Programming in Standard ML - Robert Harper


Following lecture notes of Carnegie Mellon University’s class notes on ‘Principles of Programming’, I came to know about ML through this book. The book is intended to be a beginner’s tutorial, and ate the same time, a small handbook for implementation.

Being a mostly ‘academic’ language, standard ML has not been popular outside colleges. However, SML possesses a great benefit – convenience to teach about mathematically proof of program correctness. Most programs in ML comes in the form of induction-generated proofs.

ML also cleans up all loopholes of mutability and cleanly hides all form of lower-level machine operations. The result is a ‘pure’ functional language, bursting with atomicity (parallel safety) and very convenient strict typing.


This book might not be useful in a practical job and generate impact in product. However it works for deepening the understanding of various computation concepts. In time, this makes one a better developer.

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