Tuesday 23 May 2017
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Visual F# Tools

Visual F# Tools

Apr 12, 2017 at 9:29AM  by Robert Green

A little Background on F# and its Growth

F# is a strongly typed, multi-paradigm programming language that encompasses functional, imperative, and object-oriented programming methods. F# is most often used as a cross-platform Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) language, but it can also generate JavaScript and graphics processing unit (GPU) code.

F# is developed by the F# Software Foundation, Microsoft and open contributors. An open source, cross-platform compiler for F# is available from the F# Software Foundation. F# is also a fully supported language in Visual Studio and Xamarin Studio.  Other tools supporting F# development include Mono, MonoDevelop, SharpDevelop, MBrace and WebSharper,  Plug-ins supporting F# exist for many widely used editors.

In this episode, Robert is joined by Phillip Carter, who shows F# 4.1 and the Visual F# Tools for Visual Studio 2017. Phillip shows that the F# Tools now use Roslyn and so you get the same IDE experience you enjoy in C# and VB. And he demonstrates scenarios that showcase the power and efficiency of writing code with F#.

The Visual Studio 2017 release in early March included F# 4.1 and an update of the Visual F# tools. F# 4.1 brings improvements and interoperation with C# 7 while the tools are the first version supporting the Roslyn workspaces.

F# 4.1 brings improvements and inter operation capabilities with C# 7:

  • Struct tuples and support for C# value tuples
  • Struct annotations for records and discriminated unions
  • fixed keyword support
  • Underscores in numeric literals
  • Caller info argument attributes
  • Result type and some basic Result functions
  • Mutually referential types and modules within the same file
  • Byref returns and support for C# 7 ref-returning methods
  • Error message improvements
  • Implement IReadonlyCollection<’T> in list<’T>
  • Additional option module functions
  • Statically resolved type parameter improvements
  • Compiler performance improvements

An updated version of the Visual F# tools also shipped with Visual Studio 2017.





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