Re: Protecting commercial ruby source code

Hiren B. wrote:

Is there a way to obfuscate my ruby source code. I have come across
ZenObfuscate which at > about $2500. Does anyone know of any other
options to
protect ruby source code when it is > distributed to clients?

This question comes up a lot. Can you make it a web-based application so
that
the code is never distributed? IMO, that’s the only real way to deal
with this.

There really is no 100% way in which to obfuscate code. You can raise
the bar of
course, but if a determined client who is technically minded gets the
code, they
can undo any obfuscation you’ve done. Personally, I think it’s a bad
idea and if
you’re having to ask the question, then something is fundamentally wrong
with
your business model.

On 11/17/06, Brad T. [email protected] wrote:

that
with
your business model.

Agree completely on the point about not being able to obfuscate code
100%.
Hosting software yourself solves a lot of interesting problems
(including
some OSS licensing issues) but opens a different set of potential
problems:

  1. some clients are not comfortable unless they host private data
    themselves; 2) some clients have legal constraints requiring them to
    host
    themselves; 3) you might become a target for government action if you’re
    hosting any kind of data on behalf of a client.

I think it’s too broad to say that there are fundamental problems with
any
business model that benefits from code obfuscation, but it’s definitely
true
that software in Ruby is going to be wide open and easily visible to
users,
compared to some other languages. And that will be a disadvantage for
some
people.

Quoting Francis C. [email protected]:

Agree completely on the point about not being able to obfuscate code 100%.
Hosting software yourself solves a lot of interesting problems (including
some OSS licensing issues) but opens a different set of potential problems:

  1. some clients are not comfortable unless they host private data
    themselves; 2) some clients have legal constraints requiring them to host
    themselves; 3) you might become a target for government action if you’re
    hosting any kind of data on behalf of a client.

Would it be possible to host the app remotely and then store user
specific data
locally on the clients’ computers? No need to obfuscate user data,
right?

I think it’s too broad to say that there are fundamental problems with any
business model that benefits from code obfuscation…

You’re right. I was grasping there. I really meant to say that perhaps
he should
step back and ask why he’s having to ask this question.

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