I've just arrived in Barcelona, for TechEd Developers. What an event! First, on the product side, there are just so many great things going on: Visual Studio 2008 is on show, the Microsoft Sync Framework has been announced, the ultra-cool Popfly shows how non-traditional development can be on the client side, as well as the host of booths, talks and posters here. The upcoming launch of Visual Studio 2008 will bring LINQ and all the C# 3.0 goodness to the masses, uch of which forms important background to F# itself. [ For those wondering, Visual Studio 2008 will not include F#: things don't move that fast anywhere! We will of course be making F# available as an add on to that release. :-) ]
These events are sort of like a developer world equivalent of TechFest for Microsoft Research. One especially useful thing for me is that we have a lot of people from Microsoft in Redmond over, and it's always great to see them. Mahesh Prakriya is on the DLR team and we were having a really interesting chat about some possible directions for F# in this context: with F# moving forward as a first class language within Visual Studio it becomes even more interesting to continue to smooth out the path between the dynamic and static spaces: so far we've addressed most of this in the context of static typing alone, though there are also places for looking beyond this via the DLR services. Jim Hugunin also recently visited us at Microsoft Research in Camridge and we had some great discussions in this area.
Since we're just ramping up with the F# team we've only got a light presence for F# this year. My first talk here is TLA045: Parallel and Asynchronous Functional Progrmming on .NET with F# on Friday. The structure of the talk reflects the structure of F# itself at the moment: I'll be showing some introductory F# programming, since many people will be unfamiliar with the language, but I'll also be looking at more advanced aspects coming out of the research we've been doing this year and out of leveraging libraries such as PLINQ and ParallelFX. Just after this I'll be in a panel session on Parallel, Asynchronous and Reactive programming with Claudio Russo, Joe Duffy and Robert Pickering entitled TLA09-IS The Near Future of Programming is All About Concurrency. Coming to Joe Duffy's talk, my own and Claudio Russo's is recommended for the panel session. Tomas Petricek is also running an F# poster at the ask-the-experts sessions.
If you'd like to meet up at TechEd, drop me a comment or message below, and look forward to seeing you here!