Moscow SML on DOS

Posted on July 3, 2021

Standard ML was used for my first programming course at DIKU, and so I have a soft spot for the language. We used the MosML implementation, and I had been informed that it used to once run on DOS. I’m not old enough to have done that myself, but I was curious what that would be like. Unfortunately, while I could find old references to various FTP servers said to contain DOS executables of MosML, these links (and usually the servers) were of course long dead. Fortunately, Peter Sestoft was able to dig up an old FTP archive containing a distribution, which I uploaded to the Internet Archive: Moscow SML (MosML) 1.03 for DOS. As far as I know, this is the first publicly available version of MosML for DOS in decades.

It runs perfectly in DOSBox, and using it is… fine. Just like any other MosML REPL, really. The main difference is that this old version does not support the ML module system, so the top-level environment is very anaemic.