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F# Now Supports Silverlight

| by Jonathan Allen Follow 7 Followers on Jun 07, 2010. Estimated reading time: less than one minute |

Slipped into the Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio release is F# for Silverlight 4. While C# or VB is still recommended for UI design, F# offers some interesting capabilities for the business tier, especially if it is heavy on computations or data processing logic.

The F# also has a PowerPack that brings in functionality that either is not ready or is not appropriate for the core release. This release doesn’t add new functionality but does allow the library to be used from Silverlight 3 and 4.

Features that can be found in the F# PowerPack include:

  • F#’s take on Lex and Yacc, including MSBuild support
  • SI unit of measure
  • Tagged immutable sets and maps
  • Matrix library and supporting math types

The F# PowerPack is available on CodePlex under the Microsoft Public License. In order to make developing pure F# applications easier with Silverlight, DmitryLomov has created a F# Silverlight Application template.

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Aync workflows is another useful feature by Faisal Waris

Silverlight forces all server interactions to be asynchronous.

With F# you can easily orchestrate such interactions via the async {} monad as mini workflows. There is even support for fork/join semantics.

The interesting part is that async code looks almost the same as synchronous code.

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