Parallel and Asynchronous Programming with F#

Next week on Monday, December 7th at 6:30 PM, I will be giving a talk on "Parallel and Asynchronous Programming with F#" for the F# User Group at the Microsoft NERD Center at 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA on the 10th floor.  Everyone is welcome, so please come for free pizza, functional coding, and a few handouts courtesy of Jim O’Neil of Microsoft.  I will be handing out T-Shirts and two of the new O’Reilly "Programming F#" books by Chris Smith.
Please come with your laptops to experiment with our theories and techniques for parallel programming with F# and bring your own experiments and programs to share with the group.
I will be demonstrating some of the new features built into Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 for visualizing concurrency.  Dubbed the "Concurrency Visualizer" we will look at the CPU View, Threads View, and Cores View.  Plus we will explore various ways to approach parallel programming using F# and .NET 4.0.

3 thoughts on “Parallel and Asynchronous Programming with F#

  1. Great question Varun. I have not begun to put the two together, since I’ve been focusing on them separately. I don’t see any obvious benefit. It basically boils down to maintainability in my opinion. SharePoint solutions often require a ton of knowledge in a wide range of topics: records management, taxonomy, search, SharePoint API, ASP.NET, JavaScript, CSS, SQL Server, etc… Adding one more technology in the mix may be too much to ask for your typical SharePoint solution. But there may be edge cases where it makes a ton of sense to leverage F# to build components used by the SharePoint developers. I often think of the XBox TrueSkill case study where F# was used for this mission critical component of the XBox Live ecosystem. See, if your solution can leverage F# to solve a specific problem in your SharePoint project more elegantly than C# or VB, and your company/customer has the expertise on staff to maintain the F# code, then it may be the best choice. You must weigh all of the factors. One advantage to F# is that it will be baked into Visual Studio 2010, and literally all developers who use Visual Studio will have the ability to use it without downloading any extensions, thus it is more supportable. Because it will be much more accessible, F# has the potential to have a larger developer base to support it. Functional programming has been getting more attention, and functional programming is on the rise. Only the future will tell.

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