September 2008 Blog Posts

Solvers, Optimization, and more on DSLs

To coincide with the release the CTP release of F# Microsoft also released and early version “Solver Foundation”. Don Box described himself as being elated by its release. You can tell it’s an early version as it’s currently the only way to get it is part of “F# Optimization Modelling Language” sample on the MSDN code gallery. So what does optimization mean in this context? Simply put an optimization problem is the problem of finding the best solution from all feasible solutions. Or (slightly) more formally: Given a function “f” which takes a value from set “A” and transforms it to...

F# on dotnetrocks! - My Thoughts on the Show

F# is on dotnetrocks again, this time it’s Amanda Laucher and Ted Neward’s turn to talk F# with Carl and Richard. I have to say of all the F# podcast there have been so far this is my favourite. Why? Amanda and Ted do a really great job of articulating what I’ve been thinking about F#, and functional programming in general, for some time now. I think this is because Amanda and Ted have a similar background to me – they both come from the world of line of business applications. This is interesting because if you read the marketing...

Genetic Programming – A Language Oriented Programming Example

As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been reading “Collective Intelligence” by Toby Segaram and I’m really enjoying in it. It’s different to a lot of programming books, in that rather than focusing a specific language or API it focus on a particular set of problems and shows techniques that can be used to crack them. For example I’ve known for a long time that it’s easy to create an abstract syntax tree (AST) in F#: /// Untyped expression tree type Expression =     | Multiply of Expression * Expression     | Add of Expression * Expression     | Subtract of Expression * Expression     | GreaterThan...

F# T-Shirt Update

Well the F# T-shirt I ordered arrived last Thursday, meaning it took about a week or so after ordering: If you want to see me in it then you’ll have to wait for pictures of alt.net London (yes I know you probably can control yourself for that long).

What I’ve Been Doing

Now that the F# CTP is out, you may be wondering what I think of it. Well I’m planning to tell you in a later post, first let me explain what I’ve been up to: If you’re a follower of this blog you’ve probably noticed that there hasn’t been a lot of activity lately (apart from the short announcement about JAOO.dk). This is largely due to the fact I’ve moved house and have been doing a lot of gardening and DIY lately. I haven’t been entirely slack on the code front, I’ve started a couple of new projects, which probably deserve...