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Visual F# 4.0 Preview

New, stabilized version of functional programming language available to those who are previewing Visual Studio 2015.

If you remember the announcements from last week in which we told you about in which the Visual Studio team opening up more portions of .NET to the open source community. A subtopic of the news was the new crop of Visual Studio tools that were also released, but one we ignored for the time being was the preview of Visual F# 4.0.

Visual F# is Microsoft's version of the F# open source programming language, described by the F# Foundation as an "open source, cross-platform, functional-first programming language." F# itself originated from the Microsoft Research group. What was released in preview last week was Visual F# 4.0, made available through a preview of the upcoming Visual Studio 2015.

The Visual FSharp Team blogs that version 4.0 is fairly similar to a version they released a few months ago, "but these bits were branched for stabilization some time ago, and we have made significant progress since then." Specific changes in this version include a good handful of new language capabilities. Among them:

  • Constructors are treated as first-class functions.
  • Mutable values can be adjusted by using the mutable keyword (mutable values are still immutable by default).
  • High-dimensional array support.
  • Static parameters are now allowed on provided methods

Also of significance are enhancements to the Fsharp.Core runtime, including the normalization of collection modules, and VS tooling improvements.

To download Visual F# 4.0, go here.

About the Author

You Tell 'Em, Readers: If you've read this far, know that Michael Domingo, Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief, is here to serve you, dear readers, and wants to get you the information you so richly deserve. What news, content, topics, issues do you want to see covered in Visual Studio Magazine? He's listening at mdomingo@1105media.com.

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