[Openmcl-devel] CCL images, consumer apps, and piracy

Andrew Shalit alms at clozure.com
Sat Apr 9 20:02:35 PDT 2011

On Apr 9, 2011, at 10:03 PM, Brandon Van Every wrote:

> On Sat, Apr 9, 2011 at 8:11 PM, Luke Crook <luke at balooga.com> wrote:
>> On Sat, Apr 9, 2011 at 4:25 PM, Brandon Van Every <bvanevery at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> Not just pirate, but modify with impunity for their own purposes.
>> You asked a specific question regarding the capabilities of CL. It sounds
>> like
> I am not satisfied that "it sounds like" what you say.  Maybe I am
> stupid; maybe not all things have been said on this subject.

Brandon -

Could you explain more what your concern is about Common Lisp and CCL in particular?  Why do you think it would be easier for someone to alter the behavior of a Common Lisp program than a C program?

I don't know your level of familiarity with Common Lisp and CCL, so I apologize if I'm saying things that you already know.  But to be clear, CCL (like most modern Common Lisp implementations) is not interpreted.  It is compiled and your code would also be compiled.  Source code wouldn't be included in the final product that you ship.

It's true that a resourceful hacker with a good debugger could make changes to your program.  But the fact is, most such hackers are used to looking at C code, or maybe C++.  The vast majority of them would look at an application written in CCL and be utterly confused by what it's doing.  Now, if you write a program that Gary Byers or maybe Matt Emerson wanted to co-opt for their own purposes, then you might be in trouble.  But Gary and Matt are quite busy already workin CCL gives you that.

But perhaps we're still not understanding what your concern.  If you could state more specifically why you think it would be easier to hijack and repurpose a CCL application than an application written in another language, we might be able to respond more fully.


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