Hello Bill,


BK> I imagine the obfuscation would include translation of once-
BK> meaningful identifiers (variable names, method names, ...)
BK> into meaningless gibberish.  A lexer would not help much there.

BK> Such an obfuscator sounds really tough to write for Ruby
BK> though...  I presume the string form of eval() would have
BK> to be disallowed from referring to any code subject to
BK> obfuscation...

BK> I would be very interested in a working Ruby code obfuscator,
BK> even given certain restrictions like that.  I'm writing an
BK> application in Ruby that will likely be heavily pirated, like
BK> a video game, as soon as a cracked copy of it becomes 
BK> available.  As with video games, which i used to do for about
BK> 9 years professionally, we're just trying to delay the time it
BK> takes for someone to produce a cracked version.  At least,
BK> I'm presuming anyone needing a Ruby code obfuscator is probably
BK> coming from the same situation.  That's why I'd like one anyway.
BK> I'm developing in Ruby because I want to add features faster
BK> than the competition.  (Not to mention how much fun programming
BK> in Ruby is. :)  But I've gone into writing this app in Ruby
BK> knowing I'm going to need *some* solution to delaying the
BK> (inevitable) appearance of a cracked version of my app.  So I'm
BK> very glad to hear Ken is working on such a technology, and
BK> grateful he'd be willing to share it.


I would also like to see something like this.
But to be true, it wouldn't help very much. The only real protection
system is to put the ruby source code under a BSD license so that you
can change the code and add some private decryption code inside the
"rb_compile_cstr" function. Of couse this can't be open source.
Remember that even a bytecode wouldn't help that much, as you can see
in decompiled Python/Java code. It's very readable.

So my request is up going to matz directly if he want's to change
the license for the ruby interpreter, allowing ruby to be more useable in
some kind of commerical applications.





-- 
 Best regards,                        emailto: scholz at scriptolutions dot com
 Lothar Scholz                        http://www.ruby-ide.com
 CTO Scriptolutions                   Ruby, PHP, Python IDE 's