The Microsoft-backed F# functional programming language is gaining traction, with the platform showing a meteoric year-over-year rise on the Tiobe Programming Community Index gauging language popularity.
Ranked 69th on the index a year ago, F# has risen to the 12th spot in this month's rankings, with a 1.216 percent rating. As the index headline notes, "F# is on its way to the Top 10."
Microsoft Research's F# page says the language is object-oriented and enables developers to write simple code to solve complex problems. "This simple and pragmatic language has particular strengths in data-oriented programming, parallel I/O programming, parallel CPU programming, scripting, and algorithmic development," Microsoft said. F# originated at Microsoft Research; the F# Software Foundation has been formed to advance the language. The Microsoft Cloud Platform Tools group technically is in charge of F#.
While a precise definition of a functional language has been subject to debate, these languages rely on mathematical functions. A Microsoft researcher has emphasized functional programming languages' immutable representation of data. Scala, ranked 42nd this month, also offers functional language capabilities. Java, which has toggled between the top two spots in the index, is adding functional capabilities with Java 8 in about two weeks, via lambda expressions.
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