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Re: [plug] Easymail

On Thu, Mar 18, 1999 at 10:43:37AM +1000, Tony Langdon wrote:
>  da> 2. Harder solution.  See if we can reverse engineer the thing
>  da> (decompile or whatever) in order to figure out the protocol (I expect
>  da> it wouldn't be too much different to a standard pop protocol (may have
>  da> some odd tweaks here-and-there).
> Might have to be careful for legal reasons.  I don't know what the law
> says in relation to reverse engineering, but the extreme case was when
> the PC BIOS was reverse engineered.  One team did the reverse
> engineering, another (who had never seen the code) were given a set of
> specs and told "write some code to do this".

that was done to avoid any possibility of copyright infringement, so
they could have demonstrably squeaky-clean hands. the programmers could
honestly say in court (if ever required to do so) that they had never
seen the code. it was only worth doing like this because there were so
many millions of dollars involved.

reverse-engineering is perfectly legal in most countries (with the US
being one exception in some cases)

> Of course, with networked applications, there's always the option of
> protocol analysis, and no sneaking a peek at the code. :-)

yep.  it's probably some minor variant on POP or IMAP.

> If I was in charge of Easymail sales, this would certainly be an
> attractive option to me. :-)  (unless Telstra get a hefty fee from
> anyone else distributing their client to promote their own product, such
> as a modem or a PC).

my guess is they don't want to release the protocol specs because then
people could write their own client and turn off the advertising.

which is probably why the idea of text-only clients doesn't thrill them

IMO it would be cheaper and easier to set up a linux box with 2 or 3 or
4 dial-in modem lines and have it run as a uucp mail gateway. would work
better too. uucp is perfectly suited to this kind of setup.

why bother messing around with dumb proprietary hacks when perfectly
good free software alternatives (which do the job better) are available?


craig sanders