F# - Marching Towards Top 10 Programming Languages

by HSG on Apr 09, 2014 in Articles from Software Fans

F#, which is usually pronounced as F sharp is one of the newly launched and rapidly developing programming languages.  It has recently become focus of attention due to its quick advancement to the 12th position in the recent TIOBE index and the overall rise in popularity.

What is F#?

F# is an open source, functional and object oriented programming language which is available in cross platform. It was developed by a company called F# software foundation with help of Microsoft and other open contributors. F# runs on Linux, windows, iOS, Android and the GPUs and HTML as well. It is a mature programming language which helps the users as well as the organizations to solve the complex problems in a much simpler way with easy code. With its wide range of usage in the specialist and application areas, it is proving itself to be a worthy contender for the top 10 list.

Why choose F#?

Considering its robustness and easily maintainable code, F# is ideal for data analysis and enterprise development projects. Various other compelling reasons include:

Shortness - When compared to the other object oriented programming languages like C++ and Java, F# takes relatively less lines of code which makes it easier to maintain and debug the errors. And it also embraces a new technique which is referred as “Type Interference” to avoid unnecessary Type syntax like colons and brackets and thus it makes the code more readable.

Accuracy – Another major advantage of F# is it has got its own Type system which will help in preventing common errors to a great extent. Moreover, you can write the business logic with the help of the Type system itself, which is a very efficient technique to prevent errors and makes it impossible to occur and thus there will be hardly any need for the unit testing.

Handiness – F# is more convenient to use when compared to its counterparts like C+, Java in terms of the simplicity in the coding. Functional programming is made easy as it supports lambda functions and uses pattern matching techniques which makes the programmer to write simple, re-usable codes.

Parallelism – F# supports Asynchronous and Parallel programming and hence it can handle too many things at one point of time. This feature makes it the best in class programming language for Event handling.

Word of caution

Nonetheless, there are certain drawbacks in F#. For instance, there are features that are not supported by F# like the usage of nested types/ classes, because it is not the same as in C#.

Stactoverflow is the only official forum discussion page available for F#. Other than this, there are only fewer communities in the internet and whatever information that is there is also not up-to-date. This makes it very difficult for the programmers to get some help online. 

The number of F# programmers available in the market is only 1% as against the large pool of proficient programmers available for C#, Java. This makes the employers to think twice before adopting this language as it also involves the cost to educate the programmers.

Conclusion

Despite the aforesaid drawbacks, benefits bestowed by F# far outweigh the negatives. Since F# is both functional and Object-oriented, it enjoys the advantages of both the worlds. Its unique features like variant type and pattern-matching make it stand-out much ahead of C# and a perfect candidate for research programming. F# could be learnt online from various sources like Try F#. As the language gains more recognition, it is sure to reach even more heights. For now, it is definitely something to be put in the watchlist!

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