Given the recent surge in interest, several companies have expressed a desire to create product lines centered around various functional programming languages. Although there are still a relatively small number of companies generating revenue from functional programming, we have found it remarkably easy to create successful products in this area. Naturally, Flying Frog have many fingers in many pies and we find it very encouraging that the functional pies have turned out to be the most efficient at creating money time after time.
However, the growth of functional programming languages is most interesting. Following a four-fold increase in sales of all OCaml-related products over the year to April 2007, we are now seeing a plateau. Although development of the OCaml language itself has slowed, we believe this will not deter industry from continuing to adopt the OCaml programming language. Indeed, XenSource are one of the largest commercial users of OCaml and the company recently sold for $500M.
Interest in F# is now exploding. Our F#-related products are all new so we cannot derive long-term trends from sales but we have seen a four fold increase in search engine referrals from searches for F# over the past six months alone. We believe that interest in F# will grow even faster because we are predicting the imminent productization of this language by Microsoft.
Overall, functional programming in industry is clearly going from strength to strength. The oft-cited advantages of functional languages no doubt underpin this but the advent of multicore computing is an unquestionable driving force that tips the balance for many talented startups wanting to create future-proof solutions for their customers.
The future is bright for functional programming languages on all platforms. We shall certainly continue work related to OCaml and F# and may even diversify into other functional languages such as Scala or Haskell.