Easy start with F# in Visual Studio Code

Recently, I started learning F#. It’s a fascinating language with abundance of nice and clever features. It’s functional, concise and mind-blowing at some aspects.

Usually I do F# programming in Visual Studio, but I wanted a more lightweight IDE. I always work in Visual Studio, but this time I was eager to try something new and fresh. It’s not always convenient to run a fully fledged IDE to test some simple features or do dirty prototyping. I wanted a simple solution to mitigate this inconvenience. IDE should be fast, extensible and relatively small. That’s how I got acquainted with Visual Studio Code. After some reading about this IDE, I realized that that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.

Nevertheless, the start was tough. I always work in Visual Studio so I’m accustomed to simple features like “Create new project” -> “Hit Ctrl+F5” -> Observe the results. But this time was different. I needed to build all those, so to say, systems from scratch. I needed to install F#, package manager and build plugins for the whole infrastructure. I’ve never heard of the tools like ionide, fake, paket. Each one must be configured separately and all of them are a vital part for development.

Thus, a tutorial was born. I tried to make it as simple as possible with pictures and easy to follow steps to achieve the usual behaviour of Visual Studio. It’s written using the gitbook service.

Here you go.


PS If you notice any errors, please let me know!

PSS I’m still experimenting with the format. Any advice is much appreciated!

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