Scott Hanselman

Hanselminutes Podcast 96 - Starting Small with F# with Dustin Campbell

January 15, 2008 Comment on this post [4] Posted in ASP.NET | Learning .NET | Microsoft | Podcast | Programming
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My ninety-sixth podcast is up. This episode was recorded at CodeMash in Ohio last week. Dustin Campbell is a lead developer at DevExpress working on CodeRush and "Refactor!" He's also a gifted teacher and gave a great session on F# at CodeMash so I know I wanted to get him on the show. He's only been working with F# for less than a six months, but his grasp of the historical context that F# should be placed in and knack for explaining it made his a great talk.

In the vein of becoming a better programmer by reading more code, Dustin suggests that we improve our C# by borrowing concepts from F#. Be sure to check out his blog and his list of resources on F#.

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Check out their UI Suite of controls for ASP.NET. It's very hardcore stuff. One of the things I appreciate about Telerik is their commitment to completeness. For example, they have a page about their Right-to-Left support while some vendors have zero support, or don't bother testing. They also are committed to XHTML compliance and publish their roadmap. It's nice when your controls vendor is very transparent.

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Enjoy. Who knows what'll happen in the next show?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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January 15, 2008 1:31
I thought of this during the show when you guys were talking about Linked Lists...but I'd love to hear you talk/blog about this library:

Just a thought.
January 15, 2008 3:57
> Dustin suggests that we improve our C# by borrowing concepts from F#

I'm not sure I'll be terribly confident going too crazy-functional with C# until the compiler supports tail recursion optimization. From what I've read, this is currently supported only by the .NET JITter, and only in the scenario that you are running on, and compiled targeting, a 64-bit architecture.
January 17, 2008 14:34
Hi Scott and thank you for a wonderful show.

Haskell does have support for mutable variables in the libraries, but not in the language. There are IORef (mutable variable in the IO monad) and TVar (mutable variable in the STM monad). TVars are synchronized whereas IORefs are not.

It is also possible to program in an imperative style in Haskell, using the do-notation for monads. Though, programming in Haskell using only TVars or IORefs and this imperative style is not recommended ("the toilet bowl with the water, pull..." in French), so I do believe that Dustin's opinion that F# is more flexible than Haskell is correct, also because Haskell is a pure functional language.
January 17, 2008 23:03
Gustaf - Great information, thanks for sharing it!

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.