[whatwg] about rich internat applications

Matthew Raymond spacedog at planetquake.com
Mon Jun 7 17:01:28 PDT 2004

Didier PH Martin wrote:
>>Personally I am opposed to technologies that make it harder to copy,
>>tweak, or otherwise play with the source of applications. XBL, like SVG
>>and CSS, will be a (theoretically) human-readable format.
> Yes the open source mantra. Can open source components be the source of a
> sound business model? (I mean here something that help people pay their rent
> and live with). What is more important, get access to lousy code or get
> access to a components and a vendor having interests to keep us as
> customers?

    Well, if the components are not in a human readable format, they 
have to be compiled in a non-readable format in some way. If you're 
going to do that, what's the difference between that and a plug-in? 
Furthermore, how do you stop someone from taking the source code for an 
open source browser and modifying it to decompile the control? You're 
effectively reduced to using ActiveX controls to keep your code safe, 
which is what some people do already. Furthermore, people could still 
theoretically decompile the Windows ActiveX control you create.

    But wait!!! We can protect the ActiveX control with DRM!!!...

    See where I'm going with this?

 > Without any religious positions I think its better that we have
> components available from a marketplace and some competition among the
> vendors. If the code can behave in a sandbox with good security checks I
> have no problems to not having access to the source code as long as I can
> complete a project on time and with reasonable costs.

    You're right! Just look at the browser market and see how the closed 
source marketplace has--er--um--let me think of another example...

    Seriously, though, think of it this way. If the code is so valuable, 
what is it even doing on a client-side web app? And what client-side 
control/component is so innovative and ground-breaking that copyright is 
insufficient protection? Keep in mind that any hacker can crack a 
protection given enough time, so if a company were really so determined 
to reverse engineer a web component, they'd figure out a way.

    Bottom line: If you need to protect your code so badly that the 
threat of a copyright lawsuit is insufficient, you're better off just 
writing a native app.

More information about the whatwg mailing list