Inside F#

Brian's thoughts on F# and .NET

What will F# deliver?

Posted by Brian on March 22, 2008

I’m happy to see a number of people blogging about F# when I search the web these days, but I haven’t seen anything posted about our concrete plans since this post five months ago which declared that

We will be partnering with Don Syme and others in Microsoft Research to fully integrate the F# language into Visual Studio and continue innovating and evolving F#.  In my mind, F# is another first-class programming language on the CLR.

So I thought I would post a minor update regarding our plans.  No dates are firm, but our intention is to have a CTP release (Community Technology Preview) some time this summer.  Nothing is set in stone, but the main features I think are most likely to be in the CTP are:

  • Runtime components:
    • 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
  • Design-time components (Visual Studio 2008 integration):
    • 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

This is roughly on par with what you can currently download in the F# research release.  Though there will be some feature improvements, a lot of the work we have now involves driving up the product quality by fixing bugs and usability issues.  (Thanks to everyone who has already given us feedback through fsbugs@microsoft.com.)

So stay tuned in to the blogs of those on the F# product team (which I linked to in a prior post) for more info about all aspects of F# and our plans for deliverables in the coming months.  :)

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2 Responses to “What will F# deliver?”

  1. Nada said

    Will the CTP be available for Visual Studio 2005? Or will Visual Studio 2008 be required?Thanks.

  2. Brian said

    The CTP will require VS 2008 (either any non-"Express" version, or just the VS integrated shell, which is a free download).

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