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  1. #1
    Confirmed Halfwit
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    ionCube -vs- SourceGuardian ??

    I am interested in encoding my PHP script, but I don't know what is the best program to use.

    Does anyone know of a comparison between ionCube and SourceGuardian? I would like to know the practical differences between them.

    All I know, from an "end-user" standpoint, is:

    • ionCube requires your php files to be uploaded in BINARY format.. which would really confuse my customers who's ftp program would of course default to ascii. (My product is designed for newbie web designers, etc..)
    • ionCube requires a "loader" file, which is platform dependant. This would create a problem for my customers who may or may not know what "platform" they are using.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Confirmed Halfwit
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    Anyone?

  3. #3
    "Of" != "Have" bronze trophy Jeff Lange's Avatar
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    ionCube actually compiles your code, and makes it a lot faster to run, and makes it impossible to edit.

    SourceGuardian makes your code harder for an average Joe to edit, that's about it.
    Who walks the stairs without a care
    It shoots so high in the sky.
    Bounce up and down just like a clown.
    Everyone knows its Slinky.

  4. #4
    Confirmed Halfwit
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyborg from dh
    ionCube actually compiles your code, and makes it a lot faster to run, and makes it impossible to edit.

    SourceGuardian makes your code harder for an average Joe to edit, that's about it.
    SourceGuardian also has the ability to encrypt your code, just like ionCube.

    Thant's why i'm trying to get a comparison.. because they seem to do the same thing...

  5. #5
    Confirmed Halfwit
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    *Bump*

  6. #6
    public static void brain Gybbyl's Avatar
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    Why are you trying to go against nature and close the source for php code?

    What are you trying to hide?

    Bad code?
    Ryan

  7. #7
    Confirmed Halfwit
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    What are you trying to hide?
    I'm trying to hide the many many many many hours of sweat blood and tears I've put into building my application. I do NOT want someone to simply rip me off and start selling MY application as their own..

    And yes, this has happened over a dozen times so far in 1 year.

    If you don't have anything to say that is related to the thread starting post then please don't bother posting. I do not wish to debade the issue of open -vs- closed code.

    Thanks.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard siteguru's Avatar
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    I do NOT want someone to simply rip me off and start selling MY application as their own
    ionCube requires your php files to be uploaded in BINARY format.. which would really confuse my customers who's ftp program would of course default to ascii. (My product is designed for newbie web designers, etc..)
    ionCube requires a "loader" file, which is platform dependant. This would create a problem for my customers who may or may not know what "platform" they are using.
    Whilst I don't doubt the validity and sentiments of your last post, these seem to be very contradictory statements - how does someone that knows nothing rip you off?
    If you don't have anything to say that is related to the thread starting post then please don't bother posting. I do not wish to debade the issue of open -vs- closed code.
    Welcome to the world of forums (although given the number of SP arrows you have you should be well conversant with such things happening).
    Ian Anderson
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  9. #9
    public static void brain Gybbyl's Avatar
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    I do not wish to debade the issue of open -vs- closed code.
    Nor do I -- But if I wanted to, where would I find this debate? I see no mention of any debates on this thread.
    And yes, this has happened over a dozen times so far in 1 year.
    Sheesh, that's once per month. I'm assuming that you write massive amounts of php, and also spends massive amounts of time pouring through all of the newest php apps, right?
    Ryan

  10. #10
    Confirmed Halfwit
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    siteguru - My original post stated may or may not know.... this indicates that not every one of my customers knows anything. I am not worried about "normal" customers... I'm worried about the php-savvy people who think they can simply steal someone's application and sell it as their own.

    Gybbyl - Yes, I happen to be a php programmer, and I do write massive amounts of php. I also happen to sell 5 different applications I've written over the years. With sales of approx. 10-20 licenses per day, I am rightly concerned about theft of my work. (And therefore my living!)

    If you made clay pots for a living, and someone was stealing a few out of your workshop every day, or worse, stealing your customized designs... and then selling them as their own.... wouldn't you also try to figure out how best to "protect" your work?

    The way I understand it... if there ARE ways to protect yourself, then why not take advantage of them. Yes, I believe in helping others, and open-source, and whatever.... but I am trying to make my living from selling my software, and I don't appreciate people stealing from my CHILDREN!

    :-)

  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot Ghandi's Avatar
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    well it looks as that both offer free trials....

    but by the readings on the front page of each site i would go with SourceGuardian Pro.

    That'll prove especially helpful if you have time based licenses like some products. 1 year you can encode it to expire after a year, blah, blah, blah....

    btw what do you make? (software)
    W.W.G.D. :: What Would Gandhi Do
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  12. #12
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    I make two different online WYSIWYG editor programs, two download/subscription managers, and I just released an article management application.

    I am sick and tired of people stealing my software, and am really looking for opinions from users of either ionCube or SourceGuardian.

    From the website, I think sourceguardian is "better" (has a better website), but I've seen a number of apps recently that use ionCube.

    I've tried emailing the application authors for opinions, but they ignore me! Grrrrrr.

    Cheers!
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  13. #13
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    [rant]Sheesh! Everyone just stfu pleeze! He has the right to encrypt his own scripts if he wishes! Its his scripts he can do what he wants them. All this useless posting wasting precious bandwith and nobodys botherd to answer his question![/rant]

    Mate im going to keep it plain and simple, dont use SourceGuardian. It can be decrypted very easily. Zend is probably best, but out of the two you provided, definitly go for ioncube!

    Btw SourceGuardian is an ok solution to stopping the ordinary joe blogg from distributing your script to a few mates, but to stop people from stealing your source, i would definitly stay away from it!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullahimhard
    Mate im going to keep it plain and simple, dont use SourceGuardian. It can be decrypted very easily, Zend encoder is the best although it comes at a hefty price!

    Out of the two i would go for ionCube
    1) How do you know SourceGuardian can be easily decrypted?

    2) Are you a user of ionCube? How do your customers find it? My experience is that it is difficult to "install".. (required users to FTP php files in binary, which many don't know how to change default upload type... and they also don't know how to find/install the .so file needed for whatever is their OS.) ANy thoughts?

    Thanks!

  15. #15
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    1) I have seen SourceGuardian files decripted, and also have the ability to do so

    2) No i am not a user, this is one of the disadvantages of using ioncode, the host must have the Loader on the server for your script to work. So if your customer has a host without the loader, they may come running to you for a refund, this is why zend is better as more hosts have the zend loader

  16. #16
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    Why spend money?

    Hey,

    Have you looked into using Turke MMCache. It is an accelerator/encoder/caching engine for PHP.

    It is also FREE! I am planning to load it and use it instead of Ioncube's Accelerator.

    Both Ioncube and Turke can run encoded files through the use of a loader which can be easily added to php environments through the php.ini file.

    On shared environments, it would depend on whether local php.ini overrides are allowed through .htaccess.

    I haven't looked into how secure or protected the encoded files are yet but if you are really worried about your code just use the free php source code obfuscator. Taking the time to unobfuscate code is time consuming and not worth the effort, especially if there are lots of files.

    Or you can do both if you are really paranoid.

    tribui

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tribui
    Hey,

    Have you looked into using Turke MMCache. It is an accelerator/encoder/caching engine for PHP.
    That looks very interesting, but from what I understand it requires access to the server not given to common shared hosting account?

  18. #18
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    Yes jb2 that is exactly right. Very few customers will have access to the hosts root, therefore they will not be able to install these themselves. Using lesser known programes like Turke is a sure way to lose customers.

  19. #19
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    Loading extensions

    fullahimhard and jb2,

    Quote Originally Posted by fullahimhard
    Yes jb2 that is exactly right. Very few customers will have access to the hosts root, therefore they will not be able to install these themselves. Using lesser known programes like Turke is a sure way to lose customers.
    Loading an extension can be done through editing php.ini <--- overriding and adding values to php.ini can be done through local .htaccess files if allowed.

    Am I missing something for a shared environment??

    Anyways, for a third alternative, PHTML Encoder -> http://www.rssoftlab.com/index.php which has 3 methods to execute, replace the php engine, as an extension, and self-decoding (no modifications to environment necessary).

    Actually I like the look of the PHTML's encoded scripts, much nicer and cleaner. Also cheaper...

    tribui

  20. #20
    ********* wombat firepages's Avatar
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    If you are making $$ and want to contribute then whats wrong with Zend Encoder ?
    Nobody knows PHP better , nobody is more likely to guarentee backwards compatibility and no host has an excuse not to have the Zend Optimizer available.

    It may be a little dearer in the short term , but despite thier awful attempts at IDE's Zend do have php encoding down pat and do provide very good support IME.

    If Zend had got the pricing right for the Encoder in the first place we probably would not be having this discussion though

    and yes you should be free to encode anything you wish.

  21. #21
    No. Phil.Roberts's Avatar
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    How about Turck MMCache?

    It's an open-source encoder/optimizer for both Windows and *Nix systems. I've installed it on both mine and my housemates PC's and although I don't notice a massive speed difference (frankly on a 2Ghz CPU system with 1Gb of RAM over a LAN you'd need to have pretty sharp eyes to pick out speed differences) it does have some pretty cool features.

    For instance, the decoder binary for encoded scripts can be used seperate from the actual optimizer, and dynamically loaded at runtime via dl().

    Heres the contents from an example MMcache encoded file:
    PHP Code:
    <?php if (!is_callable("mmcache_load") && !@dl("TurckLoader.so")) { die("This PHP script has been encoded with Turck MMcache, to run it you must install <a href=\"http://www.turcksoft.com/en/e_mmc.htm\">Turck MMCache or Turck Loader</a>");} return mmcache_load('eJyNVVtv0zAUtt2sy4Zggl/gp/WBMvEAEtLWolE
    KRdrW0mxCPFVpYlZDGw/bWdUfwQP/mHNs95JdRC25PrG/c7/0
    /Lxz2ul1CSOEULYDv2lpJ4RFSwoWvtVg52MEwd6HLbRWejQz1
    +FuJ2zPTqk7kYuQZ8SvBJA15gTR954roeurhAGNeu1EGnoFepd
    PDQYwB918prS2t2nIIUUEKhpUoEMH9ZKaEXnap7UefFwo/jG1
    6Tg1gqvxT5FZLg1Pb1M5TcdT0eRKczsRWvB5CvcFd4r4XNoJ3v
    M8MLepc64Oe6quZQHh8qd3/t2m82vz6ToWxzQC+zB2v0uhFw
    MMA36NBv3kknyFODHvaWmEHhXpTMRw8Qdlds+6nUu+um96
    8iY1JpAy5/t8i/Vp2D93HGY7/Lded9hdK+Yt3ohoTBkYhuFonLagB
    IBoUVcekXd/5SNdZ3R95+PwBL6vhR2qeUeVhW2RIOAFgVcX6p
    eMvHmQtb5iPW156MoEhiYgD2K0MOXU0kN4jxjGl2zEF4N3LwW
    kkgKEfDhxwk+8cFrDZM/yt8/ByoiBha8HpKot6NldCpG5q/cYtSTd
    JPnSvyCXTs8G5BDCFNFHRFVK4jFhFdB24tC9/4pDkBfnwnoXCtn
    YD8NAaWlE7pqzTtuwt2zkYyxwpfWiCe2WWo4a50rnPFfC8EJZP
    ktt5ntRFYLL4k5b1smWmv7C1VWBTc+t4lOVpVbwhSq1K3BX33
    eE85upwCObiOyXe5HFD6XBIKkKHCMZGA4T5YgPxUzMxkJ7H5b
    ycJ7kK4/gC6ZMBgJfGVEYaeWtOEL7ce36uaJK6wcLEn6y7ITJ8p
    nQOHb9VckCZofREwcBvw/gMMIYMHCUC2O1WoTJFfu28YN7g8
    K1F3R8v5fkM/i7aDISD+4pDvVUzf8Btm+dQmfEbV8HK/mg0SXE
    K1+SuGpB+0PzvJLHdhSQLJyEhrMdhgasf2D6RLI='
    );?>
    It also allows you to specity mmcache as a session handler, which would allow you to store session data directly in shared memory. Which would give you a massive speed increase if your site uses a lot of sessions.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
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    Someone said about having to upload ionCube encoded files in binary, I'm pretty sure you have to with Zend Encoded files too as some of the characters in them are above ASCII 127, which means they are open to interpretation by the host server depending on the locale set.
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  23. #23
    Confirmed Halfwit
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl
    Someone said about having to upload ionCube encoded files in binary,
    This is really the only complaint I've been able to find regarding ionCube. You have to make sure the customer uploads the php files in BINARY mode, and also unzip them without using the automatic newline thing.

    Since most FTP programs will automatically upload .php files in ASCII, and winzip is set to default USING the automatic newline thing.... this is a bit of a problem.

    Do script authors using ionCube encoder find they must provide a lot of support for this issues?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by hstraf
    This is really the only complaint I've been able to find regarding ionCube. You have to make sure the customer uploads the php files in BINARY mode, and also unzip them without using the automatic newline thing.
    We just wanted to add that this actually hasn't been an issue for over a year now as we introduced an ASCII encoding mode into the Encoder directly to combat this issue. (The online Encoder does still generate binary files)

    When creating the Encoder, binary format files were the obvious choice. They look "impressive", messing up a Unix xterm if you "cat" them for example, and give good performance. However, what we didn't forsee was the problem with applications such as the WinZIP automatic CR/LF conversion feature, certain FTP programs that try to guess whether a file is ASCII or binary, and FTP clients such as Dreamweaver that only support ASCII transfers. This issue is typically only a problem between a Windows client and a Unix server, but of course, that was almost everyone. Something had to be done.

    Our ASCII file format was therefore introduced as a wrapper around the existing binary file format, being supported ahead of time by the release 2.4 Loader in Dec 2003 (to give a chance for penetration of the Loader), and appearing as the default file format in the March 2004 Encoder release. Whilst files could still get transformed by FTP or WinZIP, the data integrity is preserved as the modified line breaks aren't part of the data, and the transformation from ASCII format back to the underlying "original" binary format still works as it should. As there is an extra layer of encoding, ASCII encoded files perform slightly less well than if encoded with the binary format, but as the decoding routines are highly optimised (we spent a good day analysing and benchmarking just the handful of lines of code that do this in order to maximise performance), there's no downside from the ASCII format and a considerable upside for the end user.

    Hope this helps.

    ionCube

  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
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    PHTML encoder looks interesting, but self decodable scripts - surely that means if the script can decode itself then anyone can get the content of the script, because the script contains the logic for decoding itself.
    Karl Austin :: Profile :: KDA Web Services Ltd.
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