[MLton] MLton annual progress report and survey

Stephen Weeks MLton@mlton.org
Tue, 11 Jan 2005 20:54:23 -0800

We would like to start 2005 with a report on the MLton optimizing
Standard ML compiler (mlton.org), our progress made over the last
year, and a request for input from the community to help us set future

In 2004, we had two public releases, in February and November.  Our
February release included a new front end that matches the Definition
of SML and produces excellent error messages.  Our November release
included our ML Basis system, which supports programming in the very
large.  With the ML Basis system and help from a number of
contributors, MLton's library support has improved and should continue
to accelerate.  MLton now supports Concurrent ML, GtK, OpenGL, and
SML/NJ-lib.  MLton also supports dynamically loaded libraries.

In 2004, we added support for three new platforms: MaxOS/X on PowerPC,
and NetBSD and OpenBSD on x86.  We made a number of other
improvements: a byte-code compiler, code coverage and def-use
information, and a variety of new integer, real, and word sizes.  We
also made data representation improvements, including record packing
and flattening pointer indirections.

In 2004, the MLton community grew substantially, and a number of
developers made contributions.  In order to support the larger
community, improve and extend our documentation, and improve our
interaction with both users and developers, we transitioned the MLton
web site to a wiki.  As a result, the web site has already grown
significantly in both breadth of topics and depth of coverage.

For 2005, we are considering a number of improvements to MLton.  We
always like to hear what our users want.  So, we have created a short
survey that will help us to understand the improvements to MLton that
would be most beneficial to our users.  Please visit the survey at


We would like to hear both from those of you who already use MLton and
from those of you who might like to use MLton in the future, but
haven't yet done so for some reason. Thank you very much for filling
it out.  

If you have any questions about MLton, you can visit our web page at
mlton.org or contact the development team at MLton@mlton.org.

Happy SML programming in 2005.

-- The MLton Team