Saturday, May 24, 2008

The ALT.NET Times for May 24th, 2008

A bit of a quiet week on the list this week.  In the U.S. this coming Monday is Memorial Day, and we get the day off--a fact that compels many to plan their vacations around it.  Whatever the reason, there wasn't much traffic, and so there's not much to report.

Probably the most interesting messages of the week revolved around ALT programming languages.  The Boo programming language--which is a full-on CLR language in the style of Python--seemed to be a favorite of many on the list.  Oren Eini is a primary contributor and uses Boo for his Windsor configuration tool, Binsor.  There's a healthy community around the language, one which created VS2008 integration for it.

There was also some discussion of F#, a language that is something like a CLR implementation of OCaml, with some changes required to behave well with the runtime and other CLR languages.  Additionally, it is missing one quintessential OCaml feature: functors.  Nevertheless, F# delivers many of the familiar mainstays of a dynamic functional language--like currying, first-class functions, pattern matching, and tuples/records--while integrating with all the .NET libraries and providing strong typing through type inference.  It also works seamlessly when installed over Visual Studio 2008.  To learn more, a good place to start would be to RTM, or Ted Neward's F# Primer.  The place where the F# community gathers is called hubFS.

So, that's the short version (or at least the thematically relevant version) of what I learned from the alt.netters this week.  Have a great one!