[fpc-pascal] FPC clean room project

Karoly Balogh (Charlie/SGR) charlie at scenergy.dfmk.hu
Mon Jan 2 19:29:40 CET 2017


On Mon, 2 Jan 2017, Santiago A. wrote:

> Well, I think it's evidentĀ  that Freepascal and lazarus tries to be
> delphi compatible, and that means that must look close to delphi to
> imitate it's behavior and syntax.
> Is that reverse engineering? Well, I'm not a lawyer, I don't know where
> "finding a similar solution for the same problem" ends and "Reverse
> engineering" starts. Nowadays it looks like painting a line is patented.

I'd like to point out, that reverse engineering is not illegal, in most
countries. As in, investigate the workings of some software or computer
system in general, then document how it works, and then write a
replacement based on that. Neither is implementing a documented and well
defined API.

Heavily regulated it can be, and there are cases where it has to be done
with great care, but just the fact that some information was obtained by
some reverse engineering process doesn't make it immediately illegal. For
example, writing unit tests to an API and then reimplement the API pass
the same unit tests is a form of reverse engineering, but still it's an
everyday practice in software engineering. And it has to be, otherwise
most software would be illegal, really, especially in OOP where your class
just extends the functionality of an object it inherits, and in overriden
methods it has to reproduce some functionality... And so on.

Looking at Delphi source code (or it's RTL's source code) and then
implement similar feature *by the same person* in FPC would be illegal.
But looking at the source cose is not reverse engineering, is it?

So such accusations without any evidence is spreading FUD at best.


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