The arrival of version 6.0 should make programming language F# more attractive to more developers. Greater adoption is the goal, says lead developer Don Syme at the virtual .NET Conf event.

As it stands, F# is a language deemed difficult to understand by many developers. At the same time, lead-developer Don Syme argues that the adoption of the language, which is currently primarily used in conjunction with Microsoft’s .NET, deserves to be higher.

Clarity

Version 6.0, simultaneously introduced with the final release of .NET 6, was designed to increase F#’s adoption. To this end, several features are being modified, and new functionality is being added.

The indexing syntax, for example, was changed to be more akin to other programming languages. Until now, developers have been able to access an array by typing ‘expr.[idx]’, with a dot between expression and index. This was changed to ‘expr[idx]’, as is common in well-known languages such as C#, Java and C.

Also, version 6.0 of F# introduces a new task keyword for ‘async programming’. It becomes possible to execute Task programming directly. Therefore, in version 6.0, the F# Async module features methods such as StartAsTask and AwaitTask. The latter is especially useful for creating interoperability with other programming languages.

Other improvements

Other features in version 6.0 include resolved inconsistencies in ‘indentation-aware’ syntax, more support for implicit conversions, new functions for collections, and support for demanding interfaces using default implementations. The latter is also present in programming language C#.

Version 6.0 of F# is now available and a part of Visual Studio 2022 and .NET SDK 6.0.100.