Monday, 29 September 2008

Book review: F# for Scientists

Anthony Stevens has kindly written a review of our latest book F# for Scientists saying "This is an extremely clear and well-written text.".


Monday, 22 September 2008

Named and Optional arguments

The F#.NET Journal just published an article about named and optional arguments:

"The F# programming language provides a variety of useful features that are not found in many other functional programming languages. This is why F# is widely accepted as a functional language for practical use. Named and optional arguments are two related features that can be used to great effect in simplifying interfaces. This article introduces the syntax required to define and use both named and optional arguments in F# and describes some pedagogical uses of these features, with references to existing libraries, as well as examining some of the problems often encountered by programmers using these features..."

To read this article and more, subscribe to The F#.NET Journal today!

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Book reviews: F# for Scientists

M. Sottile has kindly written a review of our book F# for Scientists:

"I found this book to be very useful. Before reading this text I had already read portions of Expert F#, and have an extensive background with the older SML language that F# and OCaml are related to. As someone who works in scientific computing, I have always wished for a reference that would explain how to use this family of languages in scientific contexts. This book provides an excellent discussion of this topic. The examples are familiar if you come from a scientific computing background, and it is useful to see examples framed in a mathematical or scientific context instead of the more abstract or simple examples found in texts aimed at more general audiences. I would highly recommend this book - it's a pleasure to read, and has proven to be a useful reference for me so far."

Chris Smith at Microsoft has also written a review of F# for Scientists:

"In short, it is an excellent book and an invaluable resource for those working in quantitative computing.

The best feature of the book is its conciseness and clarity. Given F#’s immense multi-paradigm nature it is impossible to cover everything in only 300 pages, so the book skips object-oriented programming and doesn’t do a thorough job covering F# syntax. Rather, the book covers just enough F# to solve scientific problems using the functional style. (And highlights just how well suited for science F# truly is!)

This focus on scientific computing however is also the book’s main (potential) flaw. If you consider yourself a scientist, then this book will teach you everything you need to know about F#. But if you are a .NET developer looking to integrate F# into your projects, you might find the book’s coverage of the language a little lacking. (Specifically in how to do object-oriented programming in F#.)

What impressed me most was just how clear the examples were. I haven’t had a lot of functional programming experience before working on F#, and I found the examples in the book to be very instructive on how to write ‘good’ functional code."

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Run-time code generation using System.Reflection.Emit

The F#.NET Journal just published an article about compiler writing:
"The .NET platform represents a radical departure from the previous generation of native-code compiled languages. Whereas languages such as C++ and Fortran have distinct compilation and execution phases, the .NET platform deliberately blurs this distinction with run-time compilation of a distributable platform-independent Common Intermediate Language (CIL). This article examines the use of run-time code generation from F# using the System.Reflection.Emit namespace to implement a compiler for a simple bytecode language..."
To read this article and more, subscribe to The F#.NET Journal today!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

F# for Visualization 0.3.1.6

Our F# for Visualization library has been updated for the latest CTP release F# 1.9.6.2 from Microsoft. The latest version of F# for Visualization includes a complete refactoring and preliminary support for export of graphs and charts to image file using the PNG format.

The documentation for the latest version of F# for Visualization is freely available on-line here.

F# for Numerics 0.0.0.8

Our F# for Numerics library has been updated for the latest CTP release F# 1.9.6.2 from Microsoft. The latest version of F# for Numerics adds seeding to the Mersenne Twister PRNG and more fundamental constants.

The documentation for the latest version of F# for Numerics is freely available on-line here.