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Topic: Open Javascript Security Dilemma
Conf: (P-PDF) Developers, Msg: 136890
From: aandi
Date: 7/27/2005 06:37 PM

A few cents more: this must be a problem with all interpreted languages. The fact is that it is easy now to view JavaScript; but if it were harder there would just be the motiviation to try harder. As with other aspects of PDF security, to be useful it would have to be documented. So whatever method Adobe adopted to make JavaScript hard to see would also have to be written down, and it would be worth someone's while to create code to get the JavaScript back out again.

Don't forget that, while piracy is rife, copyright protection DOES still exist, automatically, but adding reminders to your code is a good thing.

Another thing to consider: in some cases like this (PostScript is a similar case) people have written obfuscators, that take a piece of working JavaScript and rearrange it; perhaps renaming all the variables x1, x2; deleting all comments; running lines together; using more obscure ways to do the same thing (for instance, in C you can replace if (x == 1) { y = 3 ; } else { y = 4 ; } with y=(x==1)?3:4.) Only you keep the original, which also allows you to richly comment it for your own benefit. This would not deter a serious professional, but to be honest the volume of code is not so great here that a professional wouldn't be able to make their own. It would deter the amateur, who often steal from ignorance rather than malice; indeed many people who call themselves programmers do not know any other way to do it than to copy other people's code.

Finally, you could include "signatures" - perhaps pieces of unusual code that actually does nothing useful. These could be used in case of any legal challenge to demonstrate that your code was stolen.

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