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Foundations of F# (Expert's Voice in .NET) 2007th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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...
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.Read more ›
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!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When presenting a new language like F#, one must address the biggest problems associated with it:
*getting a feel for the language
*showing how to do real tasks (WPF, WCF... Read more
All the examples in the beginning use functions like print_endline print_string. They are used everywhere. These functions seem not part be a part of the F# core anymore. Read morePublished on December 6, 2009 by Patrik Lindstrom
.. like Chris Smith's book. Go get that.
This book is OK, but has some major issues.
For one thing it was written about an early version of F#. Read more
Examples are not explained well and need additional libraries to import.
The book in general is very hard to read. Read more
Some reviewers say other books are more gentle towards the beginner, but honestly in my case it has been the opposite. Read morePublished on October 1, 2008 by Steven B.
Overall I think this was a good book. It served it's purpose well, and even goes through how to create a lot of objects using the programming language. Read morePublished on July 8, 2008 by Nick W
Foundations is geared toward IT professionals who want to get up to speed on F# quickly. In general, I found the organization of the book and the presentation of F# syntax very... Read morePublished on June 10, 2008 by Juliet R