The first thing I did (in a small team) in my first job after my technical mathematics studies in the mid 70s: migrate an APT system from the IBM mainframe to a General Automation mini computer - the first world-wide.
APT stands for Automatically Programmed Tools a high-level programming tool used to generate instructions for numerically controlled machine tools. APT has been created at the MIT in 1956.
It was clear that each APT program needed to run on the GA as on the IBM - no subset. APT compilers, interpreters and post processors (generating the control code for the concrete machine tools) were written in FORTRAN and different from those used in the IBM APT (because of limited resources on the GA, but also to apply own ideas of geometric modeling…).
Was it innovative?
Later, we introduced a new language that was much more feature and task oriented…however, it created the same constructor…the control programs carrying out the task.
The paradox of copying
Jorge Louis Borges, wrote a great short story "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote". Menard, a fictive character, did not compose another "Quixote", he produced a version that is re-written word by word. In this story, irony and paradox generate ambivalence. Menard's copy is not a mechanical transcription, it coincides with Miguel Cervantes' Quixote…
(Borges, Quixote) is different from (Menard, Quixote), because of "knowledge". I think Borges states through the paradox of Menard: all texts are a kind of rewriting other texts. Literature is composed of versions? The paradox of Menard is pushing the limits to the absurd and impossible, but it is about the principles of writing...
However, Menard's version would become more "different" if he offered a complete thorough Quixote course, a reading tour, a blog, a magazine, "how to write Quixote alike books" workouts…
The Workout in Computational Finance
What if someone rewrote Adreas' and Michael's great book that explains that and why a thorough grounding in numerics is indispensable for evaluating the pricing and risk models correctly and implement them in high quality. The rewritten would be be different.
The book represents knowledge of the UnRisk Academy that was established to disseminate this knowledge. It offers online and life seminars, workouts…and the real transformations made in response to the feed back of hundreds of practitioners who use UnRisk to carry out their tasks.
It's knowledge and its dissemination forms that innovativeness. Constructed and Packaged.