Announcing the F# 3.1 Compiler/Library Code Drop (from the Visual F# Tools Team at Microsoft)

The Microsoft Visual F# team are pleased to announce the availability of our code drop of an F# 3.1 compiler, library and tests.

This code drop corresponds to the release of the Visual F# Tools for F# 3.1 as part of Visual Studio 2013. We have also recently released some great new samples showing the unique power of F#.

F# is an open, cross-platform language and you can read testimonials about how F# is used in the software industry at the pages of the F# Software Foundation, a major community organization for the F# language.

The Visual F# Tools team at Microsoft contribute to F# through enterprise-ready tooling in Visual Studio 2013. We recommend the Visual F# Tools as the best, most productive and highly stable route for functional-first programming in the Windows ecosystem.   You can find out more about functional-first programming in industry in the recent talk Succeeding With Functional First Programming in Industry at NDC Oslo, and at the excellent website F# for Fun and Profit (external link). You can also learn F# in your browser using Try F#.

Functional-first programming is a general-purpose programming technique represented by langauges such as Clojure, Scala, Haskell, F#, OCaml and is particularly suited to analytical programming tasks such as calculation engines, data-science programming, ETL pipelines and general data-manipulation. While these problems can be solved using other programming paradigms, they are particularly amenable to functional-first programming. Functional-first programming uses functional programming as the initial paradigm for most purposes, but employs other techniques such as object-oriented programming and state manipulation as necessary.   

If your organization decides to invest in functional-first programming, then we recommend you use the Visual F# Tools from Microsoft.

The F# community contribute a range of tools for use with F#. Some incorporate F# language tooling and can be UI tools such as code visualizers, editing tools, or new ways of executing, hosting or interpreting F# code, or indeed whole new F# editing experiences.   For example, the following F#-related tools are made by the F# community (some are commercial, some are open):

These and others make F# programming available for a broad range of situations, including many not covered by the Visual F# Tools from Microsoft.

Other libraries and tools contributed to F# include:

and:

If you want to use F# 3.1 today on Windows, you should use one of the installations of Visual Studio 2013 available at the F# MSDN Developer Center. For free Visual F# tools for Windows you should currently continue to use F# 3.0 in the Visual Studio 2012 F# web tools (we are actively pursuing an F# 3.1 update for this). 

If you would like to join the F# Community and help improve F# tooling and across multiple platforms, you can join the discussion group. The F# community do most development on GitHub – they take the code drops of the Visual F# Tools team from CodePlex and incorporate them into the GitHub repository.

This source code drop is under the Apache 2.0 license and a reference copy is published on CodePlex. It has already been integrated into the fsharp_31 branch of the primary repository of the F# community on GitHub.

As this release is a code drop, it does not contain binaries for the release.

Enjoy!

The Visual F# Tools team