I have returned from Copenhagen were last week I attended ICFP 2012, the principal scientific conference on functional programming and related topics. This year's conference was very busy with a record number of participants and very high quality presentations (which, by the way, you can watch on YouTube by courtesy of Malcom Wallace).
I was quite surprised by high number of people from industry, both small and large: Google, Jane Street, Standard Chartered, Galois, Well-Typed, Basho, among others. It seems that functional programming is a hot topic for real software developers - not just academics.
The discussion at the end of the Haskell Symposium on Thursday was also a turning point for the language and for FP in general. Aaron Contorer addressed the participants to put forward his view for his new company called FPComplete: get a lot more users in the software industry to adopt Haskell by providing the tools and support that the open-source community can't provide. FPComplete aims to fill this gap in much the same way as RedHat did for Linux in the enterprise. By the way, Aaron is not an FP geek - he headed the developer productivity tools at Microsoft, for example. That someone comming from the software business says that it's now time for FP is a great endorsement for the Haskell language and community.
This is great news for Haskell and wish FPComplete great success!