“F Sharp”/OCaml Books and People

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“F Sharp”/OCaml Books and People

Xah Lee, 2010-09-20

This page is a short intro of F#/OCaml books and their authors as of 2010.

Discovered a new book on F#/OCaml.

  • 《The F# Survival Guide》 By John Puopolo et al. At: ctocorner.com

A look at Amazon, there are quite a few books on F#/OCaml too.

  • 《Expert F# 2.0 (Expert's Voice in F#)》 (2010) By Don Syme, Adam Granicz, Antonio Cisternino. amazon

Don Syme designed F#. He has a website with lots of news on F# at msdn.com Don Syme. Apparently, a lot is going on.

  • 《Real World Functional Programming: With Examples in F# and C#》 (2009) By Tomas Petricek, Jon Skeet. amazon

Thomas Petricek is a master student specializing in programing models, and interned at Microsoft under Don Syme. His home page is tomasp.net Thomas Petricek.

  • 《Beginning F#》 (2009) By Robert Pickering. amazon
  • 《Foundations of F# (Expert's Voice in .Net)》 (2007) By Robert Pickering. amazon

Robert Pickering seems to have 10 years of coding experience according to his resume. His blog is at: strangelights.com Robert Pickering.

  • 《F# for Scientists》 (2008) By Jon Harrop. amazon

Jon Harrop is well known online. I read the first chapter of his book in 2008, and it is one of the best online short intro to OCaml by far.

In online programing forums, he often taunts other languages. He's known as a troll. (me too) He has a blog at http://fsharpnews.blogspot.com/.

  • 《Programming F#: A comprehensive guide for writing simple code to solve complex problems》 (2009) By Chris Smith. amazon

Chris Smith seems to have 8 years coding experience; At Microsoft. His blog is at blogs.msdn.com Chris Smith

There are apparently more F# book coming:

  • 《Professional F# 1.0》 By Ted Neward, Aaron Erickson, Talbott Crowell, Rick Minerich. amazon

Interestingly, many of them are also available in Kindle Edition. (See: What's Kindle, iPad, Android, and All That Jazz??.)

There's also 《Practical OCaml》 By Joshua B Smith, but on amazon it got very bad reviews.

Note that F# (F Sharp) and OCaml are basically the same practically speaking. F# is implemented on top of Microsoft's .NET, while OCaml is mostly from the unix world.

The history of OCaml is rather confusing. Basically, it all began as ML (programming language) in 1973. The “ML” stand for metalanguage. Originally designed for theorem proving related tasks. Thru the years, many variations came, including Standard ML, Caml, OCaml; Moscow ML, Alice, F#. F# and OCaml being the current 2 most popular and mostly compatible. Here's Wikipedia quote:

ML is a general-purpose functional programming language developed by Robin Milner and others in the late 1970s at the University of Edinburgh,[1] whose syntax is inspired by ISWIM. Historically, ML stands for metalanguage: it was conceived to develop proof tactics in the LCF theorem prover (whose language, pplambda, a combination of the first-order predicate calculus and the simply typed polymorphic lambda-calculus, had ML as its metalanguage). It is known for its use of the Hindley–Milner type inference algorithm, which can automatically infer the types of most expressions without requiring explicit type annotations.

See also:

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