Have been hit by the functional programming bug yet? If you read around the blogsphere and listen to podcasts lately, you’ve surely been exposed to the revamp of functional programming languages all over the place. Haskell, Erlang, Clojure, F# will likely gain a fair share from the usual suspects (Java, C# in primis) at least in some well defined areas of the business logic.
There are countless posts around highlighting what’s great (and not so great) about functional programming, so I won’t repeat those arguments here. What I am offering is just a few pointers to F# resources that might help you getting familiar with .NET way to functional programming.
Screencasts are a good way to get a feeling of what functional programming (and F# in particular) look like and why they should matter to you.
- An Introduction to Microsoft F# by Luca Bolognese (PDC 2008). Excellent video, it takes a bit more than one hour.
- F# and Functional Programming in .NET (2009) by Don Syme (one of the fathers of the language). Another great video from the mind behind F#.
Free Documentation (Books, White Papers)
When you are ready to get your feet wet with the languages, there are a few free resources that are great to get you started:
Once I am ready to get serious about a language I feel a need a real book to get deeper into the details. Here are a few titles that seem to get great feedback from the community. A search with Google will reveal more and new titles are expected to be published shortly as the language is starting to get traction.
- Expert F# Hardback (Expert’s Voice in .Net): This is the book I am using right now after going through the (shorter) free books above. A new version is about to be released.
- Beginning F#
- Real World Functional Programming: With Examples in F# and C#
Other Web sites and Blogs
- Microsoft F# Developer Center: Microsoft home page for all things F#, with tons of links and resources. That’s the place you want to go to download the tools and add-ins for Visual Studio 2008 if you, like me, haven’t switched to Visual 2010 yet.
- Hubfs: News, blogs and forums dedicated to the language.
- The FSharp Wiki: Great collection of links to online resources.