F# and Scala are two new programming languages that provide functional programming features to .NET developers. 'Functional programming' is a programming paradigm that focuses on the evaluation of expressions, rather than execution of commands. A purely functional program contains expressions that define the intent of the program.
Scala is a Java based general-purpose language that embodies all the elements of imperative and object-oriented languages. Its code compiles to Java Byte Code, and runs on top of Java Virtual Machine (JVM). JVM is the runtime environment that manages the execution of Java-based programs, converting the Java Byte code to native machine code. Scala has the support for .NET Framework.
F# is a general-purpose functional programming language based on Microsoft's .NET Framework. The .NET Framework is the software framework that contains a large library of coded solutions for common programming problems. It has the support for imperative, object-oriented and functional programming paradigms.
F# and Scala are analogous of one another, but they both target different virtual machines.
Below are some differences of these two languages:
1. F# focuses more on functional aspects, whereas Scala focuses on object-oriented aspects.
2. F# has better Integrated Development Environment (IDE) support via Visual studio, whereas Scala’s Eclipse plug-in is for open source IDE and is slower than Visual Studio.
3. F# is a simpler and more intuitive language to use than Scala.
4. In Scala, each case is also a type, which means you can define a method that takes Mul or Num as a parameter. In F#, Num and Mul are constructors of the Term type, so we cannot use them as parameters.
5. In Scala, one can define methods for individual cases, whereas in F#, all members have to be members of the Term type. For example, one can define in the Num class in Scala, but it's not possible in F#.