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I picked up a used copy of Jeff Ullman's Elements of ML Programming a couple of months ago for less than five bucks. It strikes me as compact and readable in the K&R style, in that it doesn't get bogged down in the tedium of regurgitated technical details or over emphasis on syntax.

It probably helps that ML [Ullman uses SML/NJ] isn't much on ceremony to begin with. Yet somehow, I never feel like it needs more curly braces and semicolons.

Elements of ML Programming stands out as one of my favorite programming books. It's the best introduction to the ML style of languages (OCaml, Haskell, SML, F#) that I've seen.

How does it compare to ML for the Working Programmer?

It's a muddled mess in comparison and I would not advise it to anyone over Ullman's Elements of ML Programming or Harper's Programming in Standard ML. It's actually bad enough that it bothers me there's not more Standard ML books out there so people would stop mentioning it.

I'd consider Ullman's ML book to be up there with K&R C and Wirth's books in conciseness and clarity. I suggest it to beginners specifically.

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