F# is a research project from Microsoft Research. It is not a Microsoft product. All opinions are my own. All content is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
I'm pleased to announce that a major new release of F# is now available (now version 188.8.131.52 after some minor updates and fixes). This is the second major release in the version 1.0 release cycle, after the "preview" release in December. New features include Intellisense in the Visual Studio integration, CodeSense (on-the-fly type checking), PatternTips and MethodTips. The MLLib library of functional programming constructs has been expanded to include vectors, streams, further numeric types and systematic conversion functions to allow you to relate F# collections to the .NET collection abstractions. Numerous other improvements have been made to the language, compiler and tools, as documented in the change log.
New samples and tutorials have been included, including Jack Palevich's port of three DirectX tutorials, and samples such as symbolic differentiation.
Although F# is a research language implementation, it aims to be a quality environment for the kind of large-scale symbolic programming commonly used to implement verification, analysis, optimization and transformation applications. It is especially suited to situations where these programs require direct access to high-quality GUI, networking, data and graphics libraries as provided by .NET, and where some components may be written in other .NET languages such as C#. It is also an excellent general purpose mixed imperative/functional programming language, suitable for authoring complex imperative and concurrent applications. It combines ML-style type inference and orthogonal language constructs with the tools, runtime and libraries of the .NET Framework. F# programs can also be run on other CLI implementations such as Mono (though compilation must currently be performed on Windows x86). F# has a core language similar to that of OCaml's, and with care code can be written that cross-compiles on both systems.
Known issues with this release, updated 02/02/2005 (nearly all related to using VS 2003)