« Grust & Schreiber's Ferry: Database Queries in a Sensible Language | Main | Embarrassingly Oblique »

'Pleasingly, these qualities are also what are needed scientifically'

Gordon Plotkin, in "The Origins of Structural Operational Semantics" (2004):
What I find interesting in the above story of the origins of SOS is, on the one hand, how complex the various influences on ideas are and, on the other hand, even if the ideas themselves are simple, how much work one needs to do to show their power. I would expect that in this respect the story of the development of SOS is quite typical. Another interesting aspect is the mutual influence of teaching and research: things need to be simple so they can be taught to students who do not know strange calculi, and they need to be comprehensive to convince them; pleasingly, these qualities are also what are needed scientifically.
[UPDATE: Link corrected, thanks Ohad.]