Toby DiPasquale on 25 Apr 2006 14:33:06 -0000

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Re: [PhillyOnRails] Ruby source code obfuscation

On Tue, Apr 25, 2006 at 09:06:34AM -0400, Michael C. Toren wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 25, 2006 at 12:06:50AM -0400, Toby DiPasquale wrote:
> > P.S. I know this can be defeated with a custom Ruby interpreter, but it
> > still requires someone to pay for all feature keys.
> My personal take on this is that you're spending a lot of effort to build a

I'd hardly call a car ride home "a lot of effort" ;-) The implementation
of this shouldn't take more than a day or so.

> barrier that in the end isn't all that difficult for someone who purchased
> valid keys to bypass; you may as well just sell three different versions of
> your software, including only the code for the features they paid for...

That's a good point, but if you were doing this more than once, you'd
still want some way to discern feature from feature. So you'd still want
something like the first part of the scheme with the 'feature' keyword. In
a way, this is easier in Java, because its a strict one-class-per-file
setup, so you can just have a mapping of file => feature.

On another note, another place where my scheme falls down is when you're
running the same code base for multiple "clients", e.g. a shared hosting
situation with the same app code and virtual servers for each client.
The shared hosting provider could buy all the feature set keys, but they'd
have to find some other way to 'resell' the same features, as loading the
full set of keys would unlock all of the features.

Toby DiPasquale
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