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Re: F# based on OCaml?

Unless something new has happened, this isn't really (new) news.
Microsoft research has commissioned a number of different language
ports to .NET to test it and to promote .NET as a general-purpose
platform that plays well with many languages and paradigms.  F# is a
port of OCAML with some extensions for better interfacing with other
.NET components.  The columnist's description of it as a blending of
ML, C#, and Java seems a little misleading.  I think that in general
the article suffers because the author seems a little under-informed
about functional languages.

I read a report by Mark Hammond who did a prototype port of Python
to .NET which was also sponsored by Microsoft:


Much like the Java VM, the .NET CLR suffers somewhat from being too
closely tied to C#.  VB.NET raised a lot of complaints that it
was too different from previous versions of VB: it was basically C#
with some VB syntax.  The Python port gives a similar impression.  I
think F# is OCAML with some necessary C# ideas mixed in to make it
play with the rest of the CLR.

I don't think Microsoft has any intention of marketing F# as a new
language, or even taking it beyond the research stage.  It's an
interesting project, but the extremetech article and the slashdot
reference kind of plucked it randomly out of a number of comparable
projects.  I'd be careful about reading too much into it.  For a
list of a few other .NET language implementations see:


- Russ

On Fri, May 23, 2003 at 09:36:12AM -0400, Kevin Kelleher wrote:
> I just saw this on Slashdot:  Microsoft is coming out with a
> new language called F#, based on OCaml and C#.
> http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,1102795,00.asp
> -- 
> Kevin Kelleher <kkell@znet.com>