Welcome to the Learning Visual F# – Foundations Book Website

The Foundations book is about learning how to use F# as a general-purpose programming language in a number of business oriented scenarios whilst making use of the .NET Framework and the Community Edition of Visual Studio 2015.

The two volumes – with 62 hours of accompanying videos, concentrate upon learning the language using what many would call “real world” examples. The intent is that an inexperienced programmer, or one who has little exposure to application development, can gain a sound understanding of the primary concepts and usage of F# in generalised application development scenarios.

About the Book…

Available from CreateSpace: Volume I and Volume II for US$55 each.

I have split the material into two volumes for expediency – largely in terms of meeting “standard” printing requirements and book sizes – each volume comprising of around 750 pages.

Note that this is not a “grand tour” of the features of the F# Language nor of “Functional Programming” theory and practice. Nor are there trivial, non-interconnected sequences of code fragments to demonstrate some of these features using inane examples in terms of “games” or imaginary “requirements”.



Whilst there is a degree of technical jargon regarding classes (as in object-oriented programming) and most specifically using the Extensible Markup Language (XML), these are “mild” pre-requisites and it is sufficient, to my mind, for the interested reader to watch the following introductory videos to become familiar with some of the technicalities and jargon we’ll be dealing with in these respects…

Software Development Fundamentals by Gerry O’Brien and Paul Pardi.
Freely available from the Microsoft Virtual Academy. As they say; “The content is introductory level and helps viewers understand the various aspects of software development. The course focuses on key fundamental concepts of software development programs that all software developers need to know”
XML Essential Training by Joe Marini.
From Lynda.com training (who offer a free trial membership) for the basics of XML. From the course précis: “In this course, developer and author Joe Marini takes you through the basic rules of XML, explains its syntax, and covers more advanced topics such as styling your XML with CSS and XSLT and manipulating XML through the DOM”. The latter parts are not important to our usage in Volume I, however, we do briefly consider an XML style-sheet in Volume II in considering the XML serialisation of Event Tracing for Windows logging records.


I often feel that the “available material” on F# is targeted at a very specific audience – analogously, I get the impression that the majority of those who deal in F# and provide material thereby, are Engineers in the purest sense of the term – as in wearing brilliant white lab coats and, for example, developing an engine for use in a racing car where their interest is primarily in the minutiae of how to improve the performance and durability of such an item. Conversely, to be blunt, I am a “grease monkey” (an “applied” mathematician as opposed to a “pure” mathematician) and my interest is in how I can use “that engine” in some framework to simply and quickly build a vehicle that won’t go off the road or break-down whilst performing some useful purpose such as in public transport. This material is targeted at us “grease monkeys”!


The book is self-published material printed by CreateSpace typeset via the LaTeX XeLaTeX processor using TexLive 2015 and comes in two volumes of around 750 pages each. I would have liked to produce it as a single volume, however, with around 1,500 pages that would be somewhat impractical given “standard” printing processes. Furthermore, the material is printed in grey-scale; much as I would have preferred colour even a paperback, full colour edition of 750 pages would have made the printing price, alone, for each volume, to have been in excess of €125! Until/if such time as a decently formatted Kindle version of each volume is made available, registered purchasers of either volume may request a password restricted, full colour, 96 dpi resolution PDF copy of the printed material.

About the Website…

Here one may access the materials associated with the book. The site’s main menu options comprise of…

  • Volumes contains a brief summary of the nature of each volume’s content, their tables of contents and some sample chapters.
  • Posts: A log of comments and errors regarding the material – registered users are free to add comments to posts.
  • Videos: A library of Videos that cover a number of topics and are referenced within each Volume.
  • Files: Source Code and Other material associated with the material such as XML Schemas, link to samples and additional software dealt with in each volume.

Access to the material does not require registration – please feel free to browse through the site. However, in order to post comments etc. you must register with a user name/email or use a “social” account (Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn).