Kragen Sitaker kragen at dnaco.net
Sun Apr 23 07:48:58 CEST 2000

In article <B527F39C.24A7%dgoodger at bigfoot.com>,
David Goodger  <dgoodger at bigfoot.com> wrote:
>on 2000-04-22 01:57, Highdesertman (HighdesertmanREMOVE at yahoo.com) wrote:
>The user must have Python installed. But since it's absolutely free with no
>strings attached whatsoever, and multi-platform to boot, that's not a

Maybe you should go back and read the Tanenbaum vs. Torvalds debate
about why allowing redistribution of patches makes Minix unviable.
It's the same debate.

I just built Python on NeXTSTEP 3.3 a few weeks ago.  It took me less
than an hour to get it installed and working properly (as far as it's
possible for it to work properly.)  An hour is a lot of work to install
a program.

>> In addition, one of the real advantages of the
>> development of the compiler was that it gave your code a level of protection
>> against being tampered with and made it easily useable by a wide audience.
>One of the greatest advantages of interpreted languages in general, and
>Python in particular, is that their programs can be run under multiple
>operating systems (if they are written correctly, of course). You are
>running Win95. I run MacOS. Bruce runs Linux. We can all run the same Python
>program. Result: even wider audience!

Well, platform-independent bytecode is platform-independent, too.
Python does have .pyc code, which can be run without the .py file it
was compiled from.  I don't know how platform-independent it is; my
guess is "very".

That said, one of the greatest advantages of interpreted languages is
that the user can "tamper" with the code easily.

I'd be nervous about trying to run code from someone who thought they
had the right to "protect" the code telling *my* machine what to do *on
my behalf* from me knowing what it did or changing it to suit my

>If someone really wants to get into (decompile, reverse engineer) a compiled
>program (.exe), they can. It takes some work to do this, but compiling is
>not secure encryption.

You can't have secure encryption if you're going to run your code on a
machine under someone else's control.  If it were securely encrypted,
their machine wouldn't be able to read it in order to run it.  :)
<kragen at pobox.com>       Kragen Sitaker     <http://www.pobox.com/~kragen/>
The Internet stock bubble didn't burst on 1999-11-08.  Hurrah!
The power didn't go out on 2000-01-01 either.  :)

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