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Re: Question

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: Question
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2017 20:22:04 -0600
User-agent: NeoMutt/20170609 (1.8.3)

Saint Michael wrote:
> I use Linux. My business to provide services for problems that I solve, as
> you mention, by calling Awk, sed, join, etc., and databases.

Sounds good.  I classify myself the same way. :-)

> I allow my customers to login to a box that I provide in my
> datacenter. I cannot accept that it is impossible to restrict them
> to only call my *,sh scripts.

That sounds more like a restricted shell environment.  There has been
lots of talk and lots of discussion about restricted shells for many
years.  It is a very hard thing to successfully do.  Many try.  If you
search the archives you will find much discussion on this topic.

> I found a company that has a nice obfuscating and encrypting product
> for shell script, and I am trying it. I am no worried only about
> passwords, but the overall logic itself.

At this point we will have to agree to disagree that this is a good
thing to do.  Because philosophically the Free Software (also known as
Libre Software) community deals with software that respects the user's
freedoms.  The "free" is Free Software is not about cost but about
"freedom".  In some languages "libre" meaning liberty gives a better
feeling of it.  Obfuscating your software is your right but the users
of your software do not have the "four essential freedoms".

You can read something of this philosophy here:


> Many thanks for the time you took to respond. But in this case you fall
> close to an error. The market needs a tool so we can generate solutions and
> also protect our intellectual property. I am not smart enough to write it,
> but somebody will.

I think the opposite.  For example you are using a GNU/Linux system
which is Libre Free Software.  You are making use of a lot of hard
work by many people in the community.  They have given this to you and
all of us.  You are not charged money for this.  Yet you do not wish
to reciprocate and give back to the community.  You wish your work to
be proprietary.  At that we are philosophically opposed in values. :-(

Also when you say "intellectual property" it is problematic.  You
might want to read some as to why:


However this difference in philosophy does not change the technology
that creating a compiler for an interpreted language is very hard.
Maybe impossible.  Therefore one hasn't been created.  (I don't like
to say anything is impossible.  Because often clever people find a way
to make the impossible possible.  And in this case by changing the
problem and restricting the language it is possible.  Just not useful
at that point.)

Therefore regardless of our differences what you want is not easy to
do on a technical level.

I don't want to suggest this but...  Instead of obfuscating the shell
script program it would be better if you chose a compiled language
from the start.  Then you could simply compile it and have what you


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