F# 2.0 Runtime/VS 2010/.NET 4 RC now available for MSDN subscribers

MSDN subscribers yesterday were given the ability to download the release candidate (RC) of Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.  The suite of downloads includes the F# 2.0 Runtime. One piece left out of the RC version is Silverlight 4.  So if you are developing with Silverlight 4, keep working with Beta 2.  According to ScottGu’s blog, there will be a Silverlight 4 tools refresh soon.
If you plan on installing the RC, make sure to uninstall Beta 2 first using the Programs and Features control panel.
If you aren’t an MSDN subscriber, you should be able to download a copy from Microsoft’s web site tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010.)

F# 2.0 Runtime

If you download the F# 2.0 Runtime and install it by itself it only includes the FSharp.Core.dll.  In MSDN subscription downloads it is labeled "Visual Studio 2010 FSharp 2.0 Runtime RC (x86) – (English)" and is installed by default in the GAC and at:
C:Program Files (x86)Reference AssembliesMicrosoftFSharp2.0Runtime
There are two subdirectories created:
C:Program Files (x86)Reference AssembliesMicrosoftFSharp2.0Runtimev2.0
C:Program Files (x86)Reference AssembliesMicrosoftFSharp2.0Runtimev4.0
Note that the second directory (v4.0) will only be created if you have .NET Framework 4 installed.

F# Interactive (FSI.exe)

The F# 2.0 Runtime does not include the F# Interactive console (FSI.exe), so if you want the FSI, you need to either wait until the F# 2.0 tools are released separately or install Visual Studio 2010 Professional, Premium, or Ultimate.  Below is a screen capture of the F# Interactive built into VS2010 Ultimate:

F# Compiler (FSC.exe)

The F# Compiler is not included with the .NET 4 full framework labeled ".NET Framework 4 Full RC (x86 and x64) – (English)" in MSDN downloads.  Only VBC.exe, CSC.exe, and JSC.exe (VB, C#, and JScript compilers).  If you want the F# compiler, you must download Visual Studio Professional, Premium, or Ultimate.  When I installed VS2010 Ultimate on Windows 7 Enterprise 64bit it placed the FSC.exe compiler and FSI.exe interactive into C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft F#v4.0 as you can see below:

F# 2010 Express

Unfortunately, there are no plans to include an F# Express edition for Visual Studio 2010.  The express editions for 2010 are:
  • Visual Basic 2010 Express
  • Visual Web Developer 2010 Express
  • Visual C# 2010 Express
  • Visual C++ 2010 Express
Remember, that this is a Release Candidate and things may change slightly with the final release.  Don’t expect much change though, since this release is fairly stablized.  One thing you can probably expect different in the final release will be the inclusion of Silverlight 4.

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