Programming Tutorials

Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Standard ML

Standard ML is a safe, modular, strict, functional, polymorphic programming language with type inference, garbage collection, compile-time type checking, and exception handling. It also offers immutable data types and updatable references, abstract data types, and parametric modules.

Standard ML is a declarative language. A Standard ML program consists of a sequence of declarations of types, values (including functions) and exceptions, possibly embedded in modules. A basic module is called a structure in Standard ML, module interfaces are called signatures, and parameterised modules are called functors.

Standard ML is one of the two main dialects of the ML programming language.

Some of the hard parts of learning Standard ML are: Recursion, pattern matching, type inference (guessing the right types but never allowing implicit type conversion). Standard ML is distinguished from Haskell by including references, allowing variables to be updated.

Here’s our recommended tutorials to learn Standard ML.


1. Programming in Standard ML ’97: An On-line Tutorial by Stephen Gilmore

Standard ML is a programming language which combines the elegance of functional programming with the effectiveness of imperative programming. This tutorial introduces important concepts in the language, illustrating them with brief examples. The examples are suitable for cutting-and-pasting into an online session.

Read the tutorial


2. Introduction to Standard ML by Robert Harper

These notes (106 pages) offer an informal introduction to the Standard ML programming language and its use. It looks at the core language and the modules system.

Read the tutorial


3. Learn Standard ML in Y minutes by Simon Shine and contributors

This is a whirlwind tour of Standard ML.

Read the tutorial


4. Why Standard ML? by the University of Chicago

This is a set of slides offering an introductory tutorial.

Read the tutorial


5. A Gentle Introduction to ML by Andrew Cumming

This is aimed at students with some programming skills, but new to functional languages. It consists almost entirely of exercises and diversions, these are intended to be completed at a machine with at least some supervision.

Read the tutorial


6. Standard ML and Objective Caml, Side by Side

This page gives a quick side by side comparison of program fragments in the two ML dialects Standard ML (’97 revision) and Objective Caml (version 3.12). It is primarily targetted at people who need to convert code between the two dialects.

Read the article


All tutorials in this series:

Free Programming Tutorials
JavaGeneral-purpose, concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, high-level language
CGeneral-purpose, procedural, portable, high-level language
PythonGeneral-purpose, structured, powerful language
C++General-purpose, portable, free-form, multi-paradigm language
C#Combines the power and flexibility of C++ with the simplicity of Visual Basic
JavaScriptInterpreted, prototype-based, scripting language
PHPPHP has been at the helm of the web for many years
RubyGeneral purpose, scripting, structured, flexible, fully object-oriented language
AssemblyAs close to writing machine code without writing in pure hexadecimal
SwiftPowerful and intuitive general-purpose programming language
GroovyPowerful, optionally typed and dynamic language
GoCompiled, statically typed programming language
PascalImperative and procedural language designed in the late 1960s
PerlHigh-level, general-purpose, interpreted, scripting, dynamic language
RDe facto standard among statisticians and data analysts
COBOLCommon Business-Oriented Language
ScalaModern, object-functional, multi-paradigm, Java-based language
FortranThe first high-level language, using the first compiler
ScratchVisual programming language designed for 8-16 year-old children
LuaDesigned as an embeddable scripting language
LogoDialect of Lisp that features interactivity, modularity, extensibility
RustIdeal for systems, embedded, and other performance critical code
LispUnique features - excellent to study programming constructs
AdaALGOL-like programming language, extended from Pascal and others
HaskellStandardized, general-purpose, polymorphically, statically typed language
SchemeGeneral-purpose, functional, language descended from Lisp and Algol
PrologGeneral purpose, declarative, logic programming language
ForthImperative stack-based programming language
ClojureDialect of the Lisp programming language
JuliaHigh-level, high-performance language for technical computing
SQLAccess and manipulate data held in a relational database management system
ErlangGeneral-purpose, concurrent, declarative, functional language
VimLPowerful scripting language of the Vim editor
OCamlGeneral-purpose, powerful, high-level language
AwkVersatile language designed for pattern scanning and processing
RacketPlatform for programming language design and implementation
BASICFamily of general-purpose, high-level programming languages
CoffeeScriptA very succinct programming language that transcompiles into JavaScript
LaTeXProfessional document preparation system and document markup language
ElixirRelatively new functional language that runs on the Erlang virtual machine
DartClient-optimized programming language for fast apps
ABAPAdvanced Business Application Programming
F#General purpose, strongly typed, multi-paradigm language. Part of ML
ChapelParallel-programming language in development at Cray Inc.
DylanMulti-paradigm language, supports functional & object-oriented programming
DGeneral-purpose systems programming language with a C-like syntax
SolidityObject-oriented, high-level language for implementing smart contracts
XMLSet of rules for defining semantic tags that describe the structure and meaning
ValaObject-oriented language with a self-hosting compiler that generates C code
ECMAScriptBest known as the language embedded in web browsers
KotlinStatically typed, general-purpose programming language with type inference
TypeScriptStrict syntactical superset of JavaScript, adding optional static typing
MarkdownPlain text formatting syntax designed to be easy-to-read and easy-to-write
PikeInterpreted, general-purpose, high-level, cross-platform, dynamic language
HTMLHyperText Markup Language
FactorDynamic stack-based language
Objective-CGeneral purpose language which is a superset of C
Standard MLOne of the two main dialects of the ML language
Share this article

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.