[Mono-list] FW: [Ocl-general] Questions about OCL

Thomas F. Burdick tfb@OCF.Berkeley.EDU
Thu, 6 Sep 2001 12:22:52 -0700

Carsten Kuckuk writes:
 > Chris,
 > >>>>>
 > What if we were to write a tool that generates our own XML description files
 > using reflection on the MS SDK? Would that information fall under Microsoft
 > ownership?
 > <<<<<
 > That is reverse engineering.

I don't know that it's that straight-forward.  "Reverse engineering"
via reflection might be nearer to re-implementing.  As an example,
take Emacs, a Free Software system with great reflective abilities.
Say I'm trying to implement a commercial replacement for GNU Emacs.
It would only be a few lines of code to write a function
`show-all-defuns' that would gather all the function definitions for
all the lisp function loaded into the running image.  Or, if I thought
that was too obviously copyrighted by the FSF, it would be 2-3 pages
of code to gather, for each function, its name, documentation string,
and a description of the control and data flow through the function.
This would not be the actual definition, but would allow me to go
through, function by function, and implement my own by looking at the
general approach that the FSF version took.  That would probably make
it a derivative work, though.

The above two situations aren't the same as what we'd get using
reflection in the MS code, but I think they're closer than traditional
reverse engineering situations.