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Beginning F# (Expert's Voice in .NET)
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
All the F# books out there are puzzle pieces in the F# jigsaw puzzle; hence they all have a unique role to play in the milieu.

This book is the most tutorial, and it covers the topic pretty thoroughly (even monads and continuations are touched on).

This book is also the most ecumenical (as of this writing). That is to say, it is not Microsoft-centric: it also caters to those coming from the Unix world and those using Mono.

Even if you don't consider yourself a beginner, you're likely to benefit from reading this book cover to cover (and for me that includes reading the legalese, the index, and the advertisements: everything!).

Sometimes Robert will draw attention to what might seem like a trivial point; but he's actually citing a representative point, and trying to instill in the reader an intuitive understanding of the design philosophy behind F#.

This book even covers quotations, compilation, interpreters, parsers, and the gestalt of language oriented programming (wherein domain specific languages are crafted as a way to control complexity). These important topics might seem pretty intense for a beginner's book, but they are presented in the same tutorial fashion that basic concepts are presented with. This is arguably the most accessible presentation of F#, and is based on one of the first books to come out.

Sometimes people try to do too much too fast, without having learned the basics first. That can be a recipe for frustration that might result in failing to stay the course. This book was often just what the (proverbial) doctor ordered for me, during such times of frustration. I'm very grateful for this book, and for Robert's helpfulness.

There are code samples in this book that are real gems of great value. It will take me years to fully digest all the great information this book has to offer.

Thanks Robert!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book demands a lot of the reader. One of the first things you learn about F# is that (in common with many other functional languages) it does type inference from context. In this book, the reader is left to do feature inference from examples. The author introduces many or most important constructs in examples without explanation, and leaves the reader is left to guess about them. I've read thru page 60 and still haven't seem a coherent explanation of something so simple and basic as F# syntax, a decent definition of lists and sequences and the differences between them, Printf formatting characters, and much much more.

I find this annoying. Nonetheless, in the author's defense, I freely admit that using no resources other than this book, I'm learning to write simple F# programs and get them to run. So I'm learning F#. I just don't _feel_ like I'm learning it.

I give this book 5 stars for effectiveness but 1 star for the frustration factor. This averages 3.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I haven't made it all the way through the book yet, but, what I have made it through treats the F# basics well. The author goes into good detail covering the subject. One must understand that the F# language is basically aimed at functional programming, one can do imparative programming in the language such as the way you program in visual basic or C#, but, the language is primarily aimed at the functional side which requires one to think a little differently about: 1. the way you program, 2. the logic used in programming. It is my hope that this helps anyone who wants to try the language as I did. The kind of programming I do doesn't lend itself well to this style.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
this book is good for learning the f# syntax and features but knowing only object oriented programming it doesn't really teach you how to program functionally which is the reason i bought this book i'm going to try Real World Functional Programming: With Examples in F# and C# to see if that help an OOP learn functional programming better.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have yet to finish this book, as i've been too busy. but from the first quarter of the book that I have read; it was well written for people who have never been introduced to Functional programming. you still need some background in other programming types, as this does not feel like a intro language, like a VB or C# would be.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
I found this F# book a useful resource while learning F#.

Incidentally, I gave just one star to Pickering's older F# book, but only for the reason that his older book is replaced by this newer one. Why Apress didn't leave the title the same and call this newer one the second edition is beyond me.
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