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Re: Why is it bad to hide the source?

by daveola (Acolyte)
on Oct 26, 2010 at 20:06 UTC ( #867535=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Why is it bad to hide the source?

This post is very one-sided. For example:

> "I live by programming. .. ask money for e. g. bugfixing?"
>
> Charging for bugfixes is in fact illegal due to most countries sales laws.

Okay, but there are *other* reasons besides bugfixing, like attempting to limit distribution of code, which is pretty difficult if the source is open. You cleverly ignore the rest of the discussion by framing the question and answer.

And I *know* that any such hiding or copy protection scheme can be hacked by a talented and motivated hacker, and yet I still lock the door to my house, and I bet you do as well, even though locks can be picked.

Really what this comes down to is that some people don't believe in obfuscating source for ethical reasons (i.e., the Open Source movement) and so they push for others to not attempt to hide their source for practical reasons (i.e., the superhacker argument). We do not live in a society of superhackers. And even if one superhacker finds a way to hack your code and distribute it does not mean that everyone in the world will start using it for free (unless we're talking about music ;-)

It seems to me that this is clear:

There are very strong ethical considerations for whether your source code should be hidden or not. It might be worth reading some of the arguments for both sides, you may find yourself an open source convert.

And if not, then you'll have to be wary of all the converts trying to give you technical advice with an ethical slant behind it.

There *are* "solutions" for packaging your perl code, all with different tradeoffs and costs. If you are looking for something free that works with plenty of simple scripts, then consider:

http://MarginalHacks.com/Hacks/perlc/

(Written because I needed exactly such a solution myself, even though most of my perl code is completely available as source!)


Comment on Re: Why is it bad to hide the source?
Re^2: Why is it bad to hide the source?
by marto (Bishop) on Oct 27, 2010 at 08:52 UTC
      See my reply. I know there are ways to extract the source. There always will be. You can "extract source" from a C program as well. And you have to know what you are doing.

      Not to mention that the author:

      A) Didn't fully understand the tool

      B) Didn't give an example on how to actually extract the source.

      Regardless, I know it's possible.

      I know that someone can give me an exact example of how to do it if I search hard enough.

      Great.

      But that doesn't mean that the tool isn't useful.

      Do you lock your house doors? Because I have lock picks and know how to use them. And I can show you how. But I'll bet you'll still lock your door.

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