Don Syme receives a medal for F#

Don Syme receives the Royal Academy of Engineering's Silver Medal for his work on F#. The citation reads:

F# is known for being a clear and more concise language that interoperates well with other systems, and is used in applications as diverse asanalysing the UK energy market to tackling money laundering. It allows programmers to write code with fewer bugs than other languages, so users can get their programme delivered to market both rapidly and accurately. Used by major enterprises in the UK and worldwide, F# is both cross-platform and open source, and includes innovative features such as unit-of-measure inference, asynchronous programming and type providers, which have in turn influenced later editions of C# and other industry languages.


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I'm not sure how I feel about this.

I mean, F# has certainly brought a certain mainstream-ness to the FP realm and I'm sure Don Syme is a great guy (never met him, heard a couple of talks), but has F# actually done anything really innovative? I'll happily admit that I'm only mildly acquainted with F#, but it doesn't seem like it has any *actually* innovative features over most functional languages that were invented more than 5-10 years before it...?

(I'll grant "type providers" as an innovation even though I'm personally not that enthused by that feature. I think code generation was a precursor, but having it integrated in the compiler might be an improvement...)

Am I just being a bitter old curmudgeon?

EDIT: Actually, maybe "innovation/invention" isn't the main thing here... perhaps "engineering" is. If so, yes, he deserves every accolade thrown at him.

Re:F#'s innovations, don't

Re:F#'s innovations, don't forget computation expressions.

And units of measure and

And units of measure and extensible pattern matching. Those 4 together are very impressive for an industrial language.

Implements the Actor Model too

That's true, it says so on the Wikipedia page.

don't worry be happy

hell, there are quite a few other FP languages which would be more embarrassingly sad to have won, so overall i think this is pretty nice. it hopefully can't hurt get FP seen as being more respectable.