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Microsoft Open Sources F#

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the does-f#-scale dept.

Microsoft 212

aabelro writes "Don Syme has announced the release of the F# compiler source code as a code drop under Apache 2.0. He wrote, 'The F# PowerPack now includes libraries, tools and the compiler/library source code drops. I'd like to take a moment to explain the F# team's approach to this. Firstly, the source for the F# compiler in our MSI/CTP releases has been available for some time, in the releases themselves, so in that sense there's not much new in this release. Secondly, we've always made sure we have a free download binary release of F# available, and will continue to do that, and that should still be the main way you "get" a release of F#. However, we've long discussed making compiler+library source available in a different way. After some discussion, we've decided to do this via a "code drop" model, where we make available versions of the compiler+library code logically matching each release of the F# language itself.'"

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212 comments

So .... (3, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34134984)

Where's the catch? What will you inadvertently start using that will later need licensing?

Re:So .... (1)

arose (644256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135026)

Some closed components perhaps? The Interesting thing about the Apache 2.0 license is the patent grant, seems like they want it the parts they release out there without reservation.

Re:So .... (0, Flamebait)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136496)

Some closed components perhaps?

Sort of. At best, it's Visible Source, not Open Source.

From the InfoQ article;

But since it is a code drop, the users won’t have access to the main trunk, so they cannot enhance it, fix it, determine its future. Microsoft will continue to exercise full control over their releases.

Smoke and mirrors, folks. All just smoke and mirrors...

Re:So .... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135046)

It's more like that exercise machine that nobody's used in years, so somebody finally leaves it out at the curb. You can take it if you'd like.

Re:So .... (4, Informative)

tibit (1762298) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135564)

Not quite so. There are plenty of companies out there that use Ocaml, F#'s undermaintained cousin. Jane Street, a private investment house, is one having perhaps the biggest Ocaml codebase next to Microsoft's. I see that MS opensourcing of F# compiler will lead to perhaps well-earned retirement of Ocaml from mainstream use. I think the biggest issue with Ocaml was that it was mainly a reasearch tool, maintained by INRIA. The developers have little incentive to have Ocaml do much besides what they need for their R&D, and that's understood and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. What it leads to, though, is that Ocaml is rough around the edges, and not really ready for primetime outside of niches.

F# should IIRC run just fine under Mono.

there's always a catch (2, Interesting)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135148)

There's always a catch, in this case you'll stop using other development platforms and produce apps that will only run on dotNET ..

Mono: It's not just the kissing disease (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135692)

in this case you'll stop using other development platforms and produce apps that will only run on dotNET

If it's open source, you can hire someone to port it to work on Mono.

Re:Mono: It's not just the kissing disease (1)

Dykam (1914154) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136250)

It works on Mono already for ages...

Re:So .... (2, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135184)

Does F# compile to a stand-alone executable on any platform, or does it need to be deployed on a .net framework?

Re:So .... (4, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135272)

Its hosted on the .Net platform.

Re:So .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135332)

I think the catch is that to make any use of this, you have to write in F#

No catch. (2, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135372)

Where's the catch? What will you inadvertently start using that will later need licensing?

There is no catch. Microsoft is doing this because F# has no commercial value. Who uses F#? A couple of math/CS geeks?

Re:No catch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135440)

I know of at least one boring business application that uses it...

Re:No catch. (3, Insightful)

tibit (1762298) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135576)

Ocaml, F#'s cousin, is used by a large private investment house -- Jane Street. F# itself is used in MS's static code analysis tools, like the driver verifier, and surely in a lot of in-house tools.

Re:No catch. (3, Insightful)

Giometrix (932993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135592)

From my understanding there is a lot of interest in F# in financial areas.

Re:So .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135396)

There is no catch. They're just being nice since nobody really cares about functional languages except a few nerds.

Re:So .... (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135854)

nobody really cares about functional languages except a few nerds.

Nobody really cares about programming languages at all except a few nerds. As for applications, explain Jak and Daxter, the majority of which was written in a Lisp dialect called GOAL.

Re:So .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135930)

oh no!!! don't get F###'d

Seriously, (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34134990)

F### that Microsoft S###.

Re:Seriously, (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136328)

F### that Microsoft C###.

FTFY

WTF is "F#"?? (3, Funny)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135006)

Never-mind...rhetorical question...

Re:WTF is "F#"?? (5, Informative)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135116)

It's a functional language following in the footsteps of the ML category of languages, but written for the .NET platform. It's open source with a patent grant, and the F# team has made sure each release has both a .NET and a Mono installer.

Re:WTF is "F#"?? (1)

Marc_Hawke (130338) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136274)

I thought it was a recursive question.

Nice, but... (2, Insightful)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135044)

It's really nice they did this, and the license they chose (Apache 2.0) is very free/libre.

But honestly... is there going to be a big community around this? I don't think so. You can say a lot about the Windows ecosystem, but "lively open source developer community" isn't one of them. So the source code is probably going to be of use for debugging purposes, or research purposes, but other than that, I can't see lots of people chipping in on the F# libs or something like that.

Re:Nice, but... (3, Insightful)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135124)

Maybe port it to JVM or LLVM?

Re:Nice, but... (2, Interesting)

cindyann (1916572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135126)

Almost seems like their thought process is:

    "We aren't going to get more resources in-house to continue developing it. Maybe if we throw it over the wall we'll get something (for free) from the Community."

Re:Nice, but... (1, Insightful)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135278)

Agreed. This is a prelude to cancellation.

They are planning to starve the development team of resources, prior to cancelling the project. As they are reducing development resources anyway, this open source experiment does not cost anything. If some huge success comes of the effort, then the PHB in charge claims it was his brilliant idea.

Re:Nice, but... (5, Informative)

tibit (1762298) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135634)

No, this isn't a prelude to cancellation. MS is a heavy in-house F# user. All of static verification tools that Windows kernel team uses are AFAIK written in F#, and every driver that's signed by MS was tested using a static analysis tool written in F#.

Heck, they have seen so much internal demand for F# that they developed it in the first place -- initially, their static verifier codebase was written in Ocaml. They figured there's possibly so much more to be done in that area, that they developed a whole new programming language. That's as much commitment as you can get, in my book.

Re:Nice, but... (1, Insightful)

swilver (617741) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136078)

Many companies build their crap in their in-house-developed-tool-of-choice. It says nothing about whether they also want to support it publicly.

Re:Nice, but... (2, Interesting)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136406)

"This is a prelude to cancellation."

Too bad, if true. From a technical perspective its a good language, a respectable entry in the world of functional languages. Its one of the Microsoft-developed tools they appear to have gotten right, in my opinion.

Re:Nice, but... (5, Insightful)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135182)

So all those Windows projects on Sourceforge aren't part of a lively community? All of the open source web projects that make sure they work on Windows browsers aren't lively?

Re:Nice, but... (3, Interesting)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135284)

Not to mention the projects on Codeplex, which is pretty much Windows only...

Re:Nice, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135488)

I think what he had in mind was microsoft having a lively oss community.

Re:Nice, but... (3, Insightful)

slapout (93640) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135322)

There are actually several .NET tools that are open source like NHibernate and NUnit.

Re:Nice, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135392)

Which are just clones of the original java tools, like C# is a clone of Java, the CLR is a clone of the JVM, .NET is a clone of the java platform, etc.

But conveniently only on Microsoft platforms!

Re:Nice, but... (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135922)

Which are just clones of the original java tools, like C# is a clone of Java

And GNU/Linux is a clone of UNIX, and Quadrapassel from GNOME Games is a clone of Tetris...

Only for Windoze (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135086)

Except you can use the tainted mono for Linux and Mac. But after the whole Java thing who wants to go down that road?

Re:Only for Windoze (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34136002)

People who want to code in a language that's not as spartan as C and not as openly hostile to the programmer as C++?

Why when we already have Ocaml? (1)

kriston (7886) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135094)

Okay, why do this when we already have Ocaml? Are they doing this because we already have Ocaml? This doesn't mean we get Visual Studio, either, so I'm ripe for enlightenment on this issue.

Re:Why when we already have Ocaml? (1)

bbtom (581232) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135154)

Well, some C# programmers are starting to use F#. Making it open source is quite useful as F# programmers can now produce code that can run on non-Windows platforms using Mono.

Re:Why when we already have Ocaml? (5, Insightful)

Instant_Karmma (1730260) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135164)

Because many of us - like it or not - develop on Windows platforms. F# works better with .NET than Ocaml does.

Re:Why when we already have Ocaml? (4, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135506)

Because you can do the bits that functional languages are good at in F#, and the bits traditional languages are good at in C#, and call one from the other without having to resort to the traditional inter-language calling methods like COM et al (not sure if I have the right example there, I never did modern application development before C#).

Literally, with C# and F# you can just define classes in either and call them in the other language directly.

Thats what sets this apart from Ocaml, and thats why people use it over Ocaml on .Net.

Re:Why when we already have Ocaml? (5, Informative)

tibit (1762298) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135740)

Because next to F#, Ocaml frankly said sucks. And I don't mean to be a troll. Almost anything you look at in Ocaml, F# has it better. Libraries, performance, interoperability, ...

All of the facilities of CLR are available from F# -- that includes vast core .NET libraries, all of 3rd party .NET libraries, interoperability with all of the code that runs on CLR,... To give a transportation analogy: the libraries available in Ocaml are to libraries available in F# like a car's driver is to a seagoing ferry.

Ocaml was developed by INRIA to support their own R&D program, pretty much. There is, understandably, little incentive for them to have Ocaml do much more besides what they themselves need. It's OK, really, there's only so much you can do with limited funds and the day only being 24h long.

Never mind that there are serious technical issues with the virtual machine that runs Ocaml bytecode, and with the runtime library that supports native-compiled Ocaml. Those issues are benign enough to allow Ocaml to be deployed in certain scenarios, but for a language platform to be widely used they are pretty much non-starters. F# runs on CLR, a platform that gets as much or more development resources allotted to it yearly than Ocaml saw through the whole of its long existence, including that of Caml-lite.

Re:Why when we already have Ocaml? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135872)

performance? really?

Re:Why when we already have Ocaml? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135990)

wow. it seems it is true.

What is F#? (1)

binkzz (779594) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135106)

Forgive my lack of knowledge as Delphi developer, but what is F# and does it have any advantages over, say, C#?

Re:What is F#? (2, Informative)

Instant_Karmma (1730260) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135128)

It Microsoft's implementation of objective Caml.

Re:What is F#? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135134)

For starters, it's five semitones higher!

Re:What is F#? (1)

oiron (697563) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135890)

Oh great! Cue the semitone wars!

Re:What is F#? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135986)

Which is also known as a perfect fourth. I'm sure that doesn't signify anything

Re:What is F#? (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136550)

Yeah, but I have to wonder how well it integrates with C, since together they make the "devil's tritone".

Re:What is F#? (2, Informative)

Mouldy (1322581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135172)

I've never used it personally, but IIRC from my functional programming unit at University, F# is MS's language for the functional programming paradigm. Similar to Haskell (which is what we did study). I *think* it also has elements of other programming paradigms too, but don't quote me on that (:

Re:What is F#? (5, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135174)

Very few .NET languages have strong advantages over the others aside from programmer preference. It's more about which one you like coding in, as all of them have pretty much the same capabilities.

With that said, it appears that F# is essentially a tweaked OCaml syntax, whereas C# is a tweaked C++ syntax. It's really more about what you prefer coding in.

I must say though, despite loving my Linux desktop at home, I work in C# a great deal at work, and I love it. I know there's a lot of MS hate on Slashdot, but their development tools are amazing. I'd do a lot more coding in Linux if I had something that was similar to (and of the same quality, which throws out things like Monodevelop) Visual Studio.

Re:What is F#? (2, Insightful)

_0rm_ (1638559) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135268)

--- I'd do a lot more coding in Linux if I had something that was similar to (and of the same quality, which throws out things like Monodevelop) Visual Studio. Vim ;)

Re:What is F#? (1)

heathen_01 (1191043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135466)

Emacs... Bloody Heretics!

Re:What is F#? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135858)

LOL! I hope you two are joking.

Re:What is F#? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135958)

People have been saying this for years. Unfortunately, I think it's a Photoshop-esque situation, where a product this large, cohesive and capable would require a massive effort that only a major company could coordinate.

As such, the closest things I see to VS come in the way of IDE's like QT Creator. Even there, it's not quite visual studio.

Re:What is F#? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136446)

Anjuta & Code Blocks are as close as you're going to get. That said, they aren't bad IDEs.

Re:What is F#? (2, Insightful)

slyrat (1143997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136450)

Forgive my lack of knowledge as Delphi developer, but what is F# and does it have any advantages over, say, C#?

Well really the power of F# comes from the functional programming style. So there are much easier, cleaner ways to do some things in F# than C#. They both have the same capabilities, the way you implement and code them is just different. Also, with the ability to have F# and C# code call each other makes it so you can have the benefits of object oriented (C#) along with the benefits of functional (F#) while having clean code in both.

/. snottery (5, Insightful)

dgower2 (1487929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135132)

Unbelievable! They start moving in a direction that they've been criticized for NOT moving in/adopting and what's the response from the /. snots? I guess it takes some honor/courage/maturity to give credit when it's due.

Re:/. snottery (2, Insightful)

_0rm_ (1638559) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135246)

It's commendable that they would move in this direction, but history has shown us that Microsoft has a tendency to take a step forward, then another two steps back as far as the Open Source community is concerned. Does seeking royalties for companies to use Linux in their devices ring any bells? [slashdot.org]

Re:/. snottery (1)

dgower2 (1487929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135672)

Quoted from that thread: "The whole story is bullshit too, as Asustek has denied Microsoft asking for royalties..."

Re:/. snottery: same old idiot song and dance (0, Troll)

mcneely.mike (927221) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136170)

Yes!
It seems that a lot of people like having their balls kicked time and again by Microsoft... then Microsoft apologizes... then kicks them again.
Sigh... humans are pathetic.

Re:/. snottery (1)

ferrisoxide.com (1935296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135300)

Hear hear! To my mind, they still have to prove themselves.. but it's (another) step in the right direction. Welcome to the party Microsoft - glad you could make it.

Re:/. snottery (1)

almondo (145555) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135432)

History has shown that Microsoft can and will go out of it's way to earn inspiring magnitudes of disdain for itself.

If you don't like it, well, give me a $3000 rebate for money I wasted on the OS/2 1.0 SDK way back when and we can talk.

Perhaps they deserve some credit but due to a long standing pattern of debit overdrafts I will wait for the dust to settle to see if it is in fact merited before extending it.

Re:/. snottery (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135444)

I dunno I can see both sides. On the one hand, it's really good that Microsoft would release anything Open Source. On the other hand people are justifiably suspicious of a company that goes out its way to demonstrate what a fool's chance you're taking by using Open Source... then releases Open Source software. Of course there's always the people who won't be happy with Microsoft no matter what they do simply because they're Microsoft, and the people who are incapable of seeing any gray between the black and the white and won't be happy until Microsoft simply admits they were wrong all along and releases *everything* as Open Source. The latter two groups not withstanding, even for a reasonable OSS advocate Microsoft would have to do a little more than this to really earn any sort of trust.

Re:/. snottery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135754)

Oh, I'm not going to criticize if they're going to do this the right way for a change. My only beef is that while they're granting a license to the affected patents in F#, they've not done a similar thing (the "pledge" for CLI/C#/etc. in .Net is effectively worthless for the purposes of protecting a Free/Open Software ecosystem from later on attacks from them...) with the rest. When they do the same thing for the rest of .Net, I'll be impressed and start calling it all a GREAT thing- but not before. They've said and done so much that's earned them this distrust and ire that they don't get an out on things here with it all.

Re:/. snottery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34136560)

What? I think it's awesome. Use of Apache License? Brilliant.

Patents (1, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135186)

Until Microsoft permanently ceases asserting software patent rights, sharing their source code is of very limited value.

Re:Patents (5, Insightful)

mattdm (1931) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135252)

Until Microsoft permanently ceases asserting software patent rights, sharing their source code is of very limited value.

And therefore, it's interesting that the chose to use a license that explicitly offers a Grant of Patent License.

Re:Patents (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135608)

But I thought most of the value of open source was that you could inspect the guts of something yourself and fix it if it was broken?

Seriously, I feel like open source advocates should be happy whenever a force in the closed-source world takes a step, no matter how small, in their direction -- instead what actually happens is it's never open source enough.

Re:Patents (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135720)

That's because red herrings and Oracle-style dickery run rampant in companies that open their source. VMWare, for example, is doing the bare minimum for GPL compliance.

Re:Patents (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135658)

Ballmer has been a bit of a patent bully in his speeches, but I believe the TomTom case was the first in history when Microsoft went after someone for patents. They have a massive portfolio and could be a nasty patent bully, but they haven't really acted the part so far.

Congrats.... (1)

_0rm_ (1638559) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135198)

But seriously, who the hell uses F#?

Re:Congrats.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135318)

Finance houses.

Re:Congrats.... (2, Informative)

zombieChan51 (1862028) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135320)

I do. F# has a good size of developers using it.

Re:Congrats.... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136524)

More people than you think, and I personally know of other companies taking a serious look at it. F# has some interesting features, besides part of the family of functional languages like ocaml, one of the biggest is how F# sees all discrete parts of a process, those running in separate machines, as part of the same process space. Its going to revolutionize multi-process computing if picked up widely enough.

F#CK Yeah (5, Funny)

fonky (74817) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135216)

so they released the F# Compiler Kit?

F Pound WTF? (1)

hviniciusg (1481907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135266)

How do you read F#?

F pound or F Numeral?

Re:F Pound WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135340)

F sharp. Like the musical key.

Re:F Pound WTF? (1)

zombieChan51 (1862028) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135342)

Someone never took a music class.

F Sharp

Re:F Pound WTF? (1)

ocdscouter (1922930) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136284)

Well, to be pedantic, since it's not actually a 'sharp' sign so much as a 'pound' sign, one could conceivably be forgiven for not making the implicit leap of logic (small as it would be). But that's if you were being pedantic, I suppose.

Re:F Pound WTF? (1)

ocdscouter (1922930) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136296)

Bah. Or perhaps leap of intuition.

Re:F Pound WTF? (2, Informative)

tigre (178245) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135352)

F-sharp (pseudo musical notation)

Re:F Pound WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135362)

posting anon since i already moderated in this thread, but its "Eff Sharp." '#' is music notation for a sharp note, as opposed to a the weird 'b' that means flat, or just the note itself. Sort of like C# is 'Sea Sharp'.

Re:F Pound WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135824)

I pronounce it 'See Sharp' you insensitive clod!

Re:F Pound WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135370)

F-sharp. Surely you've heard of C# (C-sharp)?

Re:F Pound WTF? (1)

LoP_XTC (312463) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135678)

Same as Gb really .. they are a very similar sounding language.

Re:F Pound WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135728)

Just like C# (C pound.)

Re:F Pound WTF? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135748)

F-Octothorpe. </snark>

Re:F Pound WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135992)

Foctothorpe.

I give this language an F (0, Redundant)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135338)

Or maybe an F#*$!

Participation Ribbon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135500)

No thanks Microsoft, I already have Scala [scala-lang.org] .

I know this is Microsoft... (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135636)

...but there is no need for criticism of back-handed compliments here. Regardless of their history, this is a good move.

Kudos on another open source release.

dead as a door knob (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34136084)

Whenever MSFT opensource something, it means they're not going to spend any time, money, or FTEs on it.

good, but keep in mind... (1)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136192)

Keep in mind that a lot of work that went into the design of F# was done in academia, as part of several languages including OCAML.

Does this mean that.. (2, Insightful)

crf00 (1048098) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136312)

Does this mean that we can use the source code to port F# to other platform such as GCC and LLVM?

Great news for someone in scientific computing (1)

halfdan the black (638018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136326)

As someone in scientific computing, this is phenomenally great news.

If given no constrains, my language of choice would be Mathematica. However, it has numerous faults - hugely expensive, does not run on cluster (well), does not generate native code, difficult to tie together with C code, etc...

I was intrigued with Sun's Fortress, but this has gone nowhere, and it is fundamentally flawed from the start in that it is tied to the JVM, which is no-no when it comes to high performance computing. And with the Oracle takeover, I think its fair to say that Fortress is dead.

I was really excited about F# but the original licensing scared me ("MS shared source" which explicitly forbids use in any commercial application, I'm a graduate student funded by a grant, does that mean my work is commercial? maybe, maybe not, see the problem).

Anyway, there are so many logical concepts that are so easy to express with functional languages that are hugely klugey in traditional procedural languages (with the exception of Smalltalk, I consider most popular languages, certainly anything in the C family including Java more procedural than object oriented).

I'm really hoping F# takes off, I never was a huge fan Python for scientific computing where it seems to be very popular.

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136572)

It's a functional language following in the footsteps of the ML category of languages, but written for the .NET platform. It's open source with a patent grant, and the F# team has made sure each release has both a .NET and a Mono installer.
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