View Full Version : Reverse Engineering projects?

April 29th, 2007, 07:13 AM
I guess this is kind of embarassing since I'm going into a Comp Sci major and I should know this but... why don't we have more reverse engineering projects going on?

As an open source community, the single biggest advantage that we have is that we can share and collaborate much better than closed source projects. If we had more reverse engineering projects, not only would closed source projects lose their appeal (why develop closed if people are going to reverse engineer it?) but we would also have many more powerful applications. The best examples I can think of are the illustrator/photoshop kit and perhaps the CAD environment and, of course, graphics drivers. Of course, the biggest advantage to this is that more people would come over the linux because the apps would be available for all the OSes.

Photoshop is widely viewed as more powerful than GIMP or any other image editor out there, but it has alot of bloatware. We really don't have autoCAD or solidworks on linux, ProE is available, but I don't believe that it is open source. Finally, the Nvidia and ATI drivers drive me insane and many others can probably attest to that as well. Is there some site like launchpad atleast that people can come together and work on reverse engineering applications and drivers?

(Yes, I realize that application reverse engineering is a whole different ballgame when compared to driver reverse engineering.)

April 29th, 2007, 07:30 AM
Because it's hard work.

April 29th, 2007, 07:33 AM
Everything is hard work. I think that is a comment that can stand for anything related to opensource. If you want easy work, use windows or mac :P

I agree. We need more reverse engineering going on. Especially on ati gpus because for crying out loud they cant even give out good proprietary drivers. Might as well learn how the cards work all the way thru and make some nice open source drivers.

And, sure its hard work. But, opensource projects are driven by anyone who cares, not people who HAVE to be employed by some company limited to their own market.

April 29th, 2007, 07:34 AM
Because you have to set it up right so as to not trip up the law, you have to have two teams, one doing the research and creating documents for team two to come in and write code. you can't let team one write the code because that would fall faul of DMCA and a number of other daft laws around licensing.

And as above, it's bloody hard work, I know I've done it a few times.

April 29th, 2007, 07:53 AM
Hmm I realize that it may be hard work, but imagine the benefits =o. ATI/Nvidia open source drivers? Are any members of team 1 allowed to work on team 2 btw? Also, does this law apply in Canada =P?

Tundro Walker
April 29th, 2007, 09:42 AM
Also, does this law apply in Canada =P?

"A group of Linux dev's announced today that they released a version of PhotoShop for Linux, which they reverse-engineered from the Windows version and simply re-coded for Linux. They did this on one of the developer's private Islands in the middle of the Pacific, where International law doesn't apply. So, while it can legally be used there, it is illegal to use any where else in the known universe. When asked what they thought, Adobe spokesperson said 'um...what?'. Meanwhile, in other news, a mass exodus of Linux users have booked flights to the Linux PhotoShop developers island, saying 'thank god, it's about time'..."

April 29th, 2007, 10:41 AM
Aren't there patents in place protecting software from being reverse engineered?

April 29th, 2007, 04:14 PM
From what I've read about reverse engineering, patents protect some things, but reverse engineering is mainly discovering how something works and then doing it another way, so that it avoids conflicts with copyright law.

As DoctorMO said earlier, there's ways around it but you need 2 teams to be doing it. Realisticly, I think as soon as team 1 finishes the documentation, people will start jumping on board to implement it.