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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

Don Syme: Geek of the Week


It came as a surprise to many when Microsoft pulled from its hat a rabbit in the form of an exciting, radical, language that offers an effective alternative to the object-oriented orthodoxy. The creative force behind this language—F#—turns out to be a brilliant Cambridge-based Australian named Don Syme, already well known for his work on generics in .NET. F# has taken the specialized power of ML and OCaml and developed a versatile general-purpose .NET language.

By smoothly combining the simplicity and power of its functional programming forebears (ML, Ocaml) with the object-oriented capabilities of the .NET framework, F# provides the much sought-after combination of type safety, performance, and scripting. According to many developers, it is the most original new face in computer languages since Bjarne Stroustrup developed C++ in the early 1980s. 

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