decompilation as archiving?

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Sat Dec 2 19:59:05 CST 2006

On 2 Dec 2006 at 23:16, Tony Duell wrote:

> I would argue software sources are more educational than useful (not that 
> education is not a very important 'use' :-)). I like scheamtics of old 
> computers for 2 reasons, firstly to learn how they worked, and secondly 
> to be able to repair them if something failes. Only the first is really 
> applicable to software, software doesn't fail in the same sense that 
> hardware can.

If you're reading someone else's software, the stuff that isn't 
executable code can really give you a window on the mind of the 
author and answer the question "What kind of person wrote this--a 
hack, someone trying to show off, or someone who really put a lot of 
thought into what s/he was doing?".  And even more importantly, "Did 
whoever wrote this actually know what s/he was doing?"

Unfortuantely, you don't get that with decompiled/disassembled code.  
It might be possible to infer it, but it's quite a bit more 


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