Microsoft releases F# under open source license

The source code for the F# functional programming language was previously available under a Microsoft shared-source license

Microsoft has released into full open source the code of its functional programming language, called F#.

The company has made version 2.0 of F# compiler and core library available under an Apache 2.0 open source license, according to a blog item posted by Don Syme, a Microsoft principal researcher who developed and maintains the code.

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"This release reinforces the commitment Microsoft are making to F#," Syme wrote.

Formerly, the code was available under a Microsoft shared-source license, and the binary, or ready-to-run, versions have been free for downloading for some time, either as a stand-alone package or as a plug-in to Microsoft Visual Studio. With the release, the development team will move to what they call the "code drop" model, in which new versions of compiler library code will be released along with new releases of the language itself. The code is made available as part of the F# PowerPack.

F# is a functional programming language. Programs written in functional languages are different from most procedural languages, such as Java, in that they are written as a series of mathematical functions. Although widely considered to be more efficient than standard procedural languages, traditional functional languages, such as Haskell and OCaml, have gained a reputation for being difficult to use. F# updates the traditional functional paradigm by adding in modern programming concepts such as object oriented programming,

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's email address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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