Keynote from Eclipse Summit Europe 2009, presented by Don Syme from Microsoft Research.
Over the last 10 years, Microsoft Research has been able to help progress functional programming to the point that it is now an accepted mainstream approach for certain problem domains. Now, with the increasing amount of data available to us, we need new ways of thinking around how to create scalable solutions in order to best exploit it as the multi-core revolution takes hold. Languages such as F#, Scala, Erlang and Haskell are well suited to this task as their functional programming style emphasize immutability, side effect free functions, compositional parallelism and asynchronous I/O. In this talk I will use F# as an extended example of how functional programming is becoming part of the mainstream, with ramifications across the spectrum of programming languages and platforms. We will look at why Microsoft and Microsoft Research is investing in functional programming, what this has meant for F#, C# and Haskell, and what we've done to build product-quality support for F#. Note: Examples will be given using Microsoft Visual Studio, though the talk is offered in the spirit of cooperation and progress across computing platforms.
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