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.
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.
3. Learn Standard ML in Y minutes by Simon Shine and contributors
This is a whirlwind tour of Standard ML.
4. Why Standard ML? by the University of Chicago
This is a set of slides offering an introductory 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.
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.
All tutorials in this series:
|Free Programming Tutorials|
|Java||General-purpose, concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, high-level language|
|C||General-purpose, procedural, portable, high-level language|
|Python||General-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|
|PHP||PHP has been at the helm of the web for many years|
|Ruby||General purpose, scripting, structured, flexible, fully object-oriented language|
|Assembly||As close to writing machine code without writing in pure hexadecimal|
|Swift||Powerful and intuitive general-purpose programming language|
|Groovy||Powerful, optionally typed and dynamic language|
|Go||Compiled, statically typed programming language|
|Pascal||Imperative and procedural language designed in the late 1960s|
|Perl||High-level, general-purpose, interpreted, scripting, dynamic language|
|R||De facto standard among statisticians and data analysts|
|COBOL||Common Business-Oriented Language|
|Scala||Modern, object-functional, multi-paradigm, Java-based language|
|Fortran||The first high-level language, using the first compiler|
|Scratch||Visual programming language designed for 8-16 year-old children|
|Lua||Designed as an embeddable scripting language|
|Logo||Dialect of Lisp that features interactivity, modularity, extensibility|
|Rust||Ideal for systems, embedded, and other performance critical code|
|Lisp||Unique features - excellent to study programming constructs|
|Ada||ALGOL-like programming language, extended from Pascal and others|
|Haskell||Standardized, general-purpose, polymorphically, statically typed language|
|Scheme||General-purpose, functional, language descended from Lisp and Algol|
|Prolog||General purpose, declarative, logic programming language|
|Forth||Imperative stack-based programming language|
|Clojure||Dialect of the Lisp programming language|
|Julia||High-level, high-performance language for technical computing|
|SQL||Access and manipulate data held in a relational database management system|
|Erlang||General-purpose, concurrent, declarative, functional language|
|VimL||Powerful scripting language of the Vim editor|
|OCaml||General-purpose, powerful, high-level language|
|Awk||Versatile language designed for pattern scanning and processing|
|Racket||Platform for programming language design and implementation|
|BASIC||Family of general-purpose, high-level programming languages|
|LaTeX||Professional document preparation system and document markup language|
|Elixir||Relatively new functional language that runs on the Erlang virtual machine|
|Dart||Client-optimized programming language for fast apps|
|ABAP||Advanced Business Application Programming|
|F#||General purpose, strongly typed, multi-paradigm language. Part of ML|
|Chapel||Parallel-programming language in development at Cray Inc.|
|Dylan||Multi-paradigm language, supports functional & object-oriented programming|
|D||General-purpose systems programming language with a C-like syntax|
|Solidity||Object-oriented, high-level language for implementing smart contracts|
|XML||Set of rules for defining semantic tags that describe the structure and meaning|
|Vala||Object-oriented language with a self-hosting compiler that generates C code|
|ECMAScript||Best known as the language embedded in web browsers|
|Kotlin||Statically typed, general-purpose programming language with type inference|
|Markdown||Plain text formatting syntax designed to be easy-to-read and easy-to-write|
|Pike||Interpreted, general-purpose, high-level, cross-platform, dynamic language|
|HTML||HyperText Markup Language|
|Factor||Dynamic stack-based language|
|Objective-C||General purpose language which is a superset of C|
|Standard ML||One of the two main dialects of the ML language|