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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Microsoft to push functional programming

The .NET Common Language Runtime has indeed shown its flexibility (I'd like to see a JVM do this!) in supporting a "real" functional language, F#. F# is closely related to OCaml.

Ars Technica has coverage.

The most interesting part of this announcement is that it will be fully supported in Visual Studio. In case you haven't worked in enough development organizations, this means that a large percentage of current .NET shops will, over the next several years, evaluate and begin to accept F# as a first tier programming language.

This can only bode well for those of us who were left feeling a little flat with Java and C# (although C# is a markedly better programming language than Java). The part that excites me is that if this catches on, it will generate new modes of thought in programmers, as we saw years ago when noun-oriented (oh, sorry, I meant object-oriented) programming became fashionable.

Kudos to Microsoft for continuing to push forward and take risks with the .NET platform.

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