Thursday, 17 May 2012

F# eye for the C# guy

On Tuesday night I drove to Cambridge to see F# eye for the C# guy given by Phil Trelford at Software East. I’ve always been intrigued by functional programming languages, but never really taken the plunge. I’ve worked with C# on a couple of contracts in the past, so thought this would be a great introduction. And it was.

Phil Trelford has a very unique and charismatic presenting style that would have made the material interesting even if it had been boring, which it wasn’t.  There were a few slides and then some code. I like code! The initial example was a demonstration of how you can reduce a 30+ line, simple C# class down to only half a dozen lines of F#. That was a nice opener and there were plenty more examples like that. F# is certainly a very concise language and therefore has a slight edge in terms of power over C#.

Was I inspired to install an F# compiler and get hacking? Honestly? Not in the slightest. It’s a horribly ugly language and not as expressive as I think it could be. I was inspired to think a bit more about Clojure and Scala though.


  1. Would be interested to hear why you think it is a "horribly ugly language and not as expressive as I think it could be".
    Anything in particular that makes you feel that way?

  2. I didn't find it aesthetically pleasing! It'ss expressive, in the same way LINQ is, in that you have to know what the operators mean and that I think is the hurdle I don't want to bother jumping yet.

  3. Interesting.
    Thanks for clarifying

  4. You can't possibly claim that scala code is more aesthetically pleasing than F#. Clojure is cleaner for sure.

  5. I didn't say F# was more aesthetically pleasing thank scala. It was an absolute statement, not a relitive one.