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ML for the Working Programmer, Second Edition by Larry C. Paulson

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7Abstract Types and Functors

Everyone accepts that large programs should be organized as hierarchical modules. Standard ML’s structures and signatures meet this requirement. Structures let us package up declarations of related types, values and functions. Signatures let us specify what components a structure must contain. Using structures and signatures in their simplest form we have treated examples ranging from the complex numbers in Chapter 2 to infinite sequences in Chapter 5.

    A modular structure makes a program easier to understand. Better still, the modules ought to serve as interchangeable parts: replacing one module by an improved version should not require changing the rest of the program. Standard ML’s abstract types and functors ...

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