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Microsoft Open Sources F#


Don Syme has announced the release of the F# compiler source code as a code drop under Apache 2.0

Don Syme, a Principal Researcher for Microsoft and currently involved in designing and implementing F#, has announced the release of the F# compiler and core library source code under the Apache 2.0 license. The code comes as a code drop included with other tools and libraries contained by the F# Power Pack and hosted on CodePlex.

The source code of the compiler was already available with previous F# releases but under Microsoft Research Shared Source License Agreement, allowing users to create derivative works but only for non-commercial purposes. The important change is that the source code is now under Apache 2.0, allowing commercial use of the software. But since it is a code drop, the users won’t have access to the main trunk, so they cannot enhance it, fix it, determine its future. Microsoft will continue to exercise full control over their releases.

Syme mentioned they will make available future F# code drops along with Visual Studio releases:

After some discussion, we’ve decided to do this via a “code drop” model, where we make available versions of the compiler+library code logically matching each release of the F# language itself. In the F# team, releases of F# are matched to coincide with releases of Visual Studio itself …

We expect to make matching code drops if/when service pack(s) of Visual Studio 2010 are released, though sometimes it may take a while for us to get that out the door.

One possible scenario of using the F# source code is to port it to the JVM. Another development to watch is to see where the Mono team is going to take it. Miguel de Icaza showed his interest in seeing F# open sourced under MS-PL.

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