The Hejlsberg factor
Perhaps surprisingly, C# designer Anders Hejlsberg is an F# enthusiast, though he also plans to introduce functional features into C#. In a recent talk on programming futures, Hejlsberg said a functional programming language is easier to parallelize.
"I'm not running around modifying the state, and it doesn't matter how many threads there are because the state is safe to observe, and if two functions are independent they can be executed sequentially or in parallel and it doesn't matter ... [F#] is the first time we've seen integration of a functional programming language with an industrial-strength framework and toolset," he said.
Syme also is convinced that F# has a future that goes beyond financial analysis. He sees it as ideal for web programming, thanks to its use of lightweight "agents" that sit waiting to react to an event such as a network communication.
"We have a huge opportunity with F# to see the functional programming paradigm break out of the data-oriented kind of work, through to the modern world of web programming," he says.
The question: how to get that message through to Microsoft's marketing department? ®