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Standard ML (SML) is a newer version of the “Meta Language” or ML programming language developed in the 1970s. ML has roots in LISP, which is one of a family of computing programming languages with parenthesized prefix notation.
As a successive variant of Meta Language, Standard Meta Language is a modular programming language. It has compile time type checking and type inference. Some experts say it has some “impure” features in terms of how expressions are evaluated and around the use of various statements or commands.
Standard ML is a general purpose language. People currently use it to create software products. They may use it to code native code systems that run on a variety of operating systems. However, some would say that standard ML is not a particular kind of niche software, but just a sort of well-rounded programming language for use in legacy systems or in migration to more modern systems. For instance, someone might use Standard ML along with C or C# to code or update a software product.