F# – a test of functional programming


Recently I have started learning about dynamic programming languages and functional programming. I chose two languages to learn dynamic programming – Ruby and Python. While dynamic programming is not completely new to me, as I have developed apps on JavaScript and VB, but I was not aware of the fundamentals of dynamic programming at that point of time. But I would admit that learning and playing with Ruby and Python have been a fun.

On the other hand functional programming is a complete new thing for me. I have always coded and developed solutions and applications using static languages like C#, C++, Java and VB.NET. Though lately C#, specially in C# 3.0 there have been lot of inclusion of functional programming. Recently I planned to learn F# which is a pure functional programming language developed by MS Research. I downloaded F# from the MS Research site (http://research.microsoft.com/fsharp/release.aspx) and the installation experience was all smooth.

Before sharing the installation experience here’re couple of links for functional programming and F# –

I installed the Jan 23, 2008 release of F# (Version 1.9.3.14) from the following URL – http://research.microsoft.com/research/downloads/Details/7ac148a7-149b-4056-aa06-1e6754efd36f/Details.aspx  

Clicking the Run button displays the welcome screen of the install wizard

Clicking the next button as usual displays the EULA page of the wizard.

After accepting the EULA, the select destination folder page of the wizard is shown. I kept the default which is C:\Program Files\FSharp-1.9.3.14\. The installation requires Admin Rights, so the UAC dialog is shown in Vista.
(Notes: This is not required for installing Python & Ruby).
Once the installation is complete the finish page of the wizard is shown.

Once the installation is done, it adds new menus is Start menu

Here’s the first program that i wrote in F# Interactive (FSI) console –

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