Chapter 25. Visual F# and the Other .NET Languages

One of the most exciting changes in Visual Studio 2010 is the inclusion of F# as a standard front end, bringing a true functional programming language into the .NET language ecosystem.

The importance of functional programming cannot be underestimated. Throughout this book, you have seen that many of the various enhancements to C# and Visual Basic (VB) are mostly about bringing functional programming concepts into those languages. This chapter will provide you with a basic understanding of functional programming, as well as an introduction to the F# language, a foundation that you can build on to better understand F# programs and write them yourself. By the end of this chapter, you will be familiar with the following:

  • A brief history of the F# programming language.

  • The core functional programming concepts from a pragmatic viewpoint — why they matter and how you can become a better programmer by using functional ideas.

  • How you can get started with developing F# programs in Visual Studio, and try them interactively as you are developing them with F# Interactive.

  • An overview of the F# language — basic syntax, major features (including pattern matching, active patterns, quotations, computation expressions (workflows), asynchronous computations, and units of measure), and how to use them to get the most out of the language.

  • How you can develop a set of modules that you can use with F# Interactive to draw mathematical plots from your development ...

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