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  1. #1
    Making a better wheel silver trophy DR_LaRRY_PEpPeR's Avatar
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    Thumbs up a cheap alternative to Zend Encoder for encoding PHP scripts

    i know people have asked here before about ways to encode your PHP scripts without buying the expensive Zend Encoder. so i thought i'd let you know that i noticed a new product called the PHP Encoder on the PHP Accelerator site the other day.

    the Encoder looks like it might be done by the same guy as the Accelerator (or at least he's involved with it). according to talk in the forums, it will be a Web based service first where you can upload your scripts and have them encoded. i hear it may be as cheap as $1 for small scripts. pretty good compared to Zend's product. they say you will also be able to buy the program for use on your system later (like Zend's).

    to decode scripts from Zend's Encoder, you need to have the Zend Optimizer. PHP Encoder will have a free decoder available that, i believe, is a PHP extension. the next versions of PHP Accelerator will also support decoding, which should be cool.

    i noticed in the forum that they're supposed to start beta testing today. i don't know how many people actually want to protect their code, but this sounds promising for those who do. just wanted to let you know.
    - Matt ** Ignore old signature for now... **
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  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist ckchin's Avatar
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    I think zend should reduce the price of their product. The Zend encoder is considered EXTREMELY expensive!!! Who afford to buy this product? Normally SOHO users cannot afford this. Price around USD30-50 is reasonable. I am surprised no one c**** it?

  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru
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    Hello,

    I don't think it would run in the long run. Because most of the Hosting Providers (atleast me) don't install any mods of PHP until unless I have asked any one from the PHP Development Team.

    Also, the most important thing is there are very few hosts that are willing to install stuff like this as this may also have any conflicts with Zend Optimizer.

    Most of all, I have also heard that Zend Accelerator have problems with Zend Encoded files.

    -Omair
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  4. #4
    purple monkey dishwasher scoates's Avatar
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    Before last week, I much appreciated Zend Encoder. It was simple to use, and always worked.

    I've wasted somewhere around 15 hours in the past 2 weeks working around ZE2.0x bugs. I'm not a happy consumer.

    First, __FILE__ doesn't work in ZE2. It gets replaced by the path where it was ENCODED, not where it's EXECUTED. This is wrong. I emailed Zend, they told me to use zend_loader_current_file() in place of __FILE__. That seemed to work, but now include_once and require_once break with that function.

    I'm not pleased at all.
    I'll definitely look into this service.

    S

  5. #5
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    The Encoder is Launched

    Hi, Thanks for discussing the encoder. Here are a few comments on the points raised.

    Before last week, I much appreciated Zend Encoder. It was simple to use, and always worked. I've wasted somewhere around 15 hours in the past 2 weeks working around ZE2.0x bugs. I'm not a happy consumer. First, __FILE__ doesn't work in ZE2. It gets replaced by the path where it was ENCODED, not where it's EXECUTED. This is wrong. I emailed Zend, they told me to use zend_loader_current_file() in place of __FILE__. That seemed to work, but now include_once and require_once break with that function. I'm not pleased at all. I'll definitely look into this service.
    __FILE__ works fine with the ionCube encoder (www.ioncube.com/encoder/ or www.php-encoder.com). But. the new zend engine (ZE2 - or did you mean zend encoder 2, I was confused) isn't supported yet as the new engine is only about 70% complete and won't be released until into 2003. By then or before there should be support, and with PHPA.

    Encoding of files up to and inlcuding with PHP 4.3.0dev is supported and works fine.

    Hello, I don't think it would run in the long run. Because most of the Hosting Providers (atleast me) don't install any mods of PHP until unless I have asked any one from the PHP Development Team.
    So just ask members of the team then. Quite a few people can vouch for PHPA, myself, and one or two for the encoder. Some members of the PHP Group use PHPA, and *many* outside the group, includiong hosting providers, and including Yahoo!

    Also, the most important thing is there are very few hosts that are willing to install stuff like this as this may also have any conflicts with Zend Optimizer.
    I have to disagree. The most important thing is probably that hosts remove ZO and install something better, and for product purchasers to lobby vendors to encode with alternatives to Zend, so that they can take advantage of a tool like PHPA.

    Most sites don't run ZEncoded files, and the performance gained from a tool such as PHPA will typically far exceed the gains from ZO. Comparing them is akin to comparing the proverbial tortoise and hare. Companies that do produce ZEncoded files should be pursuaded to encode with other tools as well. Ok so I'm biased, but the combination of cheap compiled code encoding from the PHP Encoder and support with the free PHP Accelerator, giving same performance as Zend Acc, ia a far more compelling combination in my mind than ZE files with ZO and probably no ZA.

    Most of all, I have also heard that Zend Accelerator have problems with Zend Encoded files.
    And so all the more reason to use the ioncube PHP Encoder and PHPA as, from release 1.3.2, they work together. Release 1.3.2 actually won't cache encoded files for security reasons (encoded files go a bit aster than source anyway and so that can't be bad), but release 1.4 of PHPA will probably support caching. Caching will be an option selected at encode time by the encodee.

    nick

  6. #6
    purple monkey dishwasher scoates's Avatar
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    I was talking about Encoder 2 whenever I said "ZE2" or "ZE". Thanks for the info.

    S

  7. #7
    SitePoint Guru okrogius's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Omair Haroon
    Hello,

    I don't think it would run in the long run. Because most of the Hosting Providers (atleast me) don't install any mods of PHP until unless I have asked any one from the PHP Development Team.

    Also, the most important thing is there are very few hosts that are willing to install stuff like this as this may also have any conflicts with Zend Optimizer.

    Most of all, I have also heard that Zend Accelerator have problems with Zend Encoded files.

    -Omair
    The only case where zend encoder fiels with conflict with zend accelerator is when zend encoder TRIAL versin is used.

  8. #8
    purple monkey dishwasher scoates's Avatar
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    Note:

    Zend has got back to me about the require_once and include_once problem.

    I have a patched ZendOptimizer.so that doesn't exhibit this problem.

    Look for Optimizer 1.3.2 within the next "couple of days".

    S

  9. #9
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    How about PHPGuardian (http://www.phpguardian.com)?

  10. #10
    Non-Member Jinx's Avatar
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    PHPGuardian to is a bit pricey.

  11. #11
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    Its not cheap but its not as costly as zend for sure! Its a fraction of what zend encoder costs plus this one has a life time licence which sadly zend doesnt offer. I also read that IonCube is coming out with a phpguardian type of version which i am sure would be competitively priced too.

  12. #12
    purple monkey dishwasher scoates's Avatar
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    Zend Encoder Perpetual License: $2400
    Zend Encoder 1 yr.: $960
    URL to Zend website: Free
    Teaching anilgk a valuable lesson about not speaking factually about something without knowing the facts: Priceless.

    S

  13. #13
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    Hey, isint that what I said??? I said that phpguardian is a fraction of what zend costs and has a life time licence which zend doesnt offer. You have already given the facts about zend which is what I said in the first place without giving the actual figures. The figures for phpguardian are it costs $250 for a life time licence.

    I dont think I mentioned any wrong facts in my previous post.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Member
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    P.S. I was trying to compare the zend's cheapest version of encoder with phpguardian. I hope that makes you feel fine.

  15. #15
    purple monkey dishwasher scoates's Avatar
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    Not that I'm trying to start (or continue) a flamewar, but my point was that Zend DOES offer a "life time" license. That's the perpetual license I mentioned.

    I concur, however, that the price of Zend Encoder is much higher than that of PHP Guardian.

    S

  16. #16
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    Exactly!

  17. #17
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