F# samples and community resources

F# samples and community resources

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There are lots of resources available for learning more about F#.  In this blog post, I’ll call out some of the best jumping-off points for learning F# through samples, asking questions, and getting involved in the F# community.

Code Samples

There are a variety of places to get sample code in F#.  To begin, there’s the MSDN documentation for the language and the library.  Many of these individual topics have relevant code snippets.  For those seeking to learn more about the new language features of F# 3.0 (like queries and type providers), the F# 3.0 Sample Pack is another good resource, with quite a few snippets as well as some larger examples.  The MSDN walkthroughs have a number of longer end-to-end samples for scenarios like using type providers to connect with databases or web services.  And the online samples section in the Visual Studio ‘New Project’ Dialog (which I mentioned previously) has dozens more samples:

samples

(If you’re using VS2012, don’t be scared off by ‘2010’ in some of the titles; at the time of writing, all of the samples worked fine in VS2012 as well.)

Not everything has to be online, of course; for those looking to snuggle up with a printed book, this wiki answer on Stack Overflow has links to several published titles you can buy or borrow.  There are also many links to other F# community resources, including user groups, videos, and blogs.

Ask questions, get answers

Have a question about F#?  The community has answers!  You can ask on the MSDN F# forums, on Stack Overflow, or on FPish, all of which are great places to get fast, high-quality feedback or generate discussion.  As you learn more, you may find yourself on the ‘answering’ side of Q&A more often.  These sites are also opportunities to learn about what other folks are doing with F# and to share your own experiences.

Community code

The F# compiler and library source code is available online via the F# open-source code drop.  At the time of writing, the latest open-source release hasn’t even been available for a week, and already the F# community on GitHub has started to run with it.  For example, the fsharpx project (which I mentioned previously for a NuGet install of the PowerPack) already has more than a half-dozen interesting type provider samples available.  You can grab the code from (and perhaps contribute to!) these projects, or just consume them as NuGet packages.  In general, the F# projects on GitHub seem to be the current centralized home for people to contribute general useful F# libraries and samples.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of resources.  If you know some other great sites, books, blogs, etc, feel free to mention them in the comments, or add them to the Stack Overflow wiki question linked above!

Brian McNamara
Visual F# Developer

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  • Open sourcing f# is a very important move, even though I am not sure of the actual impact it has.

    I hear a lot of resistance to anything msft related because of previous bad experience linked to closed source software in general, and msft handling of it in particular. it is a lot of energy spent away from your platform.

    not judging / advising, just reporting.

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