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Re: Encoded Mathematica Files

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg30471] Re: Encoded Mathematica Files
  • From: Jens-Peer Kuska <kuska at>
  • Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2001 02:15:35 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Universitaet Leipzig
  • References: <9lvhc2$4oi$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


the reason to encode a Mathematica package *is*
to hide the implementation !
It is done, if the author of the code don't like
to show you how clever he is. Many programmer don't
like to give the source code away. Encoding is the
only possibility to hide the source for the case of
a Mathematica package. For a compiled program
you get only the binary and you will never see the
souce code.

You plan a "reverse enginering" of the program source, this
is usual forbidden in your license agreement !
And if you talk about a commercial package it is
probably illegal to reverse engenier it.

You should ask the author of the packages if you 
wish to see/modify the source code.

The encoding is not a very good protection of
the Mathematica source. If you can find the contexts,
that the encoded package create, you can try to 
reconstruct the source by using 


and ask for Information[]/Definition[] all functions and
variables in this contexts, you can copy/paste the listings
into an ASCII editor, remove the fancy context prefixes in the
identifyers and you get some kind of listing.
This works not for functions with the attribute
ReadProtected and so your reconstruction may have some
missing parts.

It give you atleast a hint about the implementation
details. And it may be not perfect.

To say it again -- it may be illegal to do that (!)
for a commecial package.


khufu wrote:
> I've inherited some saved bits of Mathematica code
> that the author has saved
> in Mathematica Encoded format.  I've managed to
> load in (<<encodedfile) and
> display (!!encodedfile) but despite my ample
> reading of the help and
> documentation I can't seem to figure out how to
> save or view these encoded
> files in unencoded format so I can read what the
> hell they do!  Could
> someone toss me a hint?
> Many thanks.
> __________________________________________________
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