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A paranoid client wants to make developers' life miserable

Saurabh Pillai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 506
ok so we have made an i_Pad application and now we want to submit it to A_ppl_e. Now my client's concern is about revealing codebase and hence all functionalities. Accoding to him it's a unique application for his domain and he does not want A_ppl_e engineers to understand the code. So what he is asking is renaming all the webservices name/methods and refer them by number. For example, getEmployeeList would become getMthod324.

Now,my concern is if we do this, code is not at all maintainable. We need to look into some document and resolve the method number to its actual name to understand what that method does.

My client has also gone through A_ppl_e's all legal terms and conditions.

How can I convince him not to do all this?

I do not have much idea about A_ppl_e's procedure to publish/authorize end user's application. but atleast I saw one Stev_e's video where he was saying we receive hundreds of application each week and we publish them too. so I don't think they dig into some one's codebase. Also isn't it tough to debug and understand someone's codebase? and above all I do not think a reputed company like A_ppl_e would "steal" somebody's idea? If it was the case they would not have made this far,right?

One thing I know if we do this we would regret later on. Please help.
pete stein
Bartender

Joined: Feb 23, 2007
Posts: 1561
I'm no pro, but in any business I know, he that pays sets the rules. But you can set the prices. Perhaps the best way to convince him of his folly is to figure out how much this will increase maintenance and upgrade costs because it will certainly increase maintenance and upgrade time and effort. If realistic cost increases don't convince him, then give him what he wants.
Tiffany Coleman
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 12, 2011
Posts: 3

I don't know about A_ppl_e -- but there are loads of "reputable" companies that are constantly dueling in court about stolen intellectual property, proprietary code that gets "misused", and for that matter complete designs for medical and electronic devices. There is an entire industry around cracking through and reverse engineering this kind of stuff, including employed "actors" who gain access to things like the "reference document" you mentioned to make their jobs easier.

In fact, the super company you mentioned has done this before and recently, here's a link: http://blogs.computerworld.com/16683/apple_steals_iphone_app_ideas_and_patents_them_and_lightsabers

While doing what your customer has asked you might not be the best option to provide a "warm fuzzy" feeling -- there are other options. There are different kinds of encryption tools, defining an IP or copyright before sending it for deployment as an app, or patenting the specific idea that your customer has.

They all have their different costs. -shrug- But even having these "blankets of protection" won't prevent all of the infringements your customer is afraid of -- there are ways around everything, if your product/idea is worth enough capital.

Good luck with your revisions or whatever other solution you come up with.

--tiff
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41068
    
  43
There are no concerns about the codebase, because Apple never gets their hands on any code. Your client must have misunderstood something.


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Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
Bartender

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 3476

Ulf Dittmer wrote:There are no concerns about the codebase, because Apple never gets their hands on any code. Your client must have misunderstood something.

If Apple doesn't get their hand on code, then how do they know if you are using a private API?
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41068
    
  43
If Apple doesn't get their hand on code, then how do they know if you are using a private API?

There's no particular difficulty figuring out which code entry points are being used by a binary executable; that's easy to automate.
 
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