Concision

After reading too many papers, skimming even more, and completely skipping the majority, I\’ve realized that there\’s a real skill to keeping things short but clear. Some papers ramble on past thirty-five pages while others leave out so much information that few people other than the authors have any idea what it\’s about.

An example of someone who does it well, in my opinion, is Robin Milner. This is a guy who has contributed so much to computer science, including ML and the π calculus. I\’ve read some papers of his before, and am now reading Communicating and Mobile Systems. I have ah-ha moments constantly, can read multiple chapters in a sitting, and when I get lost, five minutes of more detailed reading or exercises has me back on track.

Anyway, I\’m just frustrated by papers in general, and happy about Milner in particular. The difficulty of knowing what to cut is apparent, and it\’s something I want to keep in mind.

\”I didn\’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.\” —Mark Twain

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