[Mono-list] reverse engineering

A Rafael D Teixeira rafael.teixeirabr at terra.com.br
Tue Jun 14 08:52:51 EDT 2005

Hi Jonathan,

Sorry, some culture clash occurred, I think. 

In Brazil we don't consider what you named as "black box" reverse
engineering as reverse engineering at all, it is just part of the
requirements discovery phase of plain old forward engineering.

Only the "white box" variety is considered reverse engineering, and
surely that was my mindframe when saying that reverse engineering is

Sorry, for my ignorance.


On Mon, 2005-06-13 at 19:31 -0400, Jonathan Pryor wrote:
> On Mon, 2005-06-13 at 09:47 -0300, A Rafael D Teixeira wrote:
> > It is illegal to reverse engineer .NET, in most countries anyway...
> In what country is it illegal to reverse engineer *anything*?  
> Certainly not the U.S.A.
> The only typical restrictions are 
>  1. That it be for compatibility
>  2. That it be "black box" reverse engineering.
> Mono, Samba, Wine, and even the original Compaq BIOS (which sparked the
> PC Clone Wars) all meet these horribly onerous restrictions. :-)
> Just to clarify, white box reverse engineering would include
> decompiling .NET IL code.  This is obviously bad, because it opens you
> up to copyright infringement (among other potential issues).
> Black box reverse engineering would include writing unit tests
> against .NET to identify and clarify its behavior, and then implement
> Mono to conform to the unit tests.  Oddly, this is exactly what we do.
> :-)
> > Mono is open source, so you don't need to reverse engineer anything...
> Certainly you don't need to reverse-engineer Mono...  Unless you need to
> implement something under an incompatible license...
>  - Jon
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