Visual F# Includes Windows Phone 8.1 in Portable Library Support

Version 3.1.2 of the Microsoft F# derivation has expanded portable library support and enables the Publish option in Web and Azure projects.

The Microsoft Visual F# team blogged about a point release of F# that "packages the latest updates to the F# compiler, interactive, runtime, and Visual Studio integration." Visual F# 3.1.2 comes shortly after an out-of-band 3.1.1 release in January that added support for Desktop and Web Express.

Visual F# is the Microsoft version of F#, a strongly typed programming language derived from ML that is heavily influenced by C# and Python. F# itself supports a number of programming styles, including object-oriented, functional, and procedural languages, and is also capable of generating code in JavaScript and for use with GPUs. Visual F# is an extension of that language that can work within the confines of the Microsoft .NET Framework. (A thorough definition of the language can be found on the MSDN Library.

The 3.1.2 point release adds a handful of new and useful features, including expanded portable library support. This comes in the form of F# project templates that support Profile 78 and Profile 259 portable profiles, both of which support Windows Phone 8.1. The result is that F# portable libraries can be added to Windows Phone 8.1 projects directly.

One other significant change noted in the blog has to do with workflow. Specifically, this version of Visual F# supports non-locking #r references while working with Visual F# interactive in a quick-iteration development. Assembly references are enabled by default and developers are apt to encounter errors because, when a developer adds a #r assembly reference, it locks that assembly on disk. All it takes to configure it as a non-locking assembly reference is to enable it with the shadowcopyreferences+ switch.

Other updates include the ability to publish F# Web and Microsoft Azure projects directly from Visual Studio, and some minor language tweaks: improved Unix compatibility with the ability to use shebang directives in F# scripts (not to be confused with William Hung compatibility), support for high-dimensional slicing in compiled code, and support for spaces in active pattern case identifiers.

Visual F# 3.1.2 can be downloaded here.

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