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Foundations of F# (Expert's Voice in .NET) [Hardcover]

Robert Pickering
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

30 May 2007 1590597575 978-1590597576

Functional programming (FP) is the future of .NET programming, and F# is much more than just an FP language. Every professional .NET programmer needs to learn about FP, and there's no better way to do it than by learning F#, and no easier way to learn F# than from Foundations of F#.

If you're already familiar with FP, youll find F# the language youve always dreamed of. All .NET programmers will find F# an exciting real-world alternative to C# and Visual Basic. This book is likely to have many imitators, but few true competitors. Written by F# evangelist Rob Pickering, and tech reviewed by F#'s main designer, Don Syme, this is an elegant, comprehensive introduction to all aspects of the language and an incisive guide to using F# for real-world professional development. F# is the future of programming (not just on .NET), and the future is now.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. How to Obtain, Install, and Use F#
  3. Functional Programming
  4. Imperative Programming
  5. Object-Oriented Programming
  6. Organizing, Annotating, and Quoting Code
  7. F# Libraries
  8. User Interfaces
  9. Data Access
  10. Distributed Applications
  11. Language-Oriented Programming
  12. The F# Tool Suite and .NET Programming Tools
  13. Compatibility and Advanced Interoperation

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: APRESS ACADEMIC (30 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590597575
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590597576
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 18.9 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 803,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Robert Pickering is an extraordinarily prolific writer on F#. His F# Wiki
on his Strangelights.com website is among the most popular F# websites in
the world. He is a consultant for Avanade, lives in France, and works on
projects in England, Denmark, Holland, and Belgium. He received his B.Sc.
in Computer Science from Manchester University in 1999.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 5 July 2011
Format:Hardcover
More reading to do on yet another operating language, but its very well written and a fine example of how a manual should be written, PLAIN ENGLISH, not geek speak, take note authors.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Foundations of F# 7 Jun 2007
Format:Hardcover
This book is an excellent way to start programming F# in the .NET framework. The author guides you by example how to write and think the way of functional programming; it is fully detailed with explanations of how and why it is done this way.

The book gives you all the information you need from scratch on how to obtain and install the necessary compilers for several operating systems. Apart from the tutorial examples the author also gives some insight on how this new programming language might develop for future use in real world applications and some past examples that were used.

I fully recommend this book to new programmers that want to code in a different style to imperative programming.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have book in your bookshelf about F# 13 Aug 2007
Format:Hardcover
"Foundations of F#" is a great introductory book for F# with some advanced samples. For those who are unfamiliar with functional programming, this book gives the notions of functional programming in all aspects while giving samples in the greatest platform with great language F#.

This book includes functional, imperative and object oriented programming paradigms giving great samples. Robert Pickering also focuses to the imperative programmers by giving the usage differences in F#. He introduces a wide range F# data structures from simple arrays to quotations with great explanations.

This book gives a lot of information on .NET Framework including the latest additions .NET Framework 3.0 and 3.5. Samples with LINQ and Windows Presentation Foundation fulfil this area. If you are unfamiliar with .NET Framework, don't worry this book gives what you need to know about .NET framework in many different areas including network programming, web programming, database programming, and windows programming with clear and explanatory samples using relevant screenshots. The samples are unique and useful, it's not the examples that you can find on the web, and it's more specialised and focused on techniques specific to F#

Personally I most liked Language Oriented Programming chapter which gives very specific features and usage tricks to F# to make the most of the language. It's a must have book in your bookshelf if you are interested in functional programming on .NET Framework
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Balance 3 Aug 2007
Format:Hardcover
You only have to see the name of the author and the name of the technical reviewer to rightfully expect a great introduction to programming F sharp. Although I do not have a solid background in the .net environment, with this book, I am quickly becoming more accustomed to the libraries and at the same time, being able to apply my knowledge of ocaml to personal projects like rss feeds, word analysis of web sites and a mini language for writing database driven sites. There are excellent insights to the strengths of what surely will prove to be a powerful combination of a fantastic powerful functional language coupled with arguable the most powerful windows programming framework around. Well done. I look forward to progressing to Don Symes' Expert F#
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Amazon.com: 3.1 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Buggy and needs work 3 July 2007
By Rakesh Malik - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I'm working through this, and even in the first chapter, I ran into quite a few errors. Some of the code does not compile as presented, and some examples use syntax that is not explained anywhere that I can find.

Obviously, that makes learning F# from this book much more difficult than it should be, but when the author takes the time to explain something, it is explained fairly well. When the examples work, they help to illustrate the point. Most of the time, I've been able to get the code to compile when there are errors in the code because of the explanation that goes with it. Some of the time however, the combination of unexplained syntax and buggy code leaves me in a bit of a bind.

This book could have been much better with a better proofreader.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Functional but frustrating 22 Aug 2007
By Brad S. Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For a reader who already knows some F#, I think this book could be helpful. In the 100-page language tutorial, it seems to give a wide (though necessarily shallow) coverage of the syntax and programming paradigms of F#. Since there is a lot to the language, many readers will find something new to consider here. Then there are several chapters of applied F#: extremely brief explanations and samples of an ASP.NET app, a WinForm app, etc, written in F#. I'm suspicious that these chapters would be very useful to anyone: to those new to .NET, there is really not enough information here to get oriented; to working .NET programmers (which must be the widest audience for this book) there's just very little to learn here.

Now, as someone completely new to F#, I found reading this book consistently frustrating. While the author obviously knows the subject, the presentation is not very accessible. The main problems I see are: (1) example code usually *follows* its explanation, which just confounds me why an author would do this; and (2) the prose is hard to read, containing tedious explanations of syntax, and an odd over-use of the second-person "you" when walking through an example that I found disorienting.

Ultimately I spent a lot of time feeling frustrated trying to figure out what the author was saying, and wondering why it wasn't said more clearly. Judging from the sample chapters of Don Syme's book on his blog, I know that F# can be made accessible to the beginner. This book needed more editing to get there.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Every computer book begins with "Hallo World"... 5 Sep 2008
By lew - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Every computer programming book begins with "Hello World". This one, too. The only problem: "Hello World" program doesn't work. It generates cryptic message saying that some DLLs must be linked, but how linked?... God knows. It took me a week of detective work to figure it out that on page 307 there is compiler command that should be used. Now I am having next problem, and after a week of detective work still don't have solution.

It seems that F# is being developed faster than books are printed, and books are talking about version of language and tools than don't exist any more.

The same problems with other F# books...
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Get an edit! 24 Nov 2007
By R. Way - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The author may know what he's talking about but the book fails to communicate. aPress should have (at a minimum) had an editor translate the text into (readable) English.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for .NET programmers that want to learn an exciting functional language 20 July 2007
By Andrei Formiga - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Foundations of F# presents the F# language, a functional programming language that runs on the .NET platform. The language is from the ML family, mostly similar to OCaml, and is a functional language with a decidedly pragmatic orientation. It is a great tool for two kinds of people: 1) .NET programmers that want a more productive and expressive language, incorporating more recent advances in programming language technology; and 2) functional programmers that want a language that has many good libraries and can integrate effortlessly with a platform as widespread as .NET.

The book is clearly targeted to the first group, but is useful to people from the second one as well. The first six chapters present the language, and the three main paradigms it embodies: functional, imperative and object-oriented programming. Chapter 6 is a useful look at program structuring, covering modules, namespaces, annotations and quoting. The next chapters are devoted to libraries available to the F# programmer, including Windows Forms, Windows Presentation Foundation, ASP.NET, network programming, web services, and data access. This pretty much covers most of what's necessary in real applications. The examples show very well how to use the libraries from the .NET platform, even if you have never had contact with them. I guess these chapters will be the most heavily used in my copy of the book.

Then comes Chapter 11 on Language-Oriented Programming using F#: Metaprogramming and Domain-Specific Languages. Creating language processors is one of the main application areas for languages like F#, and this chapter is a good showcase for it. It covers lexer and parser generation, quotations and an interpreter for a little arithmetic language. The final chapter covers details about how to use the F# tools and is mostly for reference purposes.

Overall, it's a good book for people new to functional programming and/or the .NET platform. It has many examples to present the main aspects not only of the language, but also of its enviroment (.NET). It doesn't go very deep into most of the topics; I would have liked more about quotations, reflection and metaprogramming, for instance. But then, it's not an advanced book, so it was to be expected. The advanced book on F#, Expert F# (Expert), is about to be published.
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