Standard ML is one of a number of new programming languages developed in the 1980s that are seen as suitable vehicles for serious systems and applications programming. It offers an excellent ratio of expressiveness to language complexity, and provides competitive efficiency. Because of its type and module system, Standard ML manages to combine safety, security, and robustness with much of the flexibility of dynamically typed languages like Lisp. It is also has the most well-developed scientific foundation of any major language. Here I review the strengths and weaknesses of Standard ML and describe some of what we have learned through the design, implementation, and use of the language.
FUNCTIONAL PROGRAMMING, CONCURRENCY, SIMULATION AND AUTOMATED REASONING, VOLUME 693 OF LNCS