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Article - The Importance of Style in LabVIEW Programming


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QUOTE (BobHamburger @ Jul 12 2008, 07:37 PM)

Maybe I'm completely misunderstanding your intent in these statements, but it sounds like you want your code incomprehensible as a means to prevent your customers from using other resources, so they are compelled to keep coming back to you. Personally, I think that the quality of a contractor's work should stand on its own. Customers should be so delighted that further engagements happen as the natural course of the business relationship. If I found out that one of my contractors was deliberately engineering complexity into their products, to try to ensure repeat business, I'd see to it that they never worked for me again.

Intentionally making your code obscure, as a means to protect what you believe to be unique, is legally unjustifiable and morally indefensible.

Yes I think you are completely misunderstanding. It's not my customers compelling my behavior in this regard, it's my competition. Patent protection is not relevant because, in my field of application, all patents have been used as blueprints to steal original ideas. To say it another way, filing a patent for software or ideas, has not been sufficient to protect IP. One small change defeats the patent.

Intentionally making MY code -- that I alone see and should see at this point -- is my privilege and right. It isn't my BELIEF that what I've developed is unique -- it is unique.

Delivering reliable, state of the art software to my customers is my obligation and commitment.

Intentionally trying to crack my code (and yours and everyone else's) "is legally unjustifiable and morally indefensible" to borrow a phrase of yours. And to be clear I know that there have been several attempts to do so by those who SHOULD know that those actions were "legally unjustifiable and morally indefensible". It is because others might try -- and in fact HAVE done so -- that I have built in as many protections as I have for my IP.

Added note:

Perhaps I should clarify something that others may not know. I run my own small company. Except for some sub-projects that I "farm out", I have done all of the code myself. I build the EXE and I (my small company) distributes and supports it. My comments about obscuring code and such are related specifically to THAT context. They are NOT meant as general comments and I thought I had made that clear in my prior posts but perhaps it wasn't as clear as I thought. Since most LAVA members appear to work FOR someone else or WITH someone else, the general comments about clear style and appropriate structure would apply and, again, I thought I had made it clear in a prior post that I did NOT support my extreme means of obscuring code EXCEPT for the exceptional case.

Now, since I not only appear to be in the minority here but also to be on the verge of inciting flames, I will refrain from posting any further on this. Apologies for disturbing the peace.

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Val,

Would it not be easier for you to develop and maintain your code in an unobfuscated way and to consider doing the obfuscation in your release process when you build your executable? I understand that there could be level of obfuscation, but doing it in the build process could simplify your life quite a bit and still return code quite difficult to reverse engineer.

PJM

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QUOTE (PJM_labview @ Jul 12 2008, 11:29 PM)

Val,

Would it not be easier for you to develop and maintain your code in an unobfuscated way and to consider doing the obfuscation in your release process when you build your executable? I understand that there could be level of obfuscation, but doing it in the build process could simplify your life quite a bit and still return code quite difficult to reverse engineer.

PJM

I do both to increase the overall security for me, my IP and my small company.

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Val's latest comments and explanation put things into a clearer light.

I write from the perspective of having been an integrator for a number of years, and in my current position I use contractors. I can see that Val's position and concerns are somewhat different from mine (and perhaps a large fraction of the LAVA community), and I hope that my statements weren't taken as overly judgemental. I tend to write with passion, as I have grown to despise the weak and ambiguous language that has come to dominate business communications over the last few decades. It's never my intention to incite a flame war, but I will admit that with my opinions you might occasionally smell smoke. I love a good, hearty debate. :yes:

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QUOTE (BobHamburger @ Jul 13 2008, 04:23 PM)

Val's latest comments and explanation put things into a clearer light.

I write from the perspective of having been an integrator for a number of years, and in my current position I use contractors. I can see that Val's position and concerns are somewhat different from mine (and perhaps a large fraction of the LAVA community), and I hope that my statements weren't taken as overly judgemental. I tend to write with passion, as I have grown to despise the weak and ambiguous language that has come to dominate business communications over the last few decades. It's never my intention to incite a flame war, but I will admit that with my opinions you might occasionally smell smoke. I love a good, hearty debate. :yes:

I appreciate what you're saying Bob and I know that many smell smoke when I voice my opinions. Having gone to Georgetown undergraduate I, too, love a good hearty debate.

FWI, and just to tweak this a bit, I think it could be said that the more potentially "judgmental" comments thrown at me by some came because of a failure to clarify the Requirements of my situation. It seems that, perhaps, some jumped in and started Developing before really understanding the project... ;-)

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QUOTE (Val Brown @ Jul 13 2008, 07:37 PM)

...a failure to clarify the Requirements of my situation... started Developing before really understanding the project...

I think we've all been a little guilty of that at least once in our lives :D That said, that doesn't mean that I agree with your methods :)

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