15.2. Introducing F#

F# (pronounced F Sharp) is a brand-new language incubated out of Microsoft Research in Cambridge, England, by the guy that brought generics to the .NET Framework, Don Syme. Microsoft's Developer Division recently welcomed F# to the Visual Studio range of supported languages. F# is a multi-paradigm functional language. This means it's primarily a functional language, but supports other flavors of programming, like imperative and object-oriented programming styles.

15.2.1. Downloading and Installing F#

You can download and install F# today from http://research.microsoft.com/fsharp/fsharp.aspx. Simply download the latest msi or zip file, and fire it up. This will invoke the installer as shown in Figure 15-1.

Figure 15.1. Figure 15-1

The F# installer will lay out the compiler and libraries into the directory you specify, and install the relevant F# Visual Studio template files. This allows you to use the compiler from both the command line and from Visual Studio. It also includes F# documentation and F# samples to help you get on your way.

15.2.2. Your First F# Program

Now, let's fire up Visual Studio 2008 and create a new F# project. As Figure 15-2 shows, the F# new project template is located in the Other Project Types node in the New Project dialog. Give it a name and click "OK."

Figure 15.2. Figure 15-2

Unlike its C# and Visual Basic.NET cousins, F# ...

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