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Date: -- (:)
From: Don Syme <dsyme@m...>
Subject: [Caml-list] Those recent reports regarding F#
Dear Caml-list,

As one of my projects at Microsoft Research I have developed an
implementation of a subset of the OCaml language for the .NET platform.
This implementation is called F#, and also comes with some relatively
minor extensions to allow the programmer to access .NET libraries.

There have been some utterly speculative (and entirely off-the-mark!!)
internet press reports about this project in the last few days (e.g. see
internetnews.com).  As a result I thought it wise to add the following
clarification to the F# website and to post it to this list.

--------------
Clarification regarding recent press reports about F#:  Despite reports
suggesting otherwise, F# is a relatively small research project designed
to demonstrate that it is possible to easily implement ML-like languages
for use on the .NET Framework.  There are no current plans to
commercialize F#, and the source code for the F# compiler is due to be
published in June 2003. F# is public, on-going research, and Microsoft
Research regularly and openly collaborates with universities on
programming languages.  There has been a long tradition of implementing
ML-like languages within research laboratories as these have been widely
accepted as foundational languages for programming language research,
including the Caml project (encompassing both Caml-light and OCaml),
Moscow ML, Dependent ML and many other extensions to Standard ML. The
implementations have often proved useful in practice, and are good for
teaching the foundations of programming.
--------------

The best thing that I can see having come out of this is that ML-like
languages and OCaml in particular have been given an unexpected
publicity boost.  As you all know I think OCaml is a great programming
language and implementation, and if the fact that a small research group
at Microsoft Research takes this class of languages seriously somehow
helps their uptake then that's a very good thing in the long run.

Best wishes,
Don Syme
Microsoft Research,
Cambridge




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