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  1. #26
    Dumb PHP codin' cat
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    Amen

  2. #27
    runat="server" Golgotha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chas
    You've no doubt visited main stream Flash community sites like Flashkit.com and guru.co.uk..... they promote this software through advertising (Actionscript viewer decomposer etc.) and are any of the respected Flash developers who visit these sites in an uproar about it?
    I personally have seen Eric Jordan go off on it...
    But, there is no uproar, because there is little or nothing that can be done.

    And who cares what product it is or where they got it or if it's free or not... IT'S STEALING. PERIOD.

    this is the age we now live in- we find ways to justify stealing.
    - Hey, no one's complaining about it.
    - Hey, the software is available.
    - Hey, everywhere else does it.
    - Hey, it's only clientside code.
    - Hey, it's really a compliment...

    yeah, it's called stealing.

  3. #28
    Dumb PHP codin' cat
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    Thats just the way I see it, I don't do it nor have I ever even used one of these alleged tools of thievery, I am just with Chas on this one, its not up to you or me to say whether its okay to use these things, leave that to the lawyers. Censoring a forum because someone asks how to get one is just plain wrong.

  4. #29
    Dumb PHP codin' cat
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    For everyone that is worried about their code getting looked at, use this
    http://www.genable.com/aso/

  5. #30
    Dumb PHP codin' cat
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    Should flashmagazine be shutdown because they published where to get one?
    http://www.flashmagazine.com/html/704.htm

    Straight from macromedia
    Comment: I know some people feel hot about this... on the HTML-authoring newsgroups the thread about "How can I hide my HTML!?" is big too.

    My take? "There are no secrets." Your talents are in your responsiveness to the situation you're in, and no one can duplicate that. With digital content it's difficult to enforce a social contract... the real value isn't in the bits, it's in the relationships.

    SWF, like PDF, is publicly documented. Readers are requested to respect certain privacy bits, but you can't make them respect those privacy bits ("Free Dmitry" and GhostScript aside).

    Both "How can I make my SWF difficult to play elsewhere?" and "How can I make it difficult for others to understand my scripts?" are answerable questions... lots of previous discussion to reap here.

    (btw, "open source" usually means that it's not only publicly-documented, but also subject to individual modification. It's hard for me to see how you can make mutant SWFs if they must play back in a widely-distributed player of known capability.)
    Posted by: John Dowdell 172.139.165.7 Unregistered on Sunday, May 19, 2002

    This is a nice interesting read with many viewpoints on the subject
    http://www.flazoom.com/cooler/1021675925,49856,.shtml

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golgotha
    I personally have seen Eric Jordan go off on it...
    With good reason, 2advanced's got to be the most ripped off Flash design going - not because (as far as i know) anyone deconstructed there work - but simply because they copied the basic functionality and artwork.

    As H mentioned deconstructing a SWF, rebranding it and passing it off as your own work is illegal.

  7. #32
    runat="server" Golgotha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freddydoesphp
    Thats just the way I see it, I don't do it nor have I ever even used one of these alleged tools of thievery, I am just with Chas on this one, its not up to you or me to say whether its okay to use these things, leave that to the lawyers. Censoring a forum because someone asks how to get one is just plain wrong.
    I hear ya freddy...and you don't need these tools, you're way too talented for them. Wish I could steal some of your knowledge

  8. #33
    Dumb PHP codin' cat
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    Anytime, but the way I learned was hanging in the forums and answering questions. Besides who are you talking to, didn't you build plasmapages? That site kicks ***.

  9. #34
    runat="server" Golgotha's Avatar
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    thanks, but my programming skills are nowhere close to your level. So much to learn......

  10. #35
    SitePoint Wizard aaron.martone's Avatar
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    freddy - by all means, I want to hear the points everyone has; that's what forums are for. Nobody is dictated by my laws, and vice versa. I'm here for the free exchange of ideas.

    Chas - I can't fight people making software that allows people to view and steal source code, but community sites such as SitePoint allowing such posts is as much as condoning the behavior. The initial poster now has what he needs to steal all the code he wants. Why not remove this thread to prevent more people from gaining the knowledge to steal other's works?

    If not, lets add a "Warez" Forum Channel, where we can all talk about stealing work, cracking files, promoting warez and other "grey" subjects.

  11. #36
    runat="server" Golgotha's Avatar
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    I think we've all said our piece and can let this thread go now.

  12. #37
    Dumb PHP codin' cat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golgotha
    thanks, but my programming skills are nowhere close to your level. So much to learn......
    Thanks, but my design skillz are soooooooo bad its not even funny, put together I am sure we could crank out some nice stuff.

  13. #38
    SitePoint Wizard aaron.martone's Avatar
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    Neg Golgotha! I wanna say more!

    .......*long pause*

    .....

    ..um.

    ......

    .........There's....a new Mountain Dew flavor comin out...it's called LiveWire....I wonder if it'll be any good... code red wasn't half bad.....

    .....

    yeah...

  14. #39
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    Hello everyone,

    I would first like to apologize for resurrecting such an old thread. I had forgotten about this thread shortly after I started it and never got to read all the responses until tonight when I was searching for another thread that I started and noticed all the replies on this one.

    This may be hard to believe, but I honestly was not looking to steal or modify anyone else's work and pass it off as my own or publish it in any way. I really did want to just see how some more involved Flash sites worked and I was not under the assumption that it was in any way illegal or even wrong. I considered it similar to viewing HTML. I now see that there are some differences between viewing the source for SWF and websites. Although, I do believe my original intentions were exactly the same as when I view HTML:
    not to steal, not to use as my own creation

    Again,
    I am sorry for the uprising this thread has caused. I suggest that it not be deleted, but that's not up to me. Any questions, feel free to PM me

    -Phil

  15. #40
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    I have a very strong conviction against stealing which makes this discussion very important to me. Yet, I am not convinced that watching how another programmer builds their work is stealing. There is a lot to be said for the most recent post (albeit 39 months ago! ) of the original poster.

    I read books on occasion and learn from the content and writing style of the book so that when the time comes for me to write my own content, I have experience that I have assimilated from these books to draw from, combine with my own patterns of thought, and write original creative information.

    An electrician comes to my house and I watch how he fixes my light socket so that I can perform the same method myself to future light sockets that need fixing.

    A person visits a building under construction and studies certain aspects of the building's construction to learn how it is done. Perhaps they stick around the whole time and watch as the master builder lays the foundation, organizes the materials, and assembles the building so that someday they can become a builder of buildings themselves. Is the person breaking the law or violating any kind of ethics or morality? A free country means that we have the ethical and moral right to watch and learn these kinds of things from others. That is the entire driving force of our society, to learn from each other and build from each other's experience. Now, for the visitor to come by and slap a label on the building and call it their own without buying it would be wrong. But learning how to build the building so that they can build their own building is not wrong.

    I want someone to tell me why I am wrong in such a way that I can feel satisfied about the idea of not using an actionscript viewer to learn better actionscript and discover all the tricks that expert actionscript programmers learn through experience. If someone explicitly says not to learn from their work, as the master builder might tell the visitor to take a hike, I can gladly comply with their wishes. But I know a lot of friendly personalities out there who would gladly show the visitor around and explain how things are done.

    Thanks,
    David

  16. #41
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    I thought of a much more accurate analogy. Have you ever disassembled a radio or automobile engine to learn how it works, so you could be more competant when working with your own electronics or motors, even learn a few tricks of the trade? How is viewing the swf files of others any different? This is more accurate than the building analogy. I honestly want to know so that I have a reason not to do it.

    Looking forward to hearing your ideas.

    David

  17. #42
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    I seriously doubt that decompiling and viewing code is an efficient way of learning. If it was, then design colleges/online courses/flash books would all base their content on this method of gaining knowledge ... yeah right.

    Without any explanation of the developers thought process and reasoning behind what they've done, the knowledge on display in a decompiled swf is worth very little. Unless you already have a fair bit of expertise to understand it all. Sure you can open up a radio and see all the capacitors & resistors, but without a solid background of electronic principals you're not going to do much but tinker. And I'd file swf decompiling under exactly that - fine for mucking about but it's never going to replace proper learning.

    With hundreds if not thousands of tutorials online covering pretty much every aspect of flash design, and plenty great books available, the flash community is well served with great assets for learning, why bother fiddling with others swfs?

    IMHO, the prevalence of decompilers is just an illustration of today's lazy fast-food mentality towards acquiring skills. We want it all, now. You can see similar in the music world where everybody with a handful of old records and a sampler thinks they are a skilled musician.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevewebdev2005
    I seriously doubt that decompiling and viewing code is an efficient way of learning. If it was, then design colleges/online courses/flash books would all base their content on this method of gaining knowledge ... yeah right.
    An inefficient learning style to some may be a worthwhile exercise to others. Your response discriminates against a great number of people who possess the kind of mindset that benefits from tinkering with difficult mechanisms that have been built by others. I run into these kinds of people from time to time. They are often the type who like to build things from scratch at low levels using an assembler or build robots from scrap parts (as a hobby). Tinkering is how these people learn best, because that is the level of complexity that they enjoy. That isn't to say that they wouldn't use a high-level language like flash/actionscript, because high-level means high productivity for them as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by stevewebdev2005
    With hundreds if not thousands of tutorials online covering pretty much every aspect of flash design, and plenty great books available, the flash community is well served with great assets for learning, why bother fiddling with others swfs?
    Sometimes you come across clever things that are hard to find in the common online tutorials available to everyone. Instead of spending days looking for the tutorial for such a thing, it's right there in front of you to study (granted, it may be more difficult). Copying and pasting it would be stealing, but learning something new from it is not stealing as per the examples from the non-computer world that I gave in previous posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by stevewebdev2005
    IMHO, the prevalence of decompilers is just an illustration of today's lazy fast-food mentality towards acquiring skills. We want it all, now.
    Lazy fast-food mentality? I thought your original point was that tinkering with decompiled code is too difficult to be efficient for learning. You can't have it both ways.

    Let's assume you are right about everything you said, bringing into question the effectiveness or relevance of using viewers to learn actionscript. Your response still doesn't say anything about the morality or ethics of viewing the actionscript to learn from it, as opposed to stealing it. But I do appreciate your contribution to my personal deliberations about this.

    David
    Last edited by DavidPesta; Mar 21, 2006 at 07:45. Reason: Corrected a misspelling

  19. #44
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    Pixel artists zoom in on the pixel art of others, not to copy and steal their work, but to study and learn from it so that they can apply the same talent and methods to their own pixel art. This is accepted practice in the pixel art community.

    Yet another example.

    David

  20. #45
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    similarly to the users before me, i apologise for the resurrection of an old topic but the analogys have been thus far misinterpreted..

    the building site for example, fair enough you can learn techniques from waching and copying, but it is against the law to duplicate the original designs AND PRESENT IT AS YOUR OWN...

    personally, i find the radio a better example -- yes, its okay to look inside, tinker and figure out how it all works, but it is very likely that the design for that individual radio will either be patented or copyrighted for example ...
    similarly, there is nothing to stop you opening up a car engine to see how it works.. BUT if you copy the design of the engine or the design of the car, then you can be prosecuted ..

    is there anybody else here who advocates the copying of a car or engine for example, and then reproducing it as your own?


    that's fundamentally what is being argued -- and to put a real-life example into it, im sure that Ferrari wouldnt be too pleased if Honda started stealing their designs ..

    regards,
    Kwah =]

  21. #46
    SitePoint Zealot Coastal Web's Avatar
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    Yes and we should remove the "view source" button from every browser!!!









    /sarcasm

    Come on you guys.... settle down.

  22. #47
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Wow how did this thread get so out of hand!..posts 6 and 7 totally OTT!..i've ended up here after having actually lost a .fla of a mp3 player i made about a year back and can't remember how to code a certain feature in it ( im not an actionscripter by trade)...flash scanner will do the trick nicely!

  23. #48
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    Thumbs down

    I feel that looking at other's swfs is not unethical...I feel that if you look at someones work to see how it was created...and how some of the functionality came about...then you are not doing anything wrong. I would agree that copying and pasting would be wrong. Online tuturials are great, but their practical application is not as clear in the tut as it is in a full grown flash app/site....not to mention finished flash apps/sites usually combine many different tutorials to create one masterpiece....there aren't that many tutorials that build on previous tuts to show how you would progress through flash to create something bigger in the end...I had to use Sothink SWF decompiler because we bought out a company who provided us with a flash app...when I was hired, I knew nothing about flash, and I was told to recreate the software...to begin, I had to figure out what the hell the previous crap did, and how it did it...so i decompiled the swf and I found a host of great information...and my current replacement has 0% code from the previous application...I was able to learn the structure and the functionality of the code from the decompiled app and many many months of tutorial/forum help...

    this post can go on back and forth endlessly because there are definitely ways of using decompilers in an unethical or even illegal way...but there are also many ethical and even beneficial applications of such software...its all circumstantial...and i dont think any of us can tell anyone they are using the software one way or the other unless we know exactly what they are doing...

    so to say that anyone who uses a decompiler is a scumbag, i think is very wrong...

  24. #49
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    I was searching for information about SWF and FLA after using a flash app a friend of mine had made.

    Its a simple timer for a boardgame called space hulk. Sounds are activated as the timer winds down in certain increments. I guess by many peoples standards here, it would be childsplay to create.

    I have always been intrigued on how to make flash, and after he made this app, I thought I would see if I could tweak it to make it better. (have actions happen while a loop is occuring for example). Boy was I in for a shocker to find out exactly how hard it is for the layman to try and figure out these nuts and bolts.

    Trying to open his swf in MX did nothing except play the file. I couldnt understand how the hell to alter it. Then someone told me I need this magical thing called a decompiler.
    Ok. So I download a decompiler. easy.
    Except, it didnt really mean anything to me still. I could see what compromised the swf. but it didnt really allow me to alter the deeper code. The timing of the audio loo, altering the pitch, etc.

    In short, I have a new found respect for coders. As a layman, I thought I was doing pretty good using HTML..lol but I really do beleive that decompilers from my limited three hour experience with them are far more reviled than they should be.

    I guess if you are quite prficient in writing flash code, then I suppose it has the potential for abuse, like many things.

    But for me, it was amazing lurking through all the nuts and bolts trying to figure out how something function. In some ways, I got a better understanding. In others, it caused more questions than it answered.

    And at the end of it all, I still cant customize that damned flash app to my own specs due to my inability to understand through lack of experience. Not that I want to claim it as my own, but to fiddle with it to add different sounds and whatnot. Like a monkey trying to get a crystal radio set to work.

    Sorry for the resurrection. But since I have seen that this thread had been resurrected several times, that I would not be the only one crucified for threadnomancy. I just wanted to share an extreme noobs impression about decompilers.

  25. #50
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    its too bad this post is ranked 1 in google for best swf decompiler, its been utterly useless, all you guys are doing is knocking the poor guy, i'm a long time member but i havent been active in over a couple years but seeing this post disturbed me, not because of his question, but because we're afraid to exchange information on a topic that can have many uses aside from your assumed "black hat" tactics, im here i just want to say that its too bad that you cant provide the poor guy with the information he's asking for...

    so i'll go ahead and say that so think is good but there are some swfs you can't convert to fla. i don't advocate using software to snatch other peoples work and pass it on as your own but it is always useful looking at what other people have done with their designs when your new.

    I would like to know some better softwares so if you guys know any post em, by better, i mean one that can open all swfs, so think cant open some - im sure there a "best" one as the OP is asking


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