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1. robotics Manipulator Language. IBM language for handling
2. Meta Language. R. Milner et al,
was the first language to include polymorphic typing which
was statically-checked. It also had garbage collection and
a formal semantics.
It began as the metalanguage for the Edinburgh LCF proof
assistant. (LCF="Logic for Computable Functions") People soon
noticed that ML could be a useful general programming language
and stand-alone versions were implemented. Standard ML
(SML) is a descendant of these (and related languages such as
Hope). The "metalanguage" aspect has long since disappeared
from the language itself (although there are some systems that
still use it that way). The historical name is now so
inappropriate that asking what ML stands for is like asking
what C or Unix stands for. It doesn't stand for anything;
it just is.