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Foundations of F# (Expert's Voice in .NET) Hardcover – May 31, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1590597576 ISBN-10: 1590597575 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice in .NET
  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (May 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590597575
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590597576
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,214,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

More About the Author

I grew up in Rotherham in the north of England. At 18 I went to study computer science at Manchester University. I moved to London for my first Job and after a few years in there, I moved to France where I now live with wife Susan in the lovely town of St. Germain-en-Laye, just outside Paris.

Customer Reviews

I would never even have read it if there were more books outhere about F#.
Alla Komraz
Some of the time however, the combination of unexplained syntax and buggy code leaves me in a bit of a bind.
Rakesh Malik
This book includes functional, imperative and object oriented programming paradigms giving great samples.
Can Erten

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Rakesh Malik on July 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'm working through this, and even in the first chapter, I ran into quite a few errors. Some of the code does not compile as presented, and some examples use syntax that is not explained anywhere that I can find.

Obviously, that makes learning F# from this book much more difficult than it should be, but when the author takes the time to explain something, it is explained fairly well. When the examples work, they help to illustrate the point. Most of the time, I've been able to get the code to compile when there are errors in the code because of the explanation that goes with it. Some of the time however, the combination of unexplained syntax and buggy code leaves me in a bit of a bind.

This book could have been much better with a better proofreader.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Brad S. Williams on August 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For a reader who already knows some F#, I think this book could be helpful. In the 100-page language tutorial, it seems to give a wide (though necessarily shallow) coverage of the syntax and programming paradigms of F#. Since there is a lot to the language, many readers will find something new to consider here. Then there are several chapters of applied F#: extremely brief explanations and samples of an ASP.NET app, a WinForm app, etc, written in F#. I'm suspicious that these chapters would be very useful to anyone: to those new to .NET, there is really not enough information here to get oriented; to working .NET programmers (which must be the widest audience for this book) there's just very little to learn here.

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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By lew on September 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every computer programming book begins with "Hello World". This one, too. The only problem: "Hello World" program doesn't work. It generates cryptic message saying that some DLLs must be linked, but how linked?... God knows. It took me a week of detective work to figure it out that on page 307 there is compiler command that should be used. Now I am having next problem, and after a week of detective work still don't have solution.

It seems that F# is being developed faster than books are printed, and books are talking about version of language and tools than don't exist any more.

The same problems with other F# books...
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. Way on November 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The author may know what he's talking about but the book fails to communicate. aPress should have (at a minimum) had an editor translate the text into (readable) English.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Andrei Formiga on July 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Foundations of F# presents the F# language, a functional programming language that runs on the .NET platform. The language is from the ML family, mostly similar to OCaml, and is a functional language with a decidedly pragmatic orientation. It is a great tool for two kinds of people: 1) .NET programmers that want a more productive and expressive language, incorporating more recent advances in programming language technology; and 2) functional programmers that want a language that has many good libraries and can integrate effortlessly with a platform as widespread as .NET.

The book is clearly targeted to the first group, but is useful to people from the second one as well. The first six chapters present the language, and the three main paradigms it embodies: functional, imperative and object-oriented programming. Chapter 6 is a useful look at program structuring, covering modules, namespaces, annotations and quoting. The next chapters are devoted to libraries available to the F# programmer, including Windows Forms, Windows Presentation Foundation, ASP.NET, network programming, web services, and data access. This pretty much covers most of what's necessary in real applications. The examples show very well how to use the libraries from the .NET platform, even if you have never had contact with them. I guess these chapters will be the most heavily used in my copy of the book.

Then comes Chapter 11 on Language-Oriented Programming using F#: Metaprogramming and Domain-Specific Languages. Creating language processors is one of the main application areas for languages like F#, and this chapter is a good showcase for it. It covers lexer and parser generation, quotations and an interpreter for a little arithmetic language.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Seattle Reader on March 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Want an F# book by Pickering? Get his recent Beginning F# instead of this outdated one.

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!
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