source file to your project, it creates a huge sample with a couple of hundred lines of code you don’t need. In my view this is a sign of an immature environment. Samples belong in the samples folder. I don’t need to see a sample every time I create a new source file. This just gets in the way.

* My first F# program contained precisely one line of code and compiled perfectly. My second F# program, however, was slightly longer, and I received half a dozen error messages simply stating “Syntax error”. This is so 1970. And it is especially weird for a language that boasts “language oriented programming”. May be they should provide an example of good language-oriented programming by brining up their own compiler to at least 1990s standards 🙂

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