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F# Foundation Launch : Open-source, cross-platform F# (1PM PST/9PM GMT Today) (msdn.com)
85 points by Oenotria on Nov 8, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 25 comments

Curious to see where that goes. I've been wanting to try it for a while, but a combination of lack of time and lack of enthusiasm for the .NET stack has kept me away from it. Is this used in production anywhere?

It's somewhat anecdotal, but here's a question I asked on the quant stackexchange a while ago asking if F# was used in finance ... seems there are a few shops using it: http://quant.stackexchange.com/questions/303/is-f-used-in-tr...

It's being used commercially in a number of companies. Off the top of my head: Credit Suisse, Aviva, Trayport, Gamesys as well as quite a few hedge funds on both sides of the pond.

It is where I work. There was a bit of nervousness since most Microsoft shops are very adverse to change, but it's taking hold.

Well, that probably beats C#. Are you in the finance sector?

some examples on http://fsharp.org

F# is a really cool language. However without it's interop with the CLR it looks to me to be another ML clone. I wonder what they mean by "independent."

That is my thought as well.

If one wants a strict ML language than compiles to native code then OCaml is a better solution, ditto for lazy ML languages by making use of Haskell.

F#'s real value is the ability to have a ML language as (almost as) first citizen in the .NET ecosystem.

I'm not sure what you're referring to; F# is only a CLR-compatible language. Mono is used for a completely open source solution and the foundation's web page (http://fsharp.org) has links to instructions for installing mono and related tooling.

Port it to JVM? Then it has to compete with the similar language Scala.

Port it to LLVM? Then it can be compiled to native, in which case it has to compete with Haskell (et al).

The "#" in F# basically binds it to the CLR, and that's what it's strength is. Too bad it want to be something is isn't.

it currently builds on mono and javascript (websharper) for cross-platform.

Is it still based on .NET/mono?

There is some talk of porting it to the JVM or LLVM


F# already runs on Mono and is open source. Seems like it's not the case. Very interesting. There's a mention of "independent".

F# has been open source for quite a while. I'm guessing they are seeing some resistance to adoption due to the affiliation with Microsoft. They've always been quite independent, compared to the C# team, so I wonder what this even means. Porting to LLVM and/or JVM would be wonderful for the language though, it really is up there with Clojure as one of the more exciting functional languages under development.

I don't think this is any technical change. Instead MS just got bored with F# and gives it a non-profit ("F# foundation") for maintenance. So it will be independent, ie. not affiliated with MS.

The F# Foundation is an initiative from the F# community to promote F# as an independent, open source language across multiple platforms. You're right this is not a technical change and the foundation is independent.

This is a community activity in addition to what Microsoft is doing

That's not quite right. A choice quote from the kick-off call today helps explain more about what's going on here: "Some customers require Microsoft support in order to adopt a technology; some customers require community (non-Microsoft) support in order to adopt a technology."

You can think of the F# Software Foundation as the community side of that equation and, well, Microsoft as the Microsoft side of that equation.

MS is not abandoning F#. This is a community-led effort to try to increase adoption of an excellent language and to create a better experience on non-microsoft platforms.

Not yet.

I haven't been tracking Mono-related news for a while, but didn't they abandon this project? Did it ever work well?

See above - Xamarin are big contributors to mono. They have 190,000 developers and 10,000 customers already http://blog.xamarin.com/2012/11/08/xamarin-evolve-2013-our-f...

so mono's future looks secure now

Who is "they"? Mono was transferred from Novell to Xamarin some time ago, but is alive and well (better than ever?): http://mono-project.com/Main_Page.

Xamarin are booming (they are a cross-platform, open-source-based development tools company who are big contributors to mono). 190,000 developers and 10,000 customers already http://blog.xamarin.com/2012/11/08/xamarin-evolve-2013-our-f...

So mono's future is secured - Android, iPhone, iOS, OS X, linux, windows 8, ... no other high-level-to-native tools get this reach and none based on a language as c# (so much better than java). F# looks like nice added sauce to this.

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