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Visual Studio 2017 v15.7 Brings F# Up to Par with C#

Though it has been around for 13 years now, F# has in some ways seemed to be the neglected little brother of the older C# language in the .NET ecosystem. During Microsoft's Build developer conference last year, for example, the company even felt the need to present a session titled "Why You Should Use F#."

The main reason you might want to use the open source, cross-platform language (stewarded by the F# Software Foundation) is for functional programming. And at this year's Build conference, Microsoft introduced new features coming with the new Visual Studio 2017 version 15.7 that bring it more up to par with the older (by five years) C#.

"Starting with version 15.7 of Visual Studio 2017, F# officially supports creating ASP.NET Core projects via the same UI that C# supports," Microsoft said in a blog post yesterday. "Additionally, all tooling for Docker, CI/CD with Visual Studio Team Services, and publishing to Azure App Service is supported."

Addressing the growing functional programming movement, Microsoft last fall announced F# support for .NET Core and .NET Standard projects in Visual Studio, and earlier released its language documentation as open source. Earlier this year it detailed updates to the language and F# tooling in VS 2017 v 15.6.

That latter vein was furthered in v15.7, with:

"We made many improvements to F# and its tools," Microsoft said in its release notes. "Performance and cleaning up existing experiences with .NET SDK-style projects has been the focus for this release. As always, we also received significant contributions from the wonderful F# community."

In yesterday's blog post, the company's Phillip Carter highlighted the performance and responsiveness improvements that were helped by the community and the Microsoft Mobile Tools team, which also helps support F# in Xamarin and Visual Studio for Mac.

These include: reduction in data structure sizes; moving metadata into virtual memory, adding a priority to document diagnostic analyzers; and more.

"Overall, the 15.7 release of Visual Studio 2017 represents one of the largest performance improvements to F# tooling in Visual Studio in a long time," Carter concluded. "We are very excited about this because it is the number one issue people have when they use F# for large solutions. We're looking forward to spending more time on tooling performance in the next year, and doing so not only for Visual Studio, but in the F# Compiler and F# Compiler Service so that all F# tooling in any editor can benefit."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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