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F#: What to Expect from It in the Near Future?

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In recent posts, Brian McNamara and Don Syme, of the F# research team, have shed some light on their plans for the near future. According to Don Syme's blog post on productization the F#, the team is planning an April update to the Microsoft Research Release of F#. The release will:

  • Contain over 100 bug fixes and feature completions to the core F# language.
  • Address some language design issues that we'd been putting off for some time
  • Be matched by a draft of the F# Language Specification

Brian McNamara has revealed the intention to create a CTP release some time during this summer. The main features to be included in the release will be:

  • fsc.exe, the compiler that knows the F# language
  • fsi.exe, the interactive command environment
  • the F# libraries (usual stuff, ranging from immutable lists to asynchronous computations library)
  • an msbuild task which lets you build an F# ".fsproj" project from the command line

There is work in progress on integrating F# with the Visual Studio development environment, and will be working either with the free of charge Visual Studio Shell, or the Visual Studio 2008. For that purpose, F# will contain the following components:

  • F# language service, which provides syntax highlighting, intellisense, tooltips, etc.
  • F# project system, which enables you to add/remove .fs files, reference dlls, etc.
  • F# interactive window, where fsi is hosted inside Visual Studio

The current RC is F# 1.9.3 with its latest update released on January 18, 2008.

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