- Hardcover: 388 pages
- Publisher: Springer; 1st ed. edition (2 Aug. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590597575
- ISBN-13: 978-1590597576
- Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2 x 25.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
1,259,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #608 in Books > Computers & Internet > Computer Science > Databases > Applications > Microsoft Access > Programming
- #1224 in Books > Computers & Internet > Computer Science > Programming > Microsoft Windows
- #2152 in Books > Computers & Internet > Computer Science > Programming > Software Design, Testing & Engineering > Software Architecture
- See Complete Table of Contents
Foundations of F# (Expert's Voice in .NET) Hardcover – 2 Aug 2011
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About the Author
Robert Pickering is an extraordinarily prolific writer on F#. The F# Wiki on his website, Strangelights.com, is among the most popular F# web sites in the world. He is a consultant for LexiFi, lives in France, and works on projects in England, Denmark, Holland, and Belgium. He received his bachelor of science degree in computer science from Manchester University in 1999.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
As much as I have enjoyed and learned from this book in the past 2.5 years, at this time I can only rate it one star, because the F# language has changed a lot since this book was published in 2007.
I Strongly Suggest: do not get this older F# book. Instead get a newer F# book.
Here are your new-enough choices on Amazon today:
Smith Programming F#: A comprehensive guide for writing simple code to solve complex problems (Animal Guide)
Syme Expert F# 2.0 (The Definitive Guide)
Pickering Beginning F#
Petricek Real World Functional Programming: With Examples in F# and C#
and lastly a pre-order-only until June 30: Neward Professional F# 1.0
F# is much newer than many programming languages, for example Python. At this point in Python's history, if you wanted to study Python, you could get by with a book on Python 2.x, rather than a book on current Python 3.x - in fact a lot of shops are still using Python 2.x
But nobody is using F# 1.x anymore! And here in the year 2010 you will hit many more difficulties learning F# from an old F# 1.x book than you would learning Python from an old Python 2.x book.
This old book is based on early versions of F# 1.x - get a newer book unless you can find this old one for cheap on a remainder table.
My suggestion applies to all F# books: avoid the old ones unless they are on sale for really, really cheap. Specifically: Pay regular price for any F# book published after October 1, 2009. Anything older, pay only a wicked cheap price.
Today June 7, 2010 I received my pre-ordered copy of the new Don Syme F# 2.0 book Expert F# 2.0 (The Definitive Guide). A good day.
I really appreciated the high density of programming examples and the detailed explanations that generally followed.
In general, I only have two complaints about the book:
1) While the book demonstrates the syntax well-enough, I don't believe it emphasizes enough on functional programming style, such as how to replace Java-like design patterns with functional programming techniques. As a result, most programmers without prior functional programming experience will end up writing C#/Java code in an F# syntax.
Its hard to sell a language without showing how it helps programmers write complicated applications more effectively. (Perhaps design patterns are outside the scope of this book?)
2) The book is not accessible to beginners. I've been programming for 10 years, and it took some effort on my part to keep up with the pace of the book. A beginner would not be able to learn F# as their first programming language from this book.
The best reason to buy this book is to keep up with the continuing evolution of programming languages. C# 2.0 has generics (parametric polymorphism), true closures, and allows programmers to pass functions as first-order parameters to other functions. C# 3.0 introduces type inference, lambda functions, LINQ (analogous to list comprehensions), etc. However, functional programming in C# is awkward and verbose. If you want to write functional applications, you'll do yourself a favor by using a real functional language like F#.
I would recommend buying this book if you want to supplement your programming skills with a beautiful and expressive language, although you may want to supplement it with books on Haskell and ML to get the most out of functional programming as a whole.
*getting a feel for the language
*showing how to do real tasks (WPF, WCF and ASP.Net being the most common nowadays)
*showing how to interoperate with the rest of the world (languages "out there" need to play nice with libraries and other languages)
This book does all this with great explanations and sufficient detail.
Just one warning: the F# language is a moving target, so a few minor differences here and there will definitely be encountered, due to the changes in the language. Also, learning a new language like F# is a wonderful experience, even for those programmers who will not use it: the benefit to one's abilities for reasoning about code will be immediately evident; this said, functional languages are harder to learn for mainstream programmers who expect the next C/C#/Java/Python clone...
And this just to make the hello world examples in beginning of the book. I think they could update their sourcecode of their website or make exakt installation description of extra modules. Now you cant use the source code on the website and you have to figure out what to replace their function with instead. Should you replace print_endline with System.Console.Write(String) instead or?
No more books from Apress until they fix this.
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.
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