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Code Obfuscation - just Wrong

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James Robertson

Posts: 29924
Nickname: jarober61
Registered: Jun, 2003

David Buck, Smalltalker at large
Code Obfuscation - just Wrong Posted: Aug 25, 2004 12:18 PM
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Original Post: Code Obfuscation - just Wrong
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Julia Lerman talks about code obfuscation tools for .NET, and makes a point I have to disagree violently with:

I *know* that obfuscation is%A0 another level of security that we can all leverage. I *know* Microsoft has made it really easy by putting this 1Clite 1D (Community Edition) version into Visual Studio.NET. So, raising my hand, yet again as a typical developer - writing custom corporate applications that are not being put out in the market place - why have I never touched%A0 it, used it, thought about it?

yeah, security via obscurity has worked so well in the software industry. Access to sources helps - both in security terms, and in transparency terms (to developers). Obfuscating code just tells future developers that you don't care and want their job to be hard. Here's the point - no code is ever going to cover all possible use cases. Allowing other developers to extend and understand is a good thing. Final classes - bad. Final methods - bad. Code obfuscators - obnoxious.

This is one item that ought to bubble down to the bottom, and fast....

Read: Code Obfuscation - just Wrong

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