F# (pronounced “eff sharp”) is multi-paradigm .NET programming language that supports both imperative object-oriented and functional programming styles. It’s a dialect of the ML programming language and very close to OCaml. Used as a functional programming language, F# gives you expressive power that’s tricky to duplicate in your run-of-the-mill imperative programming languages. As a .NET programming language, you can integrate modules written in F# into C# and Visual Basic projects, with F# doing the data-crunching, and C# or VB handling the user interface.
Justin Lee talked to me about starting a Toronto F# study group a couple of weeks ago at Toronto CodeCamp, and he’s holding the first meeting this Thursday, May 7th at 6:00 p.m. at the Dark Horse Cafe (215 Spadina Avenue). He says that in this first meeting, he wants to start talking about the study group itself and cover a few simple “getting started with F#” exercises.
There’s nothing like a taking up a new programming language to stretch your brain, and there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that functional programming concepts are the future. The F# Study Group is an opportunity to get started, and the Dark Horse is a pretty nice setting with great coffee.